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Suffolk Center for Speech


Why use ASL with your children?

Some parents may think that using ASL with their young children may replace spoken language, however, it is important to provide education on how teaching and using ASL to young children can be beneficial! ASL is proven to be helpful in boosting communication. It may also facilitate the acquisition of verbal and written forms of communication later on. Check out all the benefits of using ASL with your child!

1. ASL decreases frustration as it provides an alternative way for a child to communicate their needs if they are unable to verbally communicate!

2. Builds vocabulary! Instead of pointing or reaching for an object, teaching a child a symbol for the object can help increase their vocabulary.

3. Increases motor skills as creating signs helps the child practice coordination of the hand and body movements. Those who struggle with small muscle strength and coordination can build these skills as well as learn to communicate more efficiently with another language.

4. Increases the length of your child utterances! Instead of using one word to request, you can request that your child use two words to ask for a desired object.

5. Increases your child’s interest in books and improves overall literacy skills! Reading with your child is a great way to encourage language development in all children. Pairing sign language and reading can increase your child’s interest in the book. A great book to pair sign with reading is “Brown Bear, Brown Bear!”

6. Lastly, it can improve your child’s overall communication skills! Language involves more than just spoken language. Communication includes body language, emotional language and more. Individuals who sign may improve their ability to read general body language when communication with individuals. Sign language can also help communicate emotions and sometimes allows people who can’t express their emotions in words easily to still give voice to their feelings.

Check out these first signs to teach your child!

Suffolk Center for Speech

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