Advice Articles

Makaton - Signing For Babies



Makaton class - babies signing with their parents

Makaton Signing for Babies sessions are designed for you and your child to have fun and learn together.

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What is Makaton?

Communication is one of the most important skills we need through all stages of life.  Everything we do involves communication: everyday tasks like asking for a drink, learning, having fun and making friends all rely on our ability to communicate with each other.

Makaton uses speech with signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) to help people communicate. Signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. It supports language development by providing extra visual clues about what someone is saying. Many children then drop the signs or symbols naturally at their own pace, as they develop speech.

If you and your child have experienced the frustration of not being able to communicate meaningfully or effectively together, Makaton can really help. Makaton is extremely flexible and can be personalised to a child’s needs or used at a level suitable for them. It can be used to:

  • Make choices
  • Take part in games and songs
  • Listen to and tell stories
  • Label objects, pictures, photos and places

Makaton Signing for Babies

Research has shown that signs and gestures are easier to learn than spoken words. Babies use gestures before they can speak to communicate what they want.  For example, they might point or hold out their arms to be lifted up. Using Makaton with babies helps build and develop important communication and language skills and has positive outcomes for both babies and parents:

Babies

  • Pre-verbal skills
  • Attention
  • Expression
  • Social skills
  • Reduced frustration                

Parents

  • Increased communication skills
  • Increased parent child interaction
  • Increased understanding of child’s needs
  • Reduced frustration    

Makaton Signing for Babies is a fun packed series of sessions for people who want to sign with babies and children. It is designed to help babies develop into skilful communicators.  Over the course of six stimulating one hour sessions, 100 Makaton symbols and signs are taught through interactive games, songs and activities which make signing fun and easy to remember.

“I feel happy to have gained a lot of useful information which will be of great value to my child’s development.”

You can find out more information about Makaton and Makaton Signing for Babies by visiting www.makaton.org

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