Autism and Sign Language


Girls learning the American Sign Language.

Girls learning the American Sign Language. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Sign Language is a wonderful language to learn. We learned basic sign language as a family in the hopes that it would help Sarah to speak, and it worked.

We found what words were important to Sarah and her well-being, and learned the sign for those words and or phrases. So she not only speaks words she learned the sign language also for those words she spoke.


I would encourage every parent that has a child with disabilities of any sort, to learn sign language. You don’t have to be fluent in sign language. Just learn the basic words and teach it to your child.

Sign language for Sarah helped her put meaning to her spoken words, therefore she knew spoken words were important and had power.

Sign Language along with many other therapies helped our Sarah gain more independence.


My other two children also learned the basic sign words and now it is being passed on to our grandchildren.



“There are several ways to help autistic children learn to talk, including:


  • Teaching speech with sign language; it is easy for parents to learn a few simple signs and use them when talking to their child.  This is referred to as ‘simultaneous communication’ or ‘signed speech.’  Research suggests that the use of sign language increases the chance of children learning spoken language.
  • Teaching with the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which involves pointing to a set of pictures or symbols on a board.  As with sign language, it can also be effective in teaching speech.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis:  described in more detail later
  • Encouraging a child to sing with a videotape or audiotape
  • Vestibular stimulation, such as swinging on a swing, while teaching speech
  • Several nutritional/medical approaches have been associated with dramatic improvements in speech production, including dimethylglycine (DMG), vitamin B6 with magnesium, and the gluten-/casein-free diet.  (To be discussed further below.)
  • Use of other augmentative communication devices, such as picture boards coupled with sound, or keyboards for typing.”



One thought on “Autism and Sign Language

  1. Pingback: Autism and Sign Language | Sarah's Voice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s