Sign Language Dictionary

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Help in Sign Language

Learn how to sign help in ASL – it will save a lot of frustration!

1. Bring one hand up about chest height, palm flat and facing up.
2. With the other hand, extend the thumb up and tuck in the rest of the fingers. Place this “thumbs up” on the palm of the first hand.
3. Help is a directional sign. If you want to help someone, you move the sign towards that person. If you want help from someone you pull the sign towards yourself.
4. Asking for and giving help (instead of having a tantrum or getting frustrated!) gets a big thumbs up! Use this visual to help you remember the sign.

Teaching Tips:

  • Using sign language with your child can greatly decrease frustration and tantrums. If you see your child is getting frustrated with a task ask if they would like help (push the sign towards the child because you are helping them).
  • Also encourage your child to ask for help. You can model this by pretending to have trouble with a task and asking your child for help, or engaging her in a household task by asking her to help you set the table for example. In this case, because you are asking for help, you move the sign towards your body when using it.

Help. It’s a thumbs up on your hand. I can help you, or you can help me.