sign language

Learning ASL (American Sign Language) is an excellent way for parents and children to communicate. It allows deaf children to get their ideas and feelings across since they are unable to do so verbally. But, while deaf children may be learning sign language, not all of their parents are doing the same. Statistics show that 75% of parents who have deaf children can’t sign fluently. 

Why is this happening?

There could be several reasons at play. We’re going to take a look at some of them as well as how parents of deaf children can learn ASL.

Reasons Why Not All Parents of Deaf Children are Learning Sign Language

Ninety-percent of deaf children are born to parents who can hear. Still, not all parents are learning sign language. Here’s a look at why some of them may be holding out.

Some May Not Think They Can Do It

Learning ASL is like learning any other language. It takes time and effort. Children may get the hang of it easier than adults and that’s okay. There will likely be a learning curve for many while others may pick up more quickly. For those adults who are struggling, there’s a good chance that the child who has already learned ASL will be able to help their parents learn as well. This can be an excellent way for children and parents to bond while the adults get to learn ASL.

Makes the Condition Real

Accepting that your child is deaf can be difficult. For some, learning sign language makes the condition feel more real because it confirms that the situation is likely not going to change. For some parents, this is difficult to accept. While parents want to communicate with their children, some feel that learning ASL is giving in to not looking for treatments to help their children hear again. But, learning ASL is actually helping everyone because it allows the entire household to communicate better.

Some Fear Their Children Will Not Speak

While learning sign language is a great way to communicate, some parents fear it will make their children not want to learn how to speak. But, this doesn’t have to be the case. Learning ASL and working on other language skills can work together to achieve better communication all-around. Children can still work on their speaking skills even if their parents know how to sign. 

Some May Think They’re Communicating Well Enough Already

Some parents have learned how to communicate with their children without learning ASL and may think that it’s good enough. But, they’re missing out. Research shows that poor communication can hurt a child’s performance at school and lead to problems at home. By learning ASL, you can help your child avoid these types of problems and improve their chance of success.

Some May Think They Don’t Have the Time

While learning ASL does take time, there are convenient tools to make it easier. Taking the time to learn ASL lets your child know that you think it’s important and that you’re carving out the time to make it happen. It’s not something that you need to spend eight hours a day doing. It’s something you can do in short intervals and build on your skills as you go. 

How Parents Can Learn ASL

Learning ASL can be easy when you practice and study. Many available resources make it easy and convenient for parents to learn ASL. These include:

If you want to learn ASL, you need to be proactive. Reach out to organizations such as the National Association of the Deaf and the American Society of Deaf Children for resources and possible local events that can help you learn ASL and bring you and your child closer together. There are plenty of available resources to help you and your child communicate better.

ASL at Rock and Roll Daycare 

We understand the value of ASL at Rock and Roll Daycare. This is why we teach children at our center in Central Square as well as at our other locations.

We find ways to implement it into the curriculum so that kids are learning and having fun at the same time. Currently, students are learning about Jamaican culture as well as the music and food that it includes. As children learn Jamaican songs, they can learn to sing the lyrics as well as sign them.

Research shows that learning sign language can help all children, not only those who are deaf. It can help with reasoning and language skills. Studies also show these benefits:

  • Increased IQ scores
  • Reinforcement of learning basics like ABC’s
  • Larger vocabulary
  • Better reading skills

Children can learn sign language with these songs thanks to our Jamaican Heritage Curriculum Guide. This guide shows children images of how to sign the different words that are in the songs. The illustrations are clear and easy to follow. Children can practice the words and then try to sign along with the song. This is a great way for them to learn sign language while having fun.

Parents can try it too! They can try to learn how to sign the different words along with their children. This can be a way to introduce parents to sign language so that they can later work on their skills. This can be a fun way for parents to get started, especially if it’s the first time they’ve ever done something like this. Besides being a learning tool, it can also bring children and parents together if they choose to learn some of these words at home.

Sign language is incorporated into many of our learning guides. This allows children to continue the learning process and give parents ample opportunity to try it as well. Together, parents and children can learn that American Sign Language can be a vital skill for everyone, not only the hearing-impaired.


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