Sign Language can be a great form of communication for babies who are pre-verbal and/or kids who have trouble with speech for whatever reason. We did baby signing with Kaylee, but she was a very early talker and extremely talkative, so we didn't end up signing with her for long. We again decided to do baby signing with Brynna. She was a very quiet baby and good with her hands, so she really loved it. As she grew older, she signed more and more, but would struggle when she tried to talk. At age 2, we discovered the reason was she had Speech Apraxia, which is a neurological disorder. Imagine being able to understand what everyone around you was saying, but not being able to reply because your mouth just could not form the words! It's very frustrating, especially to a toddler. She started speech therapy and is making steady progress, but in the mean time, signing is her main form of communication. It has a been a huge blessing for us, giving Brynna a voice and a way to be understood. We are so grateful to the Deaf community for letting us borrow their beautiful language! :) Anyway, I have a list of favorite links that have been really helpful for us in learning ASL, so I thought I'd share them in case they might be useful to anyone else. If nothing else, it is a fun language to learn. And it's always neat when you meet someone who signs for whatever reason and you can sign to them!!
- My Smart Hands is a YouTube channel with many fun ASL videos.
- LifePrint is a very helpful site with lesson plans and a baby signing page.
- Signing Savvy is a site that's great for looking up individual signs.
- Signing Time has a baby signing dictionary and sells DVDs. You can also watch the Signing Time show on Netflix.
- HandSpeak is a site with an ASL dictionary and other helpful resources.