American Sign Language is now considered a world language, the same as Spanish, French, or any other foreign language. If a child can sign, they are considered bilingual. Children learn English and ASL together, and this means they use both their brains to process the language. This allows children to recall language from two different places instead of one.
Experts say babies as young as six- to seven months old can recall a sign. Children can start to sign single words and mimic gestures by eight months. By 24 months, they can sign complete sentences and compound words. Many preschools also teach sign language to their children.
Experts claim that sign language aids speech development. Babies who can sign communicate better than those who don’t know sign language. Sign language has been proven to be beneficial for children in many settings. Preverbal babies can benefit from learning sign language in later years. Sign language is proven helpful for children in their last years, and it speeds up speech development and reduces frustration in preverbal babies.
Additional long-term benefits include:
- Encourages learning of specific educational concepts, such as ABCs and animals.
- Children learn words by using muscle memory. The more senses involved in learning and the better the memory retention, the easier it is for children to remember.
- Increases awareness of social gestures and their effects on others.
- More excellent vocabulary and the ability to create longer sentences
- earlier and more excellent reading vocabulary
Sign language is also beneficial for infants, as they are more likely to feel confident and have better self-esteem. Anger due to the inability to communicate might not be as familiar. The signing could prove to be a lifesaver for children who are too confused to communicate clearly. Signing early helps babies develop language and reasoning skills. While some babies cry to get what they want while others still do, signing babies learn to communicate using simple words and phrases.
Sign language can be beneficial for children in many situations, according to parents of children who are deaf. Using sign language at home can reinforce the signs your child learns at preschool. Teaching sign language to hearing children will continue to be popular because of its many benefits.