Why Use American Sign Language in the New Year?

The other day I was speaking with an early childhood professional and we were talking about some challenges she has been having this year with her class.  I asked her what strategies she has been using and she named about three really great ones.  However, she didn’t mention American Sign Language (ASL).

ASL is often overlooked as an early intervention strategy.  It is thought of as a wonderful way to support pre-verbal children learn to speak, but not as a way to support problem solving skills, self-help skills, and social-emotional development.  ASL is not just a great strategy for language development.  It is also a wonderful strategy for encouraging positive behavior choices, helping children express their feelings in positive and healthy ways, and increases problem solving skills. 

These ‘soft skills’ as many educators call them are essential for school and life success.  Take into consideration Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Children’s basic needs both physical and emotional need to be met in order for children to be able to learn.  The ability to learn and grow is in the upper tier of the hierarchy.  It is our jobs as parents and professionals to support these basic emotional needs.

Through my work with Sprouting New Beginnings, working with families and early childhood professionals we have found that ASL is a simple, effective, and fun strategy to support all areas of child development.

It supports the following domains:

  • Fine motor
  • Vision
  • Language development
  • Social/emotional development
  • Self-help/adaptive skills
  • Cognitive development

ASL supports the whole child, every child!  It is truly amazing that one gift from the deaf community can support so much in hearing children.  By simply adding 5 – 10 words in ASL into your classroom environment you will change your children forever.

If you haven’t embraced this gift and passed it on to the children in your life then make it one of your professional development goals to learn how to use ASL in your program in 2015.

We have developed many resources and even wrote a book to support you in integrating ASL into your program and work with young children.  We promise, this gift will change your life for the better.  Over 11 years ago it was the greatest gift I ever gave to my own child.  The gift of communication!  Our bond is still strong.

2015-01-13_12-12-33To learn more about our products visit us at one of our teacher resource store sites!  And to kick off the 2015 New Year and get you started we are offering 20% discount on all of our ASL resources at the store of your choice from January 16th – 19th!  So jump on the ASL bandwagon today and bring this fantastic resource into your classroom this year!

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