Getting started with Makaton

Makaton is the sign and symbol language used in Something Special. The aim of Makaton is to help people communicate through speech, so when someone is able to say the correct words, they’re encouraged to speak rather than sign. It can be a great way to boost language development for very young children, and to help children with speech, language and learning difficulties to express themselves.


Top tips for signing with your child:

  • Make sure you always speak when you sign – this can help to promote speech development.
  • Face your child so that they can see your hands, the signs and your facial expressions.
  • Use clear, short sentences and use the sign or symbol for the important word in the sentence.
  • Guide your child’s hands so they can feel what it’s like to perform the sign.
  • Give your child lots of opportunities to practise the signs – try to work them into your daily routine.


Things to do together:

  • Find out more about Makaton through The Makaton Charity, which exists to ensure everyone living with learning or communication difficulties has the tools and resources they need to communicate.
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