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Home BABY SIGN LANGUAGE Benefits of Signing

Benefits of ASL Signing with your baby

•  Signing in a childcare setting allows caregivers to model effective communication, encourage conflict resolution, and help children to communicate with each other. Teachers who sign can spend more time interacting with and nurturing children than managing the myriad challenges associated with Early Childhood Education.

•  Children spend less time crying and teachers spend less time playing the "guessing game", allowing more time for positive interactions and enabling teachers to meet the needs of many children at once.

•  Signing empowers children because they can communicate successfully with those around them. This sense of empowerment significantly contributes to children's happiness.

•  Signing enhances early language skills because children can engage in two-way conversations with their teachers and their peers at an earlier age.

•  Signing serves as a language bridge for children and staff who speak different languages. The sign is the same for "eat" (English) as it is for "comer" (Spanish).

•  Children learn to use signs to solve problems. "Stop" and "share" are commonly-used signs that help children learn to get along with one another.

•  In signing classrooms, teachers report there are fewer instances of biting, hitting, and screaming because children are less frustrated.

•  Children can control the topic of conversation and express their unique interests at an earlier age. This allows teachers to design learning activities that will enhance children's specific interest. Signing is appropriate for all preschool age groups (Infants, Toddlers, Preschool, and Pre-K.)
Children with special needs gain a means of expressing themselves and connecting with their caregiving adults, as well as with typically-developing children familiar with ASL signs. Signing can help create an educational environment where all children can successfully learn and socialize, no matter what special needs they may have.

•  Signing is the primary language used by the Deaf community and is an integral part of Deaf culture. ASL will most likely be the primary language for children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

•  Signing provides a means of communication for children with various types of language delays or impairments, including:

Down Syndrome
Cerebral Palsy
Apraxia of Speech
Learning Disabilities
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


•  Signing provides a means of communication for children with various types of medical conditions or situations, including:

Tracheotomized Infants and Children
Delays of Prematurity
Short-term Illnesses
Post-surgical conditions that inhibit normal speech
Side effects of chemotherapy resulting in an inability to speak
what medical professionals should know about signing
Here are some of the ways that using sign language can help facilitate communication between medical professionals and their preverbal or nonverbal patients.
In American Sign Language, the sign for PAIN is localized. Signs allow children to tell a parent, nurse, or doctor exactly where they are experiencing pain.
Managing pain
Signs like: PAIN , NO PAIN, MEDICINE, NOW, and LATER can help a child provide valuable input for pain management plans .
Preparing patients for procedures
Even simple procedures like x-rays can cause fear that can lead to resistance. Signs can help young children understand the sequence of an impending procedure. Using signs like SIT, STAND, SHIRT, CAMERA, and NO PAIN, for example, will help reduce anxiety by putting the x-ray procedure into familiar terms.
Working with hospitalized children
Signs like DRINK, EAT, MORE, FINISHED, HELP, and POTTY, help medical staff more easily determine the basic needs of the preverbal and nonverbal children in their care. These signs are not only useful for babies and toddlers, but also for older children who may temporarily lose their capacity for speech following surgery or treatment.
Working with children who speak a different language
Because most signs are iconic, they can effectively be used to facilitate communication between medical professionals and families whose primary language is not English.
Working with children and adults with special needs
Speech and language therapists routinely use American Sign Language to communicate with people with Down Syndrome, autism, and expressive language difficulties. Here are some of the ways that using sign language can help facilitate communication between medical professionals and their preverbal or nonverbal patients.
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