Tag - Signing Time

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All Signs Point To My Smart Hands
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Using Sign Language To Support Speech In Kids With Special Needs

All Signs Point To My Smart Hands

Since my first year of teaching, long before I had children of my own, I ran the Sign Language club at the school where I taught. I trotted out my choir of shiny faced six year olds onto the stage where they signed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” to music. There wasn’t a dry parent eye in the house. I obviously considered signing to be more of a novelty act, than a life altering skill. I had NO idea how important the role ASL would ultimately play in my life. When I taught my son sign language nearly eight years ago, I relied on library books and bland, one dimensional websites.  Once Avery came along, and it became apparent sign language would be an essential tool in her development, I searched for innovative new ways to teach her. When Laura Berg posted a video on YouTube of her baby signing, it went viral. People were astounded by her 18 month old’s level of skill. They wanted to know how she did it and how they could teach their children to do the same and…My Smart Hands was born. I love Laura’s fresh approach to teaching ASL.[…]

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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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