Communicating with Makaton
Almost everything we do involves some form of communication – it is one of the most important skills we can have. From everyday necessities such as asking for food and drink, to more complex interactions such as learning in school, all of these things rely on our ability to communicate with each other.
When we speak, we often use extra tools to help the person we are communicating with understand what we are saying. For example, if we are asked for directions, we might point or draw a picture. These are clues to help provide more information.
What is Makaton?
Makaton is a language programme that uses signs and symbols, like this, to help people communicate by providing extra clues about what a person is saying, whether that be because they have no speech or their speech is unclear. It also uses facial expression, eye contact and body language to give as much information as possible. Most often, it’s used to support spoken language, so these signs and symbols are used together with speech, in spoken word order.
Unlike British Sign Language, which is a naturally evolving language with its own grammar, word order and regional variations, Makaton is designed to help hearing people with learning or communication difficulties and is consistent across the country in which it’s being used.
What are the benefits?
One of the many benefits of Makaton is that it’s extremely flexible, and can be personalised to an individual's needs and used at a level suitable for them. This makes it particularly good for children. Using Makaton can really boost a child’s confidence and encourage them to express themselves creatively.
London Speech Therapy
At London Speech Therapy, we understand the frustration of being unable to communicate effectively, and have seen first-hand the impressive benefits of using Makaton. It removes a large degree of this frustration, enabling children and adults to connect with the people around them in a way that they couldn’t have previously, and opens up a whole world of possibilities. Makaton allows users to share their thoughts, choices and emotions, and at London Speech Therapy we believe that everyone should have a way of doing this.If you’re interested in using Makaton with your child, contact us today using the form below.