Help with global developmental delay and communication

Woman helping a boy with global develto readMakaton can help children with global developmental delay with their communication by combining signs, symbols and speech to help develop language skills, understand and be understood. Makaton enables children with global developmental delay to communicate independently using signs and symbols, with many naturally dropping them at their own pace, as speech develops.

How does global developmental delay affect speech?

Developmental delay or global developmental delay (abbreviated to GDD) is used when a child takes significantly longer to reach certain physical and cognitive developmental milestones than other children their age. Global developmental delay can be associated with many other conditions.

A child who has global developmental delay in speech, language and communication may be significantly delayed in developing the skills needed for understanding spoken or written language, being able to express their thoughts, speech or communication with others. A child who has delayed skills in understanding spoken language may struggle to understand phrases expressed by parents or teachers.

Someone with global developmental delay may have delayed:

  • understanding of language
  • expressive language skills
  • speech sounds development

How is global developmental delay diagnosed?

Diagnosis of global developmental delay is often through the GP or health visitor.

There is no single treatment for global developmental delay, but there are therapies and interventions which can help with a child's development. These can include input from:

  • speech and language therapist
  • paediatrician
  • developmental psychologist
  • occupational therapist
  • physiotherapist
  • specialist support at school

To find out about global developmental delay more visit Mencap – Global developmental delay

How does Makaton help children with global developmental delay to communicate?

Some individuals who have global developmental delay may find that Makaton signs and symbols helps them to speak. Signs are used with speech to provide extra visual support about what someone is saying. Using signs helps people who have no speech, or whose speech is not clear. Symbols can be used by people who have limited speech, or those who either cannot or prefer not to sign.

Some children with global developmental delay may prefer to use PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) as their chosen form of communication. Makaton symbols can be used with PECS.

Makaton aids understanding and allows children and adults to understand concepts and to explain what they wish to say. This can reduce frustration and promote inclusion and independence.

Makaton can help people with global developmental delay who have difficulty with:

  • conveying their feelings, wants and needs
  • being understood
  • attention and listening
  • visual sequencing memory

With Makaton, individuals with global developmental delay are able to connect with other people and the world around them, which opens a range of possibilities. Find out how Makaton works

How do I start out with Makaton?

Are you ready to take the first step and start learning Makaton? Getting started with Makaton is fun and easy. The best way to start learning Makaton is to attend Level 1 training . It means that you learn with other people, share your experiences, and practise with others. It also gives you the opportunity to meet and build a relationship with a Makaton Tutor, who can help and support you in the future. Use our quick and easy search tool to find a workshop near you  (both online and face-to-face training is available).

Makaton Membership complements and enhances training with 24/7 digital access to symbols, signs and video tutorials plus the support of our vibrant online forum, MakaChat. Membership is a valuable support tool for family and friends of Makaton Users and professionals who use Makaton in the workplace.

If you prefer to learn at your own pace, in your own time and in your own home, membership  is a great way to begin your Makaton journey. With a choice of Individual and Group Memberships, simply select the Membership that's right for you.

Visit our Membership  area to start your free 7-day trial.