At Baby Babble we are very proud to use the Makaton system of signing.
What is the Makaton system?
Makaton is a unique, multimodal language program system of signs and symbols that was designed to support people with communication difficulties. It is a system of signs used in conjunction with the normal spoken word which supports developing speech and language skills.
For this reason, it is the perfect system for us at Baby Babble to use with the little ones that we teach. This is because:
it allows speech and language to develop in line with normal grammatical speech;
only the key words are signed in a sentence, making the most important message of the sentence the clearest
it can be used with any of the 11 official spoken languages of South Africa
and finally, signing is always accompanied by speech
Babies that don't face any challenges to their communication tend to drop their signs as soon as their speech and language has developed effectively enough to allow for fluid communication. This is because it is much easier, and quicker, to speak than to sign and with speech they can get what they want faster (it's motivating to speak!!)
Babies that do face communication challenges as a result of autism, Down Syndrome or other such challenges, tend to keep and use the signs for longer, sometimes never dropping them. As often their speech is not clear, signing is a means of clarifying or emphasising a message in a way that their speech cannot.