Teaching your Child to use Sign Language

“Mommy can I cookie please”, my bright ed eyed darling signed well before she was two and could say all the words. When I was in college, I learned sign language, and I taught basic signs to my children. I learned more that just the words, I learned about the Deaf Culture, and that Sign Language is a Language not just a series of signs to match English words. In fact, it is a recognized Foreign Language. It makes me mad when people claim it is not a language at all. Teaching my children to sign made it easier for me to communicate with them at an early age, and it increased their vocabulary. My son has always scored in the upper levels for Reading, and Language. I believe this is because he was able to grasp the idea of language at an early age. I am constantly told by other adults how articulate both my child are, and what a wide vocabulary they have.

Teaching sign language to children that are hard of hearing, or deaf, is very important. Forcing them to use only verbal language, and lip reading can limit their opportunity for success in the classroom. In my sign class we were able to listen to a tape, that allowed use to ‘hear’ what a mildly hearing impaired, a moderately hearing impaired, and a severely impaired student would hear. We were given a list of 10 words to write down. I couldn’t get all 10 on the mildly impaired, and on the moderately impaired I got less than 5!

I believe that teaching your child, hearing, hard of hearing, or deaf, will only increase your child opportunity for success.

If you would like to learn sign language, I suggest you check your local college, as many have sign language classes in their foreign language department. There is also a wide variety of books. The best book would be one that has a CD, so you can ‘see’ how the signs look, as many move in the air to create a picture.

Sign language is easy to learn, and alot of fun.