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Sign Language for Children with Special Needs

Sign Language for Children with Special Needs


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All children can benefit from using infant sign language and especially children with special needs. In fact, parents and professionals who work with children with special needs find that the frustration that children often feel is due to the added difficulty of making themselves understood.

Sign language for kids is a great way to build functional vocabulary that aids in communication and reduces frustration.

Children with any type of disability can gain great benefits from using signs; autism, Down syndrome, apraxia, speech difficulties, cerebral palsy and many other disabilities are favored by the use of signs as they offer a tool to communicate with their parents and caregivers.

All children, as well as children with special needs, can benefit from the signs, including children:
- Autistic
- With Down syndrome
- With apraxia
- With speech difficulties
- Hospitalized
- Who learn a second language

Some children with apraxia may be so discouraged by their speech difficulties that they may decide stop talking altogether. Studies suggest that the signs can be used as a bridge between the learning and the use of the spoken language and not as a substitute.
- Signs allow a new way to communicate effectively even when learning to improve oral sounds.
- Signs can clarify meaning of words that cannot yet be pronounced.
- Signs provide children with greater confidence, since they know that they will understand them. This confidence can lead to a greater desire to learn to communicate through spoken words.
- Signs can give us clues about the words that a child is trying to pronounce.
- Signs can help slow down the time so that the child has more time to pronounce the word.
- The signs offer more opportunities to express themselves since they allow to complete ideas or thoughts that they could not otherwise express.

Many children with autism have problems with speech and language as well as social skills. Studies suggest that the use of signs with autistic children has extraordinary results (Berkell, 1992).
- Signs facilitate communication by being an alternative to speech.
- The signs facilitate the learning of the oral language.
- Signs promote eye contact.
- Signs increase the level of communication since children can convey their wishes and needs.
- Signs improve mood and behavior in general by reducing frustration, tantrums, crying, aggressiveness, and self-harm.
- Signs improve self-confidence.

Children with Down syndrome often have difficulties with language from a very young age; however, they have a great desire to communicate. By teaching them the signs you can ensure the satisfaction of their desires even when speech is still developing.
- Signs encourage children to continue communicating even if they still cannot speak perfectly.
- The signs provide meaning to the words since they are often a representation of the object (iconic signs).
- Signs facilitate communication with other children which results in more opportunities for socialize.
- Signs provide more security in oneself.
- Signs can be used to emphasize some words or to clarify the meaning of some words.
- Signs are not a substitute for spoken language, so surely the words they have learned to sign will be the words they speak later.

- Signs used with hospitalized children can be very helpful when there is no possibility of speaking.
- The signs used in the case of children who are learning a second language They are like simultaneous translators that provide a visual representation of the words they are learning.
- Signs can also be useful for children who are learning to read as they are a visual representation of words and letters.

You can read more articles similar to Sign Language for Children with Special Needs, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.


Video: Sams Success Story. Sign Language for Kids With Special Needs. We Can Sign (February 2023).