Do you know someone who is hearing impaired? Does meeting someone who makes you a little nervous? Learning is the best way to help calm those nerves. April 15 is National American Sign Language Day. Sign Language is the way the hearing impaired communicate. The term “hearing impaired” encompasses all deaf and hard-of-hearing people. There are different types of sign language, even in America. SEE (Signing Exact English) is easiest if you’re used to speaking English, but ASL (American Sign Language) is more like telling a story with signs that the hearing impaired can understand better.
For example: Signing “I go to the store” would be “store I go” in ASL.
Having taken college courses in American Sign Language years ago, I still have a passion for the hearing impaired…yet I’m still not great at interpreting or communicating. (I know, I really need to practice more!) One thing I’ve learned is that hearing-impaired people LOVE when you try to communicate with them. Can’t understand them? They will gladly write it down for you. Many hearing-impaired also read lips & can still speak. Please look at them while speaking and talk slowly.
Trouble communicating with your toddler? Even they can learn a few words in sign language! When my boys were about 6 months old, I started teaching them simple signs for “milk” (squeezing fist with thumb up), “more” (both hands fingertips touch with thumbs touching back of fingers), “food” (fingers together at the mouth), “please” (open palm rubs upper chest), “finished” meaning ”all done” (open hands
with palms facing each other turn to face the floor) & “I love you” (ring and middle finger down, other fingers up).
Learn & teach a few signs to your family…maybe they’ll think it’s a secret code.
Want to learn more? Here are 3 articles you might find interesting.
Will teaching my baby to sign delay his speech?
8 Interesting Facts about American Sign Language (ASL) – Home Page (alsglobal.net)
NATIONAL ASL DAY – April 15, 2023 – National Today
Want to hear more from Ashley? Check out Spring Break Staycation ideas for the Green Bay Area