Advanced search

makaton vs. baby signing

(57 Posts)
maomao Tue 18-Nov-03 08:22:03

Hi everyone,

Have a 6 month old, who doesn't seem to have any development issues (unless you consider chubbiness a development issue!). I am doing some research re: sign language. Wondering what your thoughts are on Makaton vs. baby signing.

Also, have you found that signing of some sort really does help the child communicate?

Thanks for your sage advice!

fio2 Tue 18-Nov-03 08:24:27

my daughter has development problems and we use makaton. She has picked it up really quickly and it really helps her communicate

wobblyknicks Tue 18-Nov-03 08:45:10

btw, don't want to sound thick but what is Makaton? I've been looking for some baby signing books and came across a Makaton video but it didn't say what it was.

fio2 Tue 18-Nov-03 08:53:53

makaton is a form of sign language wobblyknicks. The Dave video is great

wobblyknicks Tue 18-Nov-03 08:56:30

oh right, ok! What age would you recommend the video for because I want to start teaching dd sign language asap but she's only just 5 months.

sobernow Tue 18-Nov-03 08:58:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fio2 Tue 18-Nov-03 09:00:00

um I dont know. The video is quite old fashioned but my 2 love it. I think my ds was about 18 months when we started makaton, dd was older. We use it for dd but ds has picked it up aswell. I think alot of people use baby sign before 12 months, its amazing how quickly they pick it up and it doesnt stop them from talking either!

fio2 Tue 18-Nov-03 09:00:53

children who learn makaton also use some bsl aswell

Davros Tue 18-Nov-03 09:05:31

Makaton is based on BSL. Unlike the BSL a "hearing impaired" person might use where you have a sign for every word in a sentence or spell out letters, Makaton uses a sign just for the key words in a sentence. Look at the Makaton website for further info (think its and to get the Dave video or you can get it at Amazon.

bobsmum Tue 18-Nov-03 09:05:42

Wobblyknicks, there's a nursery rhymes video in Makaton which is meant to be really good.

I would need to search to be sure but as far as I know Makaton is a sign language which is used with speech and is used predominately with children who have special needs. Whereas signing (British/american sign Language) is a complete language in itself which doesn't need speech.

I use baby signing with ds which is a simplified amalgamation of makaton, bsl, signalong and Babysigns. Babysigning is intended for use with hearing babies. It encourages them to communicate clearly before they can speak and then as they become capable of speech, spoken words replace the signs.

So for example, ds (14 mths) can't say "Bird", he'll say "Buh", but also sign a "tweet tweet" type movement with his thumb and forefinger IYKWIM. When he's filled his nappy, he'll tell me using the sign for "change" whilst saying "puh' (poo).

Must have breakfast but will try to recommend some more sites later.

bobsmum Tue 18-Nov-03 09:07:07

lots of posts crossing!

MichelleM Tue 18-Nov-03 09:09:17

Hi Maomao
My DS is 5 months and I have just recently bought a baby signing video, called Sing and Sign. It teaches you signs for babies through simple songs with actions. The signs are really obvious and easy to pick up, and I am just completely fascinated by this form of communication. The video recommends starting signing from 6 months onwards, and you always say the word at the same time as signing. I just cant wait to get started . Just have to convince my DH and family though that I'm not stark raving mad, as they have never heard of baby signing and are really sceptical. Just makes me more determined!

Davros Tue 18-Nov-03 09:14:01

MichelleM, just looked up your video on Amazon and its not available! Did you get it somewhere else? I'd be interested in reading about it though I would use Makaton with my baby as we already use it with ASD son. Forgot to say before, as bobsmum said, with Makaton you ALWAYS say the word. Signalong has become more popular recently and, I believe, is a good system BUT I've never come across any professionals (SLTs etc) who use it, they all seem to use Makaton. That's just in case anyone is interested from an SEN pov.

fio2 Tue 18-Nov-03 09:16:54

davros what is singalong? I am sure they use it at my dd's special school but Im not sure

MichelleM Tue 18-Nov-03 09:33:10

Davros I got it from their website
All the best

maomao Tue 18-Nov-03 09:51:11

Wobblyknicks, was it a sing and sign video? Where did you find it? Re: books, have you come across anything useful? I've been looking for the Garcia book, but of course, thickly didn't think of Amazon until bobsmum suggested it. I've got a different book that is incredibly unhelpful. I've been doing some basic signs with my daughter (6 mos), and she just laughs and laughs. I guess my point is that you don't really have to wait, as long as you don't expect your child to start signing back right away. I figured that by the time she starts signing, I might actually be coordinated enough to do it properly with all this practice!

fio2, it's good to know that your daughter picked it up easily. Do you think it's helped her avoid getting overfrustrated?

sobernow, do you think the class was at all helpful?

MichelleM, LOL about the skepticism you're encountering with your family! Mine is the very same way....

Davros, Sing & Sign video is also available at Swiss Cottage Library, I think, in case you want to check it out before buying it. I think I may do that myself.

bobsmum, thanks for all your insight! I thought I'd read somewhere that some nurseries use Makaton, which was a reason why I was leaning that way. Thought it might be more useful....

wobblyknicks Tue 18-Nov-03 10:06:56

maomao - the video was the Dave nursery rhymes one. Also, I found some really good books on Amazon (just by searching for baby sign language) but I've got to get my a** in gear and find out how much they are on a cheaper site (love to find books on Amazon, refuse to pay their prices, especially their p&p!)

Jimjams Tue 18-Nov-03 10:07:02

I bought Dave for ds1 but its ds2 who really loves it. Can't remember what age he was when we got it though- about 18 months I guess.

fio2 Tue 18-Nov-03 13:03:18

in our case yes it has stopped her getting so frustrated because she is 4 this week and still has little speech. It has also given her a drive to communicate - which is great

miriamw Tue 18-Nov-03 14:00:14

With ds1 was going to use the Garcia sign book/video, but our nanny happened to know Makaton, and I knew some too from a previous life so we used that instead - not sure it makes much of a difference what signs you use provided everyone uses the same, and the fun part is meant to be when they start making up their own signs anyway! Whether because of the signing or not, ds1 was an early talker, so we dropped the signs by 12 months or so (didn't start unitl 8 months). Haven't decided what to do with ds2 yet. Not sure how having a very chatty ds1 around will influence him. In some respects it is a pity that we dropped the signs as ds1 would have been able to help "teach" them, but he was so good with words it seemed pretty pointless.

bobsmum Tue 18-Nov-03 14:00:58

Right then...

Baby Signs researched and created by 2 child psychologists - good site and excellent book (although sometimes cheesy )

Signing Baby

Joseph Garcia's site With links to a support group on Yahoo.

Video stream of babies signing - ahhhh!

Sing and Sign A UK version of babysigning - fantastic video and classes.

Ds went to Sing and Sign classes for 10 weeks from about 7 months and started using some signs from around 9 months. We have the DVD and he signs along to some of it now, but mainly loves the songs. I really recommend the classes.

maomao Tue 18-Nov-03 14:24:33

thanks, bobsmum!

bobthebaby Tue 18-Nov-03 19:48:28

HI, we're in NZ and we are doing baby talk babytalk . No sign of a sign from our ds (8 months) but he does seem to understand "more" and "finished". Babytalk have an online workshop which may work out cheaper than British equivalent, it certainly seems easier than the US version which has some very complicated signs.

Caroline5 Tue 18-Nov-03 20:41:14

We do some Makaton with dd2, although I'm not sure she really gets it at the moment. I went to a babysign class recently as it was suggested by portage (our home play therapy for dd2 who has SN), it was called Tinytalk and has a website It was basically BSL which is a bit different to Makaton, with lots of singing and signed nursery rhymes. Don't think I'll be going very often as it would be too confusing for dd, but it was fun and stimulating for the babies. One of the babies had started doing some signs at age 11 months.

popsycal Tue 18-Nov-03 20:51:53

oh god
i have just watched the signing babies video
need to pull myself tears!!!!
need a stiff drink
i have use dloads of signs with ds wothout recognisng it
loads of books that we read he has signs for
going to buy the book from amazon....
dont watch the 'signing baby' link that bobsmum put up if you are at all hormonal!!!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now