Method Of Teaching Child Sign Language

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There are many reasons that sign languages have been introduced into a child’s life. Most of the time we as parents don’t think about sign language or teaching the language to our children if they are not hearing impaired. Today there are many individuals and parents who have found sign language can be helpful to communicate with their child as they are growing up whether they are hearing impaired or not.

The following list has the few key words that may make it easier for you and your child to communicate: more, all done, please, thank you, eat, drink, and sleep. This list may not be very long but these few words will make a world of difference with you and your child.

To learn these words yourself simply get a sign language book, either at a bookstore, or through your library. I would also suggest a children’s sign language book like I had. For those who don’t know any sign language, then a children’s book may make it easier for you as well.

The main point is to be consistent about teaching your child, being consistent in teaching is the key to success. The following method of teaching your child sign language is simple for both you and your child.

When teaching, first say the word you want them to learn. Next, demonstrate the word yourself while saying the word out loud. Finally, show them how to say the word themselves in sign language. For example, when I was teaching my daughter “more” I would first say “more”. I would then demonstrate how to say “more” in sign language while saying it out loud. I would do this when she would grunt during mealtime.

After I demonstrated it myself, I would then take her hands to show her how to say “more” herself, again saying the word out loud. After a few days of doing this at each meal she finally was able to say “more” herself in sign language. I would use this same method for all words I wanted to teach her. This way she would hear the word, see the word, then do the word herself. By saying the word, demonstrating the word, then showing your child how to sign the word, your child will pick up these few key words fairly quickly and easily.

Remember, as with anything you teach your child, teaching them sign language takes time, effort, and patience. The payoff of teaching these few words is well worth it though, for both you and your child.

Teaching sign language is not time consuming and you do not require any prior knowledge. You can easily pick up signs through the help of a sign language dictionary, a baby signing book or through websites. You can start teaching your baby as early as six months of age. Enjoy teaching your child and have fun. Do not make it into a boring or exhausting chore. Be patient, consistent and encouraging. Soon you would be amazed by how easily your pre-verbal child communicates with you.

Learning how to communicate with your baby before he is able to speak is a benefit for everyone in the home. These are skills that will not only stay with and help your baby, but your other children in the home will greatly benefit as well. Give it a try; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. – about sign language

Creative Commons License photo credit: David Blaine

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