Archive - June 14, 2010

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Using Sign Language To Support Speech In Kids With Special Needs

Using Sign Language To Support Speech In Kids With Special Needs

“It’s Signing Time With Alex and Leah!” This is the refrain that goes through my head all day, every day. Avery loves this show more than any other. Signing Time teaches sign language in a simple but engaging way. We signed with DS from the time he was a baby. He picked it up right away and was soon signing, “More cookie please!” before he could speak. It was fun and novel, but soon he began talking a blue streak and left the signing behind. Then Avery came along. When she was first diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality doctors told us she would likely never be verbal. We had already been signing with her for “fun” but continued to sign out of necessity. Her signs came slowly but steadily. As she grew she was able to easily communicate her needs through sign. Eventually she had more signs than her average peers had words. Her vocabulary was extensive and impressive. I can only imagine her frustration level without sign language. We were confident in what we were doing but others questioned our choice to sign with Avery. “Why would she even try to speak if she can just sign?” I explained[…]

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