Free Printable Makaton Resources
Makaton is basic and simple language which is brilliant for children with disabilities and special needs which allows those with very little or no verbal skills to communicate and converse. There are a range of great free printable resources at The Makaton Charity website which anyone can download and use with their kids or in educational environment. Whether its understanding that your kid wants to settle down for a nap in their sofa bed or they want to watch a DVD, Makaton can help communicate these needs when there is no other way of doing so.
Makaton is simple language which uses signs, symbols and verbal speech to aid communication. It’s designed to support spoken speech and is much less complex than ASL or other sign language systems. It’s a great help for many people with learning disabilities, global development delays or other communication difficulties including autistic spectrum disorders and can help those who may otherwise struggle to get their point across or ever communicate freely. Without language, people can’t express themselves and this can mean pent up anger manifests itself in behavioural difficulties.
Makaton works with the individual and their family or friends to remove this frustration and anger and replace it with a means to communicate. The signs can be dropped into speech card by card to show the individual exactly how to get across what they mean or it can be approached in a more regimental fashion, depending on your personal needs.
The Makaton Charity provides a goldmine of information for parents and carers looking to use Makaton and the ways in which it can help improve independence and all round quality of life for people living with disabilities. The charity also provides a great range of free printable resources for people to try out and enjoy.
Fun, Developmental and Recreational
The charity provides some fun and recreational projects and ideas in their free resources section. These include:
A Mother’s Day Card – ready for 18th March, you can download a free Mother’s Day card complete with handy phrases to cut out and use on the cover.
Easter Resources – with Easter coming at the beginning of April there’s a free Easter resource for anyone to download. This resource pack is filled with Easter signs and symbols to learn and use during the festive period.
Valentine’s Day Resources – although a bit late for this year, there’s a free resource full of signs and symbols to share with your loved ones.
Old MacDonald – this great free download has the sheet music and signs for the whole nursery rhyme Old MacDonald which can be enjoyed by everyone with a little practice.
Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat – much like Old MacDonald, Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat is another poem/song which has been translated into Makaton symbols and signs.
Dick Whittington – slightly more advanced than the other stories available, the free version of Dick Whittington translates the whole tale into Makaton signs and symbols to be enjoyed verbally and visually.
Going Back to School – this is one of the most valuable and useful resources available for free across the site. Preparing a child with a learning difficulty or special needs for their return to school after the holidays can be fraught with worry and change is often a trigger for stress and anxiety. With this great free resource you can learn all the symbols together involved with going back to school and slowly introduce the fact that it’s coming up soon.
Educational and Informational
The Makaton Charity also provides information for the carers and parents in an easy access manner including the Other Ways of Speaking booklet which explains in depth how Makaton and other language systems can be used effectively with children and adults with special needs.
The Makaton Charity’s range of free printable materials are more than just great fun, they can be a really valuable developmental and educational tool which can help change the quality of life for individuals living with special needs and disabilities. All parents want the best for their child and the chance to enhance their life in any way and if your child is living with special needs and struggles to communicate, Makaton could be a way of aiding them towards independence and these free resources are just the start.
*I take no responsibility for advertising links used to compensate the author of this piece. So, if you buy a sofa bed, please don't call me to assemble it. :)