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7 Benefits of Teaching your Child Sign Language

We use gestures daily. For example, waving hello or goodbye, giving a thumbs up to show approval, or holding up our index finger to indicate “just a minute.” However, formal sign languages like American Sign Language (ASL) are complete languages with their own grammar, culture, and history.


In this article we will discuss:


Sign Language Basics

Child sign language is a way of communication using visual cues instead of speech. It is the primary form of communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is not only for people with hearing impairments, it can also be used by people who can hear but cannot speak, such as those with speech impairments.


Did you know that teaching your child sign language can offer a number of benefits? Studies have shown that deaf children who are taught sign language at an early age often have better cognitive skills and a larger vocabulary than those who are not. Additionally, learning to sign can help improve communication between parents and children, even if the child does not have any hearing loss. If you're interested in teaching your child to sign, here are seven benefits to keep in mind.


There are many benefits to learning sign language.


There are many benefits to learning sign language, both for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and for those who can hear. Here are seven benefits of learning sign language:


1. Improve speech and language development


Children who learn sign language have been shown to develop speech and language skills at a faster rate than those who do not learn sign language. For one, teaching sign language to preverbal babies and toddlers can help them learn to communicate their needs and wants before they are even able to speak. When children learn the sign language for give, they can understand the meaning of giving before they are able to say the word.


2. Enhance cognitive development


Cognitive skills are those that involve thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving. Research has shown that children who learn sign language have a higher IQ than those who do not learn sign language. These children also tend to excel in other areas of cognitive development, such as spatial awareness, memory, and attention.


Book a free consultation to learn more about sign language.

3. Foster social-emotional development


Social-emotional skills are those that involve the ability to interact with others and regulate one’s emotions. Research has shown that children learning sign language have better social-emotional skills than those who do not learn sign because they are able to communicate their feelings from a young age. This allows them to develop stronger relationships with others and cope better with emotions.


3. Improve social and communication skills


Children who learn sign language have better social and communication skills than those who do not learn sign language. This is because sign language allows children to communicate with a wider range of people, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, sign language gives children the ability to communicate their needs and wants from a young age, which helps them develop better social and communication skills.


4. Boost self-confidence and self-esteem


Children who learn sign language have been shown to have higher self-confidence and self-esteem than those who do not learn sign language. This is because sign language allows children to communicate their thoughts and feelings, which helps them feel valued and respected. In addition, sign language gives children the ability to be independent and get their needs met, which further boosts their self-confidence and self-esteem.


Learning different Language

5. Promote bonding and attachment


Learning sign language can promote bonding and attachment between children and their caregivers. This is because sign language allows children to communicate their needs and wants, which helps caregivers to respond to them in a way that meets their needs.


6. Increase understanding of spoken language


Children who learn sign language have been shown to have a better understanding of spoken language than those who do not learn sign language. This is because sign language provides a visual representation of spoken language, which helps children to understand the meaning of words. Sign language for autism can also them understand the social and emotional aspects of communication.


7. Learning sign language is fun!


Last but not least, there is so much fun in sign language! Learning sign language is just plain fun! It’s a great way for children to learn about another culture and connect with others who use sign language. In addition, learning sign language can be a great way for children to bond with their caregivers and develop stronger relationships. They can also communicate with people who are hard to hear and push for inclusivity!


Now that we know some of the benefits of teaching sign language to children, let’s learn some sign language basics you can start using with your child today!


10 Sign Language Basics you can teach your child


There are many benefits to learning sign language. If you are interested in teaching your child sign language, there are a few things you can do to get started. As what we said, there is so much fun in sign language!


Here are some sign language basics you can teach your child at home:


1. Alphabet


Start with the alphabet. Teach your child how to make the signs for each letter of the alphabet. You can also teach your child how to spell out their name using sign language. This can be a great way for them to understand the concept of spelling.


2. Basic words


Teach your child some basic words and phrases in sign language. Some basic words you can start with include:

  1. Give: The ASL sign language forgive is you open your palm and hold it out as if you are offering something to someone. Learning the sign language forgive can help your child decrease their impulsivity and be more thoughtful about their actions.

  2. Thank you: The ASL sign language for thank you is you bring your palms together in front of your chest and bow your head slightly. Knowing how to say thank you in sign language can help your child be more grateful and appreciative not just towards you but to others as well, especially to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  3. Eat: The ASL sign language for eat is you touch your index finger to your thumb and move your hand back-and-forth like you are taking a bite out of something. This can help your child learn to tell you when they are hungry!

  4. More: The ASL sign language for more is you touch the tips of your index finger and thumb together and then move your hand away from your body. This is a great sign to use when you are reading a book with your child or when they are asking for more food.

  5. Help: The sign language for help is you put your palms together in front of you and extend both arms outwards. This is a great sign to use if your child is feeling overwhelmed to lessen their frustration or when they need assistance with something.

3. Numbers


Teach your child how to sign numbers 1-10. You can also teach your child how to count to 10 using sign language. This can help with number recognition and understanding quantity.

 Learning sign language at school

4. Colors


Teach your child how to sign colors in ASL. This can help with color recognition and naming. It is also a great way to introduce your child to new vocabulary words. In addition to a verbal response, it can help with nonverbal communication and aid in self-expression.


5. Family members


Teach your child how to sign the names of immediate family members such as mom, dad, brother, and sister. Learning sign language for family members will help your child feel more connected to their family and develop a sense of belonging. This can also help them with understanding the concept of family and relationships.

6. Animals


Teach your child how to sign the names of common animals. This can help with animal recognition and naming. It is also a great way to introduce your child to new vocabulary words. An example would be the sign language for dogs. To sign dog, you put your hand up to your chest and make a fist with your thumb sticking out. Then you move your hand down and away from your body.


7. Emotions


Teach your child how to sign common emotions such as happy, sad, mad, scared, etc. This can help with emotional regulation and understanding the emotions of others. It is also a great way to teach them how to express their own emotions in addition to verbal communication.


8. Food


Teach your child how to sign food in sign language. Some food you can start with include: apple, banana, bread, milk, and more. This can help with food recognition and naming. It is also a great way to introduce your child to new vocabulary words. In addition, preverbal children can use sign language to communicate their needs such as when they are hungry or thirsty.


9. Body parts


Teach your child how to sign common body parts in sign language. This can help with body awareness and understanding the functions of different body parts. It is also important to teach your child body parts especially when they are hurt. This can help them communicate to you where they are hurt and how much it hurts on a scale of 1-10.


10. Everyday objects


Teach your child how to sign common everyday objects in sign language. This can help with object recognition and naming. It is also a great way to introduce your child to new vocabulary words. Some examples of everyday objects you can start with include: a book, ball, bottle, or toy. The ASL sign language for the book is you put your hand up to your chest with your fingers together and then move your hand away from your body.


By teaching your child sign language, you can promote bonding and attachment, increase understanding of spoken language, boost self-confidence and self-esteem. And most importantly, you should appreciate and see the fun in sign language! Get started today by learning some sign language basics that you can teach your child at home.


describing different language

Sign Language in Speech Therapy


Speech therapy is an effective treatment for children with speech and language delays. It can help improve

communication skills, speech sounds, and fluency. In addition, speech therapy can also help children learn sign language.

Sign language can be a valuable tool for communication. It can be used to supplement speech or as a primary mode of communication. There are many benefits of using sign language in speech therapy.


Some of the benefits of using sign language in speech therapy include:


  1. Speech therapists that specifically trained in sign language can help people who are deaf or hard of hearing learn sign language. They can also help those who are struggling to learn speech see the fun in sign language!

  2. Sign language can be used to supplement speech. It can be used as a way to help children learn new words.

  3. It can help improve communication skills. One of the prerequisite skills for speech is the ability to imitate motor behavior. Sign language can help children with speech delays develop this important skill.

  4. It can help speech sound. Many speech sounds are made by placing the tongue in a specific position. Sign language can help children learn how to make these speech sounds by imitating hand movements.

  5. It can help with fluency. Fluency is the ability to produce speech in a smooth, effortless manner. Many children who stutter can benefit from sign language because it allows them to see the movement of speech. This can help them learn how to produce speech fluently.


Speech therapists often recommend that parents start teaching their child sign language at an early age, even before speech develops, in order to encourage communication development. It can also help people who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate with loved ones who don’t know sign language.


If you are interested in learning more about sign language or incorporating it into speech therapy, book a consultation now. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you get started. At Better Speech, we offer online speech therapy services convenient for you and tailored to your child's individual needs. Our services are affordable and effective - get Better Speech now.


 

About the Author

Mikee Larrazabal


I am a Speech-Language Pathologist with 14 years of experience working with children and adults who have communication difficulties. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science at Cebu Doctors' University and have been helping people overcome their communication challenges ever since.


I have worked with individuals of different ages, including toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, adults and seniors. I'm passionate about speech therapy and take great satisfaction in helping people overcome their communication challenges and improve their lives through better communication skills. In my spare time I like reading books, going hiking in nature and taking care of my dog Locas.

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