Parents are now being encouraged to introduce and explore American Sign Language (ASL) to their young children to build their motor and communication skills.
When introducing ASL to children, teaching them “germs” is a great way to start. Germs are a combination of one or more ASL signs and they are used as a concise way to communicate or express something to each other. According to experts, children who master these “germs” of ASL before the age of two are more likely to pick up language and communicate more effectively with their peers as they grow.
For example, parents can introduce their toddlers to the germ “Throw Away”, which simply combines the ASL sign for ‘throw’ and ‘away’. This will help them to easily express activities like discarding items, placing objects in the trash, and forming sentences like “Throw away the diaper”. Similarly, the germ “Don’t Touch” is a great combination to remind kids to maintain interpersonal distance with strangers or keep their hands to themselves.
Germs are also helpful when it comes to shortening long sentences and expressing general emotions more quickly. For example, the combination of ‘happy,’ ‘sad,’ and ‘angry’ help to convey feelings in a much more efficient way. In addition, experts suggest that teaching ASL germs are beneficial for children to learn other languages because this will help them to easily grasp the meaning and context behind words.
For parents who want to impart ASL knowledge to their little ones, germs offer a great way to kickstart the learning process. From helping kids to express feelings to general conversations, germs are a great tool in helping build a child’s communication and motor skills.