I have been learning Makaton for 5 months now. I started learning Makaton to help my daughter develop her communication.
Lydia (now two and a half years old) is moderately deaf and has worn hearing aids from 16 weeks old. Having been identified as having a speech delay we thought Makaton would be a useful way to support her with her communication.
I started learning Makaton at a local weekly class and my signing vocabulary built rapidly. The regular practices of the early stages, with the gradual introduction of new stages each week, has meant that I feel very confident with stage 1 and 2 vocabulary. The relaxed nature of the class and the amazing group of people who attend, with ages differences spanning 60 years it has been an absolute pleasure to learn and I now go as much for the enjoyment as for the necessity!
We have seen real impact using Makaton with our daughter.
The first time she linked two words together was speaking and signing (Cake please), which really emphasised to us how beneficial it could be.
The toughest challenge we have faced is trying to build Makaton into our daily lives and routine, as forming new habits and breaking old ones is extremely difficult. We are gradually having success and are slowly building more words into our daily activities, mostly at the moment centred around food!
My other daughter, who also enjoys learning new signs has started using Makaton at dinner times too (though mainly to combat the talking with her mouth full conundrum, which admittedly was not our initial motivation for learning Makaton!
I would highly recommend learning Makaton, either for the sheer joy of it or to make a significant impact on someone’s life, and if you can do it as part of a group, even better!