Sign Language Disadvantages

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We speech therapists have been using sign language with infants and toddlers for years. We are especially likely to do this if a child's speech lags behind his desire to communicate. When this happens, children are prone to frustration because they have much more to express than they are able to say. Sign language gives them a way to communicate even if they don't yet have verbal words, and it helps the language part of their brain keep developing while we work to get the speech part to catch up. Because sign language carries these advantages, we often recommend the use of sign language with children who are late talkers, those who are having significant difficulty with speech--such as those with apraxia of speech--or those who have a diagnosis such as Down Syndrome, where speech is often later developing. Most recently, parents of all kinds of young children are learning the power of using sign language with their toddlers, whether or not their child's speech is delayed.

Many parents, though, have concerns about sign
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Obviously, you can't take his mouth and get it to produce words; signing gives you an alternate way to physically help your child learn to communicate. When he then starts to use that sign on his own, he's learned a very powerful message: he has control over his world and he can get what he wants through communication. Once kids get the idea that communication pays off for them, they start to communicate more and more with those around them. At first, they may continue to use sign language, but eventually they will start to use the words along with the signs. Then, as verbal speech becomes more efficient (and it will-- moving your mouth takes much less energy than moving your arms), they will gradually drop out the signs and move over into the world of verbal speech
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