There are many reasons that sign languages have been introduced into a child's life. Most of the time we as parents don't think about sign language or teaching the language to our children if they are not hearing impaired.
Today there are many individuals and parents who have found sign language can be helpful to communicate with their child as they are growing up whether they are hearing impaired or not. There are several tips in the following article on how to teach sign language. Most of these tips will focus on the hearing impaired, but remember anyone can learn sign language to help boost their communication skills overall.
As the parent you are going to have to teach the actual signs to your child.
When you first begin to teach a kid sign language you want to make sure you use the same hand. The child is going to learn to focus on that hand for most of the communication. The best way to teach kids sign language is to use your lead hand. Your lead hand is the one you typically write with, eat with, and do most activities with. For children that are left handed this can be a little more difficult if you are right handed. All it takes is a little thought and helping them to see the mirror of the sign you are making. Usually the books are going to demonstrate in a right handed picture.
You also want to make sure you provide the facial expressions, body language, and lip pattern that goes with a sign.
Most often a hearing impaired individual is also going to be able to read lips. This can be taught to your child as well if they suffer from hearing loss. If you are saying the word as you are signing it they will be able to understand the lip movements as well, especially if you take the time to focus on your lips. Body language has usually been a universal sign for someone to understand whether they are talking or signing. It can be most helpful in the "inflection" of words when you sign. If you have the body language to go with the sign the child can understand displeasure, happiness, and other emotions.
You will find that not all sign language is universal.
There are many adaptations to sign language. There is the British Sign Language, and American Sign Language to name just two. Some words are not easily translated into English from another language, but you will find that an entire sentence may be translated. So this can even help the person learn another language, even if they are just signing that language over speaking it.
There are many ways to use kids sign language. You can first teach the child to spell with their fingers and then graduate to phrases or you can use both. Finger spelling is usually used for names or places that either the child does not know the sign for, or for things where there is no recognized sign.
You will find that your child quickly grasps what you are teaching and you can move onto more complex signs or even enroll them in classes to further their education.
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