As speech therapists in Nottingham, we are often introducing Makaton to families to support their children’s’ communication skills.
What is Makaton?
Makaton was devised by 3 speech and language therapists. It is a language programme that uses signs and symbols to help people communicate. The signs are based on signs from British Sign Language (the official sign language for people who are deaf or who have a hearing impairment) and the symbols are simple, black and white line drawings.
The CBBC ‘Something Special’ programme uses Makaton.
Who Uses It?
As a speech therapist, I have used Makaton with a range of different communication problems. By signing and symbolising the environment, adults are:
- Encouraging children to attend to what they are saying (the child is hearing AND SEEING something)
- Helping the children to understand by adding a visual clue to support their spoken words.
- >Giving children confidence to support their own speech with gestures/signs as the children are surrounded by adults who are doing the same.
Speech Right has used Makaton successfully in therapy with:
- Children who are delayed in using spoken language
- Children who have difficulties understanding English
- Children who are struggling to produce clear speech
- Children with attention and listening problems
- Children who have social communication difficulties
- Children who have English as a second language
Can Makaton Be Used AT Home?
Yes, even if your child does not have any speech and language difficulties. Speech Right actively encourage families to use Makaton as research has shown that using signs and symbols actively encourages the development of speech and language skills (www.makaton.org.uk).
- pick some key words which you use daily with your child and begin to sign the word everytime you say it.
- Watch Justin and Mr.Tumble on ‘Something Special’ together with your child.
For further information about Makaton, please feel free to contact Speech Right and the speech therapists here in Nottingham will be happy to help.