Basic Sign Language

Maybe it’s because my kids are teens and tweens now, but I feel like I don’t hear as many parents talking about sign language anymore.

When they were babies and toddlers, it was a trend to teach basic sign language to all babies, not just those with hearing or other impairments.

These free ASL downloads will get you started on 25 common words in American Sign Language.

We knew that Kevin’s verbal expressive language would be slow to develop, and he was able to develop a few signs as a baby. Then when we were using them with him, Brian picked them up on his own just by observing us with Kevin.

He used signs for ‘more’ and ‘eat’ and ‘I want’ before he could walk or talk.

Now that I have had both boys home for six months, and no end on the horizon, we are emphasizing sign language again with Kevin. We are using his PECS pictures too, but they are not always readily available.

Sign Language is a great option for students who struggle to verbalize.

So it’s back to basics for us. He’s pretty good at “more” and “finished/all done” but I wanted to have something handy for other basic words and concepts.

Basic Sign Language Flashcards

Here are the basic sign language flashcards.

The sign language words that are included in these sign language flashcard PDFs are:

  1. all done/finished
  2. don’t
  3. eat
  4. friends
  5. help
  6. hello
  7. hungry
  8. like
  9. me
  10. more
  11. no
  12. play
  13. please
  14. stop
  15. thank you
  16. toilet
  17. want
  18. water
  19. what
  20. when
  21. where
  22. who
  23. why
  24. yes
  25. you

I have both a color version of these ASL flash cards and black and white sign language flash cards.

As always, connect with your child’s team before implementing any new programs. Many kids with learning disabilities struggle with the “W” questions and words, so I wouldn’t necessarily start with those until your child is ready.

These printable sign language cards can be used with all ages, including baby sign language.

Sign Language Flashcards-Color

Sign Language Flashcards-Black and White

What is Sign Language?

Sign language is the use of gestures, movement, and facial expressions to convey a speaker’s message to others who do not know or understand spoken language.

Sign languages are distinguished from spoken languages in that they have developed without any ongoing sound. Sign language is also referred to as an ‘interpreting system.’ Sign languages share many common features with spoken languages.

We use our hands, arms, and bodies in the same ways that we use our mouths and tongues to make sounds when we speak. The first known manual systems of communication were developed by deaf people in antiquity who used hand shapes, arm movements, finger flicks and facial expression to communicate.

Perhaps one of the best-known sign languages is American Sign Language (ASL), which is used primarily in North America. ASL is also referred to as “Deaf-World” or “International Sign.”

It has been estimated that there are over 500 million signers worldwide. In fact, ASL is becoming increasingly popular worldwide with about 1 out of every 200 people learning it as their first language.

There are many types of sign languages around the world – for example: British Sign Language (BSL) is used primarily in Great Britain; French Sign Language (LSF) is used primarily in France; Korean Sign Language (KSL) is used primarily in South Korea; Japanese Sign Language (JSL) is used primarily in Japan; and Thai Sign Language (TSL) is used primarily in Thailand.

Developing Sign Language

There are many different ways to communicate. There are many different signs in sign language, and some of them can be difficult to learn. Learning how to sign language words can help you learn the hand gestures that go with those signs.

There are two ways to learn how to do sign language: you can learn by watching and mimicking what others do, or you can learn through doing it yourself. These free download PDFs can help you get started with 25 common words in ASL.

Signs Language Words

People who have a disability may have difficulties with spoken language. As a result, it may be helpful for them to use sign language to communicate.

Many deaf people attend school in order to learn ASL.

The need to communicate through sign language is essential to those who are not able to speak. However, learning American sign language is not always easy and requires a lot of time and practice.

Don’t miss these other posts that I have with Sign Language Flashcards and Coloring Books.

ASL and your IEP

If you or your child uses ASL or sign language, or, you wish for them to use ASL, there are a few things you should know.

  • ASL is the 4th most common language used in the USA (know this as a reference point, in case you hear “well no one really uses ASL anymore”)
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing and ASL is one of the Special Factors on the IEP, which means that the IEP team must consider and discuss this.
  • If you use ASL as a parent, but your child is not deaf or hard of hearing, the school must provide an ASL interpreter if you request it (for IEP meetings, etc). The rule still applies that all communication with the parent must be in a language that you understand.
  • If your child is deaf, the team must still consider LRE or Least Restrictive Environment. A district cannot send a child to a school for the deaf just because they are deaf. All other options must be considered and discussed.
  • As always, submit your parental concerns in writing, follow up with a PWN.

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