:: Sign language opens up world of words to the very young ::

Sign language opens up world of words to the very young:

Sign language opens up world of words to the very young

Wednesday, March 28, 2007Picture 5.png

‘How are you?’ speech-language pathologist Lynn Rankin asked 3-year-old Ryan Cawley, speaking the phrase while repeating it in sign language.

‘I’m fine,’ he replied as he closely watched her lip movements and gestures.

Ryan has normal hearing but has difficulty producing sentences and certain speech sounds. Signing has helped him develop his sentence formation skills, said Ms. Rankin, clinical coordinator of communication disorders at Children’s Hospital South in Bethel Park.

“When I give him the sign, he can follow the sign and initiate the words,” she said.

Ryan, of Mt. Lebanon, also uses signs at home to help communicate his needs. Most often, he uses signs for “more,” “please,” “drink” or “food,” said his mother, Lori.

Signing has long been used to help children with developmental delays or other health problems, Ms. Rankin said. And many children without those challenges also are learning to sign. …”

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