American Sign Language

ASL is a natural, visual/manual language totally accessible to children

A bilingual approach which includes the development of both ASL and English.  ASL is a natural, visual/manual language totally accessible to children who are deaf, that has its own grammar and linguistic principles. The acquisition of English is addressed through the use of teaching strategies for English as a Second Language.

 

PRIMARY GOALS

To acquire an age-appropriate internal language as a basis for learning a second language and opportunities for academic achievement.
To develop a positive self-image and cultural identity providing access to the Deaf community.
To provide a basis for learning written and, when possible, spoken English ?as a second language.

 

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (receptive)

The child develops early language concepts as well as higher order cognitive skills by utilizing the visual nature of ASL.

 

EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE

ASL fluency and written English.
Ability to code switch from ASL to English (signed, spoken or written as needed).

 

HEARING

Encourages individual decision about amplification.
Amplification may provide access to spoken language and allow the child more opportunity to become bilingual.

 

FAMILY/PRIMARY CAREGIVER RESPONSIBILTIES & GUIDANCE

Parents are committed to learning and using ASL consistently.
Families emphasize literacy in the home.
Families provide opportunities for interaction with the Deaf community to help ensure a future independent and fulfilled Deaf citizen.
ASL is learned through classes, media, websites, and interaction with members of the Deaf community.

 

More Info and Related Links

The American Society for Deaf Children
The National Association for the Deaf
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Click here for a complete Communication Options Chart