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. That’s why we introduced our Makaton ‘Sign, Sing & Shimmy’ project in Stockton.
Sign, Sing and Shimmy incorporates Makaton which uses signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate. 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 not 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 possibilities.”
The Makaton Charity
Sign, Sing and Shimmy is a programme aimed at young children and their families. Through a range of fun action songs and rhymes, dances and stories, children will learn whilst having fun, and the use of Makaton will be encouraged throughout to support meaning and instructions. The children we have been working with in Stockton have really enjoyed there sessions and have begun using Makaton in there day to day lives. Teachers from some of the schools we have worked with have also commented that the sessions have helped to improve communication in their classrooms.