A pair of hands making a sign

What is Makaton?

Makaton is a multi-modal language programme using signs, symbols, and speech to support communication. It promotes the development of functional communication skills, such as attention and listening, understanding, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.

Communication is an essential skill in all walks of life. Every aspect of our daily lives involves the need for good communication, such as requesting food and drink, being at nursery or school, having fun, problem solving, and socialising.

With Makaton, signs are used, along with speech, in spoken word order. Signs provide extra clues to what someone is saying and can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. Symbols are a more permanent representation of speech or signs. Unlike speech and signs, they do not “disappear” and can therefore help people who have limited speech and those who cannot or prefer not to sign.

Makaton really can help anyone who has experienced the frustration of not being able to communicate meaningfully or effectively. Makaton takes away that frustration and enables individuals to connect with other people and the world around them. This opens up all kinds of possibilities. It can allow people to “have a voice”.

Today over 100,000 children and adults, use The Makaton Language Programme. Most people start using Makaton as children, then naturally stop using the signs and symbols as they no longer need them. However, for some people Makaton is their lifelong language.

Sunday, 20 September 2020