My youngest son Jacob is 4 years old. He has struggled to communicate verbally all his life and even family & friends find it difficult to understand him.
We introduced Makaton to Jacob 12 months ago and the change in our lives since then has been tremendous. Before Makaton, Jacob would become increasingly frustrated when his needs weren't met or he was misunderstood. He would try so hard to ask for things he wanted, which would usually end in him losing his temper and gradually becoming more and more withdrawn, wanting to just be by himself.
The first time Jacob used a sign which I understood, the look of sheer relief on his face was extraordinary. He has finally managed to be heard and have his needs met, this excitement spurred us all on to learn more new words. In the past I had thought "oooo ooooo" was Jacob pretending to be a monkey, however he'd get cross with me for playing monkeys?? The first time he signed 'orange' while saying the same "oooo" it clicked! Of course! He's asking for his juice!
The majority of Jacobs vocabulary has been learned through singing songs with him - 3 cheeky monkeys is definitely his favourite. From this song he has learnt the signs for mummy, monkey, bed, doctor, said & more all without even realising it! He now signs all of his colours having sang the rainbow song a few times too. He just thinks he's having fun, he doesn't see it as learning at all! His music class, Bibbity Bobbity Boo, now sign as they’re singing some of the songs and it’s great to see other children trying hard to copy the signs.
Makaton is changing our lives so much. It's giving my little boy his voice and I'm so happy we discovered it.