SIGN LANGUAGE FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
For children with autism, sign language can serve as a communication bridge to verbal language. Sessions with parents and caregivers occur in the child’s natural environment. Signs that are taught are individualized to meet each child’s needs, providing for positive reinforcement resulting in more frequent language utilizations.
Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley understands that verbal communication doesn’t come easy for children with autism. Sign Language for Children with Autism’s goal is to teach parents and their children with autism to learn sign language and to enhance communication and to serve as a foundation for verbal communication. Sign language can be taught in conjunction with in-home programs such as ABA and Verbal Behavior.
Bridge for Spoken Language – The visual association and iconic representation of sign language utilizes the same area of the brain that is associated with speech and language development. Sign language, when taught with spoken language, has been shown to help children develop speech faster.
Reduction of Negative Behaviors - Communicating using sign language enhances your ability to meet your child’s needs and wants, and by doing so can reduce inappropriate behaviors by eliminating the inability to communicate.
Increases Social Interaction - Children that are able to express themselves are more likely to seek out social interaction. Learning and using sign language makes it easier for children to associate gestures with meaning and facilitates important social interactions.
Development of Cognitive Structures - Encoding language early is the key to lifelong learning. Sign language can be a tool to facilitate learning and speech.
Increases the Ability to Interpret Facial Expressions - By its nature, sign language is visual and expressive. Often the enhanced expressions and cues associated with sign language can improve a child’s ability to interpret facial expressions sooner than verbal communication alone.
Sign Language for Autism is designed for children 18 months to five years, but is open to children of all ages with autism spectrum disorders. Scholarship opportunities are available on a limited basis.
To learn more about the Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley Sign Language for Children with Autism program please contact Melissa Engle at 937.461-4800 ext. 393.
PRINTABLE FLIER : Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley Autism Sign Language Classes