Sign Language Apps Do Help Speech Development- By Laura O'Grady
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
Maggie’s little blonde curls framed her face as she gave me the “look” that she did NOT want to play with my toys. At two and a half, she worked hard each session to speak, carefully imitating my words, but when she wanted to say something on her own, it was hard for her to come up with the words. Her sparkling eyes showed me she’d had enough of my adult-directed session. It was time for her to call the shots. As a speech-language pathologist, many have asked me if using screens was detrimental to their child’s health. I’m sure passively watching YouTube videos and clicking between children’s movies is not advisable but using apps as teaching tools with adult support is entirely different. Sometimes when children are struggling to learn, using the iPad as a teaching tool expedites their learning. After already spending the bulk of the session with more traditional teaching strategies, I opened the new Sign Me ABCs app. Maggie eagerly looked at the iPad, excited to have access. I showed her the first animal- Alligator- and she immediately copied the sign and tried to say the word! She was so proud and smiled from ear to ear. We went on to the next animal-Bear- and she imitated the word and action for that, too! On and on she went until she had imitated all of the signs and words for the animals A-to-Z. Just when I thought we were done with the session, Maggie practiced repeating 26 words and their signs! Maggie’s engagement with Sign Me ABCs showed me that signing is another tool we can use to support her development. Maggie is happy, and so am I, helping her learn!
by Guest Blogger
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