Should I Teach My Child Sign Language?
By Katy Gudim (Moakley), M.S, CCC-SLP
Kids Place West Speech Language Pathologist
If you have a child who is a late talker, late communicator or has a language delay, you may have heard of using sign language as an augmentative or alternative form of communication.
Will my child not verbally talk or start talking later if she uses sign language?
No! Research confirms that using sign language does not discourage children from using verbal language, nor does it delay the use of verbal language. In fact, the same parts of the brain that are involved in verbal expressive language (speaking) and receptive language (understanding) are used for sign language. The image below shows Broca’s area, which is considered to be the area of language production, and Wernicke’s area, which is considered to be the area of language comprehension.
Below is an MRI of the brain of a person who uses American Sign Language. The same areas for verbal speech production and comprehension are active.
Developing these areas of the brain promote ALL language development – verbal and sign language!
Questions? Ask your Speech-Language Pathologist!