What is Makaton?
Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and
speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of
essential communication skills such as attention and listening,
comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and
Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need
in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; everyday tasks
such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out
problems, making friends and having fun. These all rely on our ability
to communicate with each other.
With Makaton, signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. This
helps provide extra clues about what someone is saying. Using signs can
help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. Using
symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or
prefer not to sign.
For those who have experienced the frustration of being unable to
communicate meaningfully or effectively, Makaton really can help.
Makaton takes away that frustration and enables individuals to connect
with other people and the world around them. This opens up all kinds of
In the following video from CBeebies, parents of children who use
Makaton explain how it has helped them communicate. And Makaton Tutor
Kate Duggan explains how Makaton is beneficial for children (and adults)
of all ages and abilities.