Signing gives your child the ability to communicate earlier
Children use gestures before they begin talking and by encouraging gestures and signs, you promote your child's overall communication development. Overall, gestures and signs provide a child with a way to express himself and their immediate needs.
Signing to communicate supports behavioral regulations
Your child being able to express themselves better with signs/gestures can result in less crying when the child can request things using a quick sign (e.g., cookies) or sign combinations (e.g., more cookies) to indicate that they want instead of what you're giving them.
Signing supports visual and spatial attention skill
Recent research at Gallaudet University even suggests that ASL supports an individual’s reasoning, problem-solving and spatial skills because it is a highly visual language with spatial parameters. Related, another study found that 36-month-old babies learning sign language (both hearing and deaf) had conversation skills like 47-month-olds.
Signing promotes your child’s fine motor skills
Signing encourages the use of fine and gross motor skills to make signs for the letters of the alphabet, numbers, and words. This leads to improved coordination and motor skills to support writing, eating, dressing, and more.
Signing can allow your child to interact with deaf and other signing children
Learning ASL develops awareness and sensitivity to cultural and linguistic diversity while encouraging connection with the Deaf community.
1. 4 Scientific Reasons Why Everyone Should Learn ASL. (2020, November 17). Retrieved from https://aslblog.goreact.com/4-scientific-reasons-why-everyone-should-learn-asl/
2. Benefits of Sign Language for Children Who are Not Deaf. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://rockandrolldaycare.com/benefits-sign-language-children-not-deaf/
3. Motherlove Herbal Company. (n.d.). The Benefits of Baby Sign Language. Retrieved from https://www.motherlove.com/blogs/all/the-benefits-of-baby-sign-language
4. Maul, K., Maier, D., & Tamaki, C. (2020, November 20-22). Use of visual-manual language predicts self-reported sense of direction [Poster presentation]. High Desert Linguistics Society 14th Biennial Conference. Gallaudet, DC, USA. file:///Users/tinettephan/Downloads/Maul_HDLS_2020_ASL_SBSOD.pdf