Learning sign language is not something that is reserved for children who are hearing impaired. It is a skill that can help all children. That is why many pre-schools and early learning centers are beginning to incorporate it into their curriculums. From babies to toddlers, American Sign Language can be used as a learning tool to open up new doors.
Sign Language Helps Children Communicate Before They Can Talk.
Let’s face it; communicating with a baby can be difficult because they can’t verbalize their thoughts and needs. Babies can learn how to use their hands to tell adults what they want. Sign language teaches them to communicate before they can actually speak.
Sign Language Helps to Reduce Tantrums.
Because sign language helps to open the line of communication it also helps to reduce frustration. Many babies and young children start acting out because they’re frustrated that no one can understand them. Less frustrated children lead to less frustrated parents. Parents can enjoy their time with their children more when they are relaxed and are not dealing with tantrums.
Sign Language Helps to Teach the ABCs and Spelling.
Many preschoolers begin to recognize and write letters. Since many of the ASL hand symbols resemble the shape of letters, learning letters through sign language can help when it comes to recognizing and writing the alphabet. Young children who learn how to spell words with their fingers can continue to do this as they get older to help them write down the words as well.
Sign Language Can Help to Communicate Feelings.
Since young children may not be able to communicate their feelings, having another method, such as sign language, can help. Since we tend to learn gestures before we learn words, this can help children express their feelings to other children and to adults.
Sign Language Helps to Improve Vocabulary.
Researchers have found that sign language can make children better readers and help them expand their vocabulary. Children who signed and used speech had a larger vocabulary compared to other students.
Teaches another language.
American Sign Language is another language. It can only benefit children to learn this young as they would another language they could verbalize. Having sign language skills can help as they get older and possibly even open new doors for them. Teaching it to them when they’re young and their minds are like sponges can only help them absorb and learn.
You can also teach your child sign language at home. There are many DVDs and books available that you can use to get things started. As you teach your child, you can also learn, so it’s a win-win!