I'm preparing to put together some different studies and take them to the preschool to try (again) to talk them into considering letting the students learn a little ASL. Since Carson is now ahead of his peers in language development (the director's first objection), then I figure that NOW I'll be able to get her to listen to me for a little while longer than last time. We've also had some staff turnover since then, and the newest employee is a former student of mine who promises, if he ever has kids, to start teaching them sign from day one!
I have TONS of stuff showing the benefits. If I go in with that ONLY, then I'm worried she'll think I'm stacking the cards. Ideally, I'd like to find at least one study that show that ASL has disadvantages for toddlers and then attack the study (but the study was on only ten kids, the kids were not general population, etc. etc.). I've looked for hours today, and I can't find EVEN ONE SINGLE STUDY that shows that we shouldn't teach ASL to hearing kids.
I give. Can anyone help me out?
I don't know of any studies-but Maybe you found your answer already. Just tell them you are in support of ASL but just to be sure you have looked and looked and can't even find a negative study done on it, and that if they can find any you'd be willing to take a look at it-but until then, you will sign....
When Destinee posted and was looking for any possible research available showing ASL to be a hinderence and distraction I "googled" to see if anything existed. I certainly found nothing. The only thing remotely close was noise being a hinderence for the hearing who were trying to learn ASL. Other than that, nothing. I agree that you should tell them that you can't find anything to downplay the benefits of ASL. I think ASL should be taught in school. Key phrases would just help create less disturbance.
Home schooling mom to 5 great kids
I don't know about any negative studies either, although I know that Rachel mentions that Signing Time has a multisensory approach at the end of some of the videos. So of course you could mention that Sign Language involves multiple intelligences. Multiple Intelligences is a theory of learning advanced by Gardner. Sorry to not have anything negative. (Not really!)
Hey, here's something to show I looked HARD for this . . .
How would I get a website called "www.speechdelay.com" if I weren't honestly looking for information about speech delays?\
Here are courses at Wayne State in Michigan. http://www.bulletins.wayne.edu/ubk-output/sci8.html Why would they include ASL as part of the Speech Language Pathology coursework if they believed it delayed speech development?
We are a community college. Here is another community college that has a AA in SLP Assistant. http://www.shoreline.edu/SLPA02AAAS.html and ASL101 is a required course.
Then I can say, "Now, why would so many speech pathologists recommend ASL as a way to start working around speech delays if they thought ASL CAUSED speech delay?"
That might work . . .
I'd love to just quote Rachel, but that's fruit from the forbidden tree, you know, since they all already know I'm a nut about Signing Time!
I might try the Howard Gardner and J.P. Guilford approach, but that's a tough sell around here (I was a Gifted/Talented Coordinator at a public school for five years, and a lot of things were tougher than I thought they would be! :-)
Anyway, thanks for the ideas so far, and I'm looking forward to some more great ones, too!
Last edited by JoJo; 04-19-2006 at 04:12 PM.
Reason: forgot links AGAIN
The latest studies conducted by neuroscientists support the use of sign language.
There are no studies that I know of that indicate negative effects from the use of sign language. I'm a speech pathologist and can't believe that you would have a hard time with this issue in this day and age with so much literature now pointing to the positive effects of signing.
Professor Laura Ann Petito of Dartmouth University, New Hampshire has conducted numerous studies regarding sign language and the brain. As a leading neuroscientist she not only supports but encourages the use of sign "parents and educators can exploit this natural proclivity (to perceive rhythm) in children and aid the language learning process".
There are now longitudinal studies being conducted showing positive effects of sign language as related to literacy. Check out Signs of Literacy.
Frankly, every professional we are working with (2 speech therapist, 2 occupational therapists, 1 ABA consultant, and a classroom preschool teacher) uses ASL. Every single one of them!
Here's a thought . . .
You know, the mainstream media sometimes preys on people's fears to increase circulation. So here's "Baby sign language ‘could hinder speech’" (a Scottish newspaper), which cites "a recent debate in the journal of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists." However, we may notice that there is no research cited . . .
Furthermore, some media feel they aren't being objective if they don't present the opposition, even if the opposition is pretty weak. So here's an online parenting site with an article that is generally positive about signing, but to give equal time to the opponents of signing with children, they cite one person's personal experiences (which aren't, of course, as reliable as documented research with a control group, etc., but if there's no research that proves that signing delays speech, then what else can a journalist do?)
But is there a cost to "communicating" at an earlier age? Some experts say it may mean not hearing your child's actual voice until much later. "I am actually certified in ASL (American Sign Language) and love the language, so you would think I'd be a proponent of teaching it to your baby," says Kate Moynihan, a mother who lives in South Minneapolis. "In my experience, every kid who was taught sign language as a baby has been a late talker. They learn to communicate without speaking at such a young age and have their needs met, so why would they bother talking?"http://mnparent.com/articles/2005/01...es/feat1.2.prt
Many mothers worry that by teaching babies to sign, their children become dependent on the language and don't bother speaking until much later. Naturally, signing makes sense because babies' motor skills develop so much faster than the muscles and coordination they need to speak, so they're able to pick up the language. Once very young children have learned a handful of "words" and are able to effectively communicate, some mothers worry that their babies' voices could possibly be delayed in maturing because they've already been taught another language.
"I think [signing is] wonderful when they're a baby because it's easier to figure out what they want, and you can teach them manners like 'please' and 'thank you.' I don't think teaching your kids sign language is a bad thing, but I wouldn't choose to do it because I want them talking to me as soon as possible," Moynihan says.
It'll be no trouble to explain that we have no idea (since her findings aren't part of a study) how reliable she is, how qualified she is (what kind of certification? is she an interpreter, or did she get a certificate for taking a two-day workshop?), or whether "all the kids" are three kids whose parents used sign only sporadically, or if there were any other issues that might effect speech delays . . .
Here's another mainstream article that tries to be objective, citing the opposition that "there is a danger the competitive parent could take 'signing' too seriously at the expense of other areas of development" Of course, that's true of anything . . . and there's no research that I can find showing that that's currently a problem . . .
Anyway, I found a thing or two, and I just thought I'd share in case anyone else wanted to keep this as "secret ammunition, to be pulled out only in emergency situations!"
This isn't a study but...
When I was looking for educational tools to use with a deaf child, I did a search on Amazon. I chose Signing Time because the only negative thing that anyone had to say about it was a grandmother asking why on earth you would want to teach a 2 year-old how to sign COOKIE. She even said that this was the only negative thing she could find to say about it.
I think I know what that granny means!
I wonder why on earth I taught Carson to sign "CHEESE POOF" for Cheetos. I'd rather play dumb, act like I don't understand, and keep offering the yummy APPLE!
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