As most of us know, speech and language development is usually delayed in children with Down syndrome. One of the ways to help them communicate more effectively and meaningfully is through using Makaton.
In KDSF, teachers practice the use of Makaton to communicate with the students. Makaton language program is a sign language specially designed to support spoken language. It uses signs and/or symbols together with speech.
Makaton is extremely helpful for those, including our students, that have difficulty with or limited speech. It helps students to convey their messages and/or needs, thus reduces the frustration the students feel besides helping others to understand the students.
There are a few criteria that we should take note when using Makaton:
- The words need to be spoken together with the signing action.
- Avoid covering the mouth when signing the action as this could help the students to imitate the lip movement.
- Always establish eye contact.
On the second week of February, KDSF-NC organized a workshop for parents to learn more about Makaton. They were guided on the correct way to use Makaton, tips when using Makaton signs, and the do’s & don’ts. Parents also get the chance to observe and practice in class with their child. Guidance were given to parents by class teachers during the practice.
Below are some sample videos of Makaton by our teachers – Teacher Rosnah & Teacher Christy :