How Does ASL Support
Jenning Prevatte, M. Ed.
Have you ever wondered what are the benefits of using ASL beyond language development? When I work with early childhood professionals, I like to share the connection between American Sign Language (ASL) and child development. Often it is easy to understand the benefits of language development. However, the connection between ASL and the other developmental domains isn't as noticeable—especially in motor development and planning.
A word of advice, it is strongly recommended that you speak and sign in a tandem approach to ensure that children receive the full benefit of ASL.
Using this tandem approach supports language, literacy, and cognitive development. ASL is a multi-sensory teaching approach that is easy to integrate into any curriculum and meets the diverse learners in our schools. Providing experiences that support early brain development provides opportunities for children to strengthen their natural talents and be prepared for school and life success.
I love implementing ASL through a play-based approach. Some of my favorite games to integrate ASL into to support language and motor development are:
Now when someone asks you, "Why are you using ASL with hearing children?" you can provide them with some excellent information. And know implementing ASL into an early childhood program ultimately supports all developmental domains. It is a great language to integrate with all young children.