A mixture of year 2 and 3 Speech & Language Therapy (SLT) students at the University of St Mark & St John have recently completed an intensive 2 day course on Makaton. Makaton uses signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate. Signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. This helps provide extra clues about what someone is saying. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or prefer not to sign.
The university students attended the training in order to broaden their skills and opportunities to communicate with people. By learning a skill such as Makaton the trainees are able to interact with other Makaton users who rely on the multi modal communication system to communicate daily. The course covered the theory behind Makaton, interpretation and generation of sentences in Makaton signing and symbol pictures as well as information on the diverse areas in which it can be used in once the students are fully qualified Speech & Language Therapists. The course also covered information on the wide range of clientele that benefit from the multi-modal communication system, additional to the positive evidence available for its use.The training is also available to other populations of users such as parents, carers and professionals.
Ashleigh Paddon, SLT student said:
“I personally have found this a useful skill to use with people of many ages and abilities. Furthermore, the experience has fuelled further interest to promote multi-modal communication amongst the wider population”.
The training will enable the students to be able to carry the signing and symbol vocabulary that they have learnt and apply it to real life situations.
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