Makaton is designed to support spoken language – the signs are used in spoken word order to help children and adults to communicate. Using signs can be useful for children who have no speech (because they have communication difficulties or are very young), or whose speech is unclear. Children’s understanding often develops ahead of their speech. This can be frustrating as they know what they want but struggle to express it.
Using signing can help to empower children to say what they want to say, and alleviate this frustration. Makaton symbols can also be used to support communication in many different ways – they’re especially useful for those who have limited speech and who cannot, or prefer not to sign.