Did you know?It is possible to teach sign language to babies and children between the age of 6 - 36 months. Irrespective of whether they are speech impaired or hearing impaired, sign language helps your child by increasing her/his vocabulary, spelling proficiency, self-image, and her/his ability to express emotions.
People are generally under the misapprehension that sign language is only used for, by, those who are hearing-impaired or speech impaired. Everyone of us, use signs instead of spoken or written words to communicate with our friends, colleagues and family members. Babies use their faces and hands, and of course voice, to communicate their needs. Teaching sign language to your 6-month old baby will establish a 2-way communication bridge between you and your child.
Learning a Sign Language
Sign language classes: The proper way to learn sign language is to learn it from a trained teacher. A professional teacher can put you on the right track from day one. The teacher can also give you feedback and correct your technique in time.
In the United States, many colleges and universities are conducting classes where ASL is taught to interested candidates. A sign language class offers you an opportunity to interact with other participants of the class and teamwork could put all of you on the fast track. The summer program at Gallaudet University (Washington DC), conducted between mid-June and mid-August, is considered to be the best.
Online resources: There are many resources, such as visual sign language dictionary on the Internet, that offers you on-line help.
Applications for Sign language: There are number of applications that can be used with the help of computer or android based smartphones or hand-held devices such as iPhone/iPod touch. In fact, some applications are incorporating sign language mode in story books for children as can be seen from 'Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy'.The interpretation of words into sign language, was first noticed among a few hearing-impaired parents who were found teaching their children to spell the printed words, using their fingers (finger writing). Sign language aware children are better placed than the rest when they eventually go to the school for proper education. Hearing-impaired children who know how to express themselves using this language have better chances of adapting to changes in his or her lifestyle and being a productive part of the society.