Have you ever had the opportunity to see two people signing with each other? If you have seen people using sign language, you most likely saw them signing in a language called American Sign Language (ASL). We think it’s pretty cool.
Many people do not realize it, but American Sign Language is not the “English” language expressed in hand gestures. ASL is a language like Italian, English, or Mandarin. It has its own complete (and complex) grammatical structures, expressions, and rules. Facial expressions are even part of the language!
Our Director of Enrichment Programs (including ASL) describes American Sign Language like this:
“American Sign Language is one of the most beautiful and expressive languages in the world. It is an amazing language full of passion, excitement, and is an incredible tool for children learning to communicate…“
You may be thinking, “So, why does a SPEECH therapy company have sign language programs?” Good question. The answer is: AAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication).
Did you know sign language is actually considered an AAC? When many people hear AAC they think of AAC devices that help people communicate by pressing buttons. It’s very common that those devices are an iPad with special AAC software loaded on them.
However American Sign Language is actually an AAC for spoken language! In fact, in our experience we have found ASL can at times be more effective than AAC devices themselves!
ASL really is an awesome way to communicate without the spoken word. It’s full expression and emotions that can easily be lost with something like an AAC device like and iPad.
It is true that sign language is most commonly used and associated with the Deaf community. However, we have found sign language to be an extremely effective tool for children who are not physically able to speak or need help making the transition from an AAC device to communication with spoken words. Pretty cool, right? Who would have thought that sign language could actually help you speak?!
Zebra Speech uses ASL and also uses a trained and licensed ASL interpreter to create curriculum for children to learn to communicate. We even have regular training classes for our staff to learn more about ASL. We also offer workshops for parents and families who have children or people in their life who use American Sign Language.
If you would like to learn more about enrollment, our approach, and programs please contact us today!