ASL for Positive Guidance

Through years of action research we’ve learned that American Sign Language (ASL) is not only a great strategy for language and literacy development, but it is also a FANTASTIC tool in supporting positive guidance with young children.  We know that children learn best through positive models and a loving, positive, and emotionally stable environment.  Creating healthy and emotionally positive environments with safe boundaries and limits provides children with opportunities to practice, learn, and develop their social-emotional skills.   Developing positive social-emotional skills prepares children for lifelong success.  Having school readiness indicators such as self-awareness, interpersonal awareness, self-expression, communication, listening skills, and group cooperation are just a few skills children today need to have in order to be school ready.  So, how do we support those skills?

We like supporting them through the use of ASL.  Teaching children about their emotions and how to get their basic needs met, both physical and emotional are keys to supporting these important developmental skills.  There is a variety of opportune times to integrate ASL into your program and daily routines.  You can integrate them during transitions, during play time, academic time, story time, and even during meal times.  Children are constantly developing social-emotional skills, so don’t miss those teachable moments. 

In our programs and resources we teach children and professionals how to use ASL to enhance children’s communication skills. 

We teach words like:

  • Please
  • Thank you
  • You’re Welcome
  • Share
  • Stop
  • Go
  • Wait
  • And labeling children’s emotions

When a child is feeling mad or frustrated it provides a wonderful teachable moment to notice how the child is feeling and name that feeling for them using a tandem approach of speech and sign.  Through this approach children learn ways to express their emotions in a healthy, positive manner.  We also encourage professionals to model ASL and label their personal feelings when they feel happy, sad, frustrated, or even mad or bring these conversations into story time by choosing a book where the character feels these emotions.  Explaining what makes them feel this way and how they plan to solve this feeling helps children learn a variety of coping skills that support the necessary school readiness skills.  Think if we had a world of children that had problem solving skills, self-regulation, and the ability to communicate when they were frustrated…what a positive and healthy world we would live in.

SRP Book CoverDo you want to learn more?  Contact us and set up an in-person training or webinar for your group.  OR pick up a copy of our Sign, Read and Play: The School Readiness Collection book for 10 wonderful lessons designed around popular children’s stories to support children’s school readiness skills.  Our Sign, Read, & Play ~ The School Readiness Collection can be found on Amazon, Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s, Syllabuy, and Teacher’s Notebook

Happy Signing II