What is Makaton?

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.

Who can Makaton help?

Makaton can help children and adults who have difficulty with:

  • Communicating what they want, think or how they feel
  • Making themselves understood
  • Paying attention
  • Listening to and understanding speech
  • Remembering sequencing

Makaton is a visual way to develop communication skills which helps to stimulate sounds and words. This in turn encourages language development (i.e. putting words together) – Makaton aids understanding by giving you an extra visual clue to what’s being expressed.

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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