Makaton is a language programme that uses a combination of speech, non-verbal signs and symbols to communicate. By using Makaton you provide extra clues about what you’re saying which helps you to communicate your message more effectively. Makaton can be described as a package that you provide someone with to aid their communication; you personalise this package to meet their needs and in turn reduce any frustration they may be feeling as they’re able to communicate in a way that is meaningfully and effective for them.
In a dance setting ‘Makaton’ allows us to:
·Tailor the content to meet the specific needs of the people we are working with.
·Support the routine and structure of the lesson.
·Foster social opportunities. This includes supporting individuals to make independent choices, turn taking, nurturing leadership skills and allowing dance appreciation and discussion to take place.
Describe, and in turn, for participants to learn and understand action words, positional language and abstract concepts.
· Aid understanding, memory and sequencing of movement.
· Develop choreographic skills.
· Facilitate coursework elements for qualifications such as ASDAN, Entry Level Qualifications and Arts Awards.
Makaton is an extremely powerful tool for both adults and children who need an alternative way to communicate and process information, or/and support with their speech to help make themselves understood. Our unique approach to and use of Makaton within a dance context allows us to foster not only a participant’s ability to communicate using vocabulary that is functional for this context, but to also support and develop their understanding and knowledge of the activities they are participating in.
Our Makaton Friendly status highlights our commitment to and passion about using Makaton and making ourselves as accessible as possible to individuals who benefit from alternative ways of communicating. Splatter Dance is the first and currently only Makaton Friendly organisation in West Lancashire.