Makaton is a program of communication that uses signs as visual cues alongside vocal words for adults or children experiencing communication difficulties. It should be started alongside one of the professionals caring for your child such as a speech and language therapist, but it can be suggested by you! By enabling your child’s communication you will build their self-confidence. Words, signs and symbols should be introduced in a gradual, but progressive manner .
You can find help, advice and support from..
On their fantastic website you can also find free resources. I have FREE pdf copies from here of some common nursery rhymes such as
Old MacDonald (music, words and signs)
Dick Whittington (Words and signs)
Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat (Words, signs and symbols)
You will find more makaton signs and support in the article dated 5th April 13; commonly used makaton signs.
Starting to sign: inc baby sign and BSL
Baby signing and Kubler, A (2004) Child’s play international Ltd
This book is good for your little one as it uses British Sign Language making it appropriate for the hard of hearing, but it is also recommended by the Makaton Charity. If you are interested in teaching your child ‘Baby sign’ and they are not expected to have any developmental delay then you should always use British Sign Language signs in the UK as this leads to the potential of their being able to link with the deaf community 
When signing with a baby it is important to make it fun, use eye contact, use the correct signs and congratulate but never copy their slightly inaccurate attempts. You should also always say the word at the same time, introduce new signs gradually and only use one sign per sentence so that they can still hear the correct rhythm of language . On average babies sign back when they are between 10 and 13 months, but they are all different.
As an incentive to purchase a BSL ‘Let’s sign’ book here is ‘The little Piggy went to market’ 
I hope you found this information helpful. If your child uses symbols too then click to ‘follow’ this blog as information and resources on PECS is coming up soon!
1) Wall, K (2006) Special needs and Early Years: A practitioner’s guide. 2nd edition. London: Paul Chapman Publishing
2) Smith, C and Gilbert, V (2010) Let’s sign: songs for children, popular songs to sing along to. Durham: Stephen Smith
3) Singand sign (2001) Sing and sign DVD linked to http://www.singandsign.com
- Resources: Commonly used Makaton signs (niccilouise.wordpress.com)
- Your Newborn and Making Vowel Sounds – Speech Development (everydayfamily.com)
- Makaton Monday ~ Jump (mummywifewoman.wordpress.com)
- Deaf News: 31 MPs back BSL Campaign (so far) (limpingchicken.com)
- Deaf News: Universal Declaration of Human Rights translated into BSL! (limpingchicken.com)