Sign Language as a second language

Generally, raising a child as bilingual is considered impressive and a great idea.

However, parents of deaf children are told that if they allow their child to use sign language, then it will only be a crutch.

But, if one is genuinely struggling to walk, then isn't a crutch necessary?
There are times when the speech therapy, the hearing aids, and lip reading still aren't enough. At these times sign language is needed.

Sign language is NOT a lesser language.

It has its own highly-structured grammar and is able to convey complex concepts.

Many countries have their own sign language, and these can vary slightly according to region, just like the accents and slang of spoken languages. American Sign Language is often referred to as "ASL," and is the major signed language in the United States. Americans can also use "signed English", which translates into spoken English more directly than ASL.

The first 2 years are the most crucial for learning language
Babies need to be surrounded by language -- with every sense available. If they are not, they can be damaged developmentally.
Studies show bilingualism in spoken language and sign result in better cognitive abilities, creative thinking, and problem-solving.

Yes, the use of sign language may be lessened as the child's auditory and speech abilities reach appropriate levels, but that can take a long time.

In the meantime, bilingualism lets the deaf child both communicate effectively and learn a wonderful language.

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Credits:

Created with images by daveynin - "Learning sign language" • Tony Crider - "Crutches" • oTschOo - "woman girl portrait" • daveynin - "Chatting on the table" • Double--M - ""The Art of talking with the Fingers"" • tookapic - "baby child toddler" • Counselling - "read learn letters" • Devanath - "school old plate" • PublicDomainPictures - "baby boy child" • Freeimages9 - "food alphabet biscuit" • daveynin - "ASL: Sit!" • koadmunkee - "trying to find our parenting style"

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