Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols that enables individuals with speech-language difficulties to communicate. It is uniquely designed to support spoken language. The signs and symbols are used along with speech in spoken word order. Makaton uses speech with signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) to help people communicate.
Apart from verbal speech, we also use facial expressions, eye contact, and body language to give as much information as possible. Signs and symbols provide extra clues about what someone is saying and help those who cannot or prefer not to sign. Young children may communicate through behaviours such as screaming and kicking; and older children or adults may shout or hurt themselves. Makaton teaches those who are non-verbal or those with unclear speech to communicate using signs and symbols in a more acceptable way.