Sign Language Courses?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by 03310151, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    I have a almost three year old son who was born with a cranial facial malformation. It severly effects his speech. We have had two surgeries so far, to no avail. We are working with the Seattle Childrens Hospital after transferring from Johns Hopkins. In the mean time we would like to try and teach Oliver some simple signs in order for us to communicate better. He gets really frustrated and we are not getting what he wants/needs.

    Does anyone know of any online resources to help with sign language for toddlers? We're thinking basic stuff but might need to keep an eye towards the future with having our entire family learn sign language.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

  3. Julie1014

    Julie1014 New Member

    There are so many resources out there for you, that it can be overwhelming. Is your child in an early intervention program? They would be able to provide you with some basic information, and put you in touch with Speech Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists to start therapy intervention right away for your child. This is the perfect age to intervene and assist your child with developing alternative communication skills, including signing. Otherwise, you can just do a Google search and enter "basic sign language for toddlers" and you will receive many hits.

    The best of luck to you!
  4. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Some nursery schools teach baby sign language to facilitate communications between kids and staff. I do not know if this is related to normal sign language.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I can't tell you how many Deaf adults or teenagers I have met who know nothing about their own parents other than how to spell their names. I can't wrap my head around why so many families, knowing that they have a Deaf child, chose to feed it and forget it. It's good news that you aim to learn sign language and want the entire family involved. Sign language has many practical benefits to all people, but can be especially useful for people with speech challenges.

    That said, my suggestion would be to skip the formal classes and see if you can find Deaf playmates for your child. Most Deaf people I have met are not only proficient signers, but incredibly resilient and resourceful when it comes to effectively communicating with people across every imaginable developmental and cultural barrier. Also, I have yet to find a sign language instructional program that actually does a decent job of teaching the language. ASL dictionaries online can help you begin learning the basic vocabulary and YouTube is actually a great resource for videos to help receptive skills.

    Buuuuut, since you didn't ask for any of the above advice, this site is probably the most popular of all ASL online multitools: Home. Also, has sign language classes for credit. I can't attest to the quality of them, only to the fact that they exist. Also, Troy University has an online Interpreter Training Program, including classes in sign language.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2012
  6. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Wow, thanks for the replies. And thank you MC for the extra tips. Never thought of puting him with deaf children to learn signing that way. We have a team at Seattle Childrens but are 280 miles away so we do not get to see them. I'm not sure if this is a long term solution or not but we want to get some signing started so we can least tell when he is hungry, mad, happy, tired or whatever. Anything is better than the grunting and kind of moaning he does now. Anyway, me and my wife will check out those links and watch some YouTube videos too.

    Thanks again!


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