Macaton Method: An Innovative Solution Against Language Disorders?

It was in the 1970s, in Queen Elizabeth’s country and at tea time, that Macaton method. The creation, the result of the work of Margaret Walker, Kathy Johnston and Tony Cornforth, was primarily designed to communicate with patients in a hospital with dysphasia (a disorder that affects language expression and comprehension). Today, macaton is a tool used to reach a wider audience: such as people with Down syndrome or autism, or other people with motor and / or mental problems who prevent them from communicating.

Makaton is based on two pillars: image and symbol. Most of the time, there are words and gestures associated with each image. Illustrates the basic vocabulary 450 designs, But the extended vocabulary could process about 8,000 of them. And it’s not supposed to stop! ” It is a constantly evolving toolCharlotte Vatin, a speech therapist trained in the Macaton method. If you identify a new requirement that is not available in all current concepts, you may forward your request to the French Association, which will automatically send the information to the UK Headquarters. The latter would then create a new pictogram and add a gesture from the French sign language. »Macaton language can be practiced from formation and confirmation, i.e. from 2 years and a half.

Case-by-case tool

There is no universal method of applying macaton. In practice, it is case by case. Charlotte Vatin explained to us that some children with motor disabilities would have difficulty signing, and so they would only use graphics. ” At breakfast, for example, children will be presented with a grid of pictures attached to this vocabulary so that they can indicate what they want to eat. “, Depicts the expert. Others, on the contrary, will be in favor of the symptom. Macaton itself may be a language, may support the language when no one can find or use its words.” Some words are not memorized.

When Macaton helps to understand spoken language

Even better, Macaton can help understand the grammar of the language, especially through pictograms. Speech therapists explain that there are different levels of accuracy depending on the child or the person who can learn it. The first level highlights the most important word, which allows you to understand it as quickly as possible. For example: “eat”, say we are eating an apple. The second completes the information: “Eat the apple”. Finally, we can move on to an extra dimension of precision, explaining: “I’m eating an apple”. By modeling themselves on oral language, pictographs can induce the idea of ​​a variety of pronouns, combinations, and therefore make it possible to grasp the grammar of spoken language.

Sign Language and Macaton: What’s the Difference?

Obviously, sign language and macaton are two completely different things. ” Sign language is a language with its own grammar. Macaton, on the other hand, is a communication tool based on its construction based on oral language. On the one hand, the Sign language A real language like French, while macaton is a lever designed for certain people who have communication problems to express meaning around them, to expose them to the world. However, many of the symbols used in the Macaton method agree with the sign language. Thus, practitioners of the French Macaton will mostly use the signs of the French sign language. Only 50 gestures are different A, Explains the speech therapist. If not all gestures are reused, this is for a practical reason. In fact, some movements are not suitable for people with motor impairments, or are very vague. Some of the symptoms of LSF (French sign language) are similar, such as “Bonzor” and “Mercy”, where one starts with the open hand on the chin and the fingers move together, while the other is the same but starts in the mouth. For someone to stay Motor or mental difficultiesThis nuance can be difficult to assimilate!

Does learning to communicate through gestures make my child condemn silence?

Charlotte Vatin notes that many parents are reluctant to try the macaton school vein practice. The latter will fear that their children, learning to express themselves through gestures and images, will not be able to develop their language. ” It’s a complete lie! Conversely, gestures can help with words and memorize it.

Macaton method training

Macaton communication can be practiced by trained professionals such as speech therapists, psychologists, specialized educators or even professional therapists. But the Makaton method can also be practiced by parents! Charlotte Vatin explained to us that she took six days of training, six hours a day, everything was then supported by an application that acted as a dictionary of signs and pictures. For training and information on Makaton professionals near you, visit the Association Avenir Dysphasie Makaton website.

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