Speak with your hands

Speak with your hands

Speak with your hands

Communicate using words and hand/body gestures-1specialplace  I stumbled upon this “just beats” track by B.Ames while downloading some music for my iPod..and I was totally fascinated by the title.. Speak with your hands!!

Something which all of us do..without even realising. We all communicate using words and hand/body gestures. Ever noticed a dancer or an artist talk? They incorporate a lot of hand and facial gestures to make their speech enthralling and attractive.

We all have also seen hard-of-hearing people who use sign language to communicate. Its amazing how hands can speak!

I myself use a lot of signs and hand gestures while teaching “talking” to my little kids. “Total communication” is the strategy I always employ. Hence gestures and signs are some strong speech therapy tools in my kitty. The younger a child, the easier its for me to introduce signs along with speech. communicate using words and hand/body gestures-1specialplace Simple gestures for sleep, eat, drink, come, go, no, stop, sit, love, thanks, etc come in very handy!

These extra tools augment the speech and language development of all babies and toddlers. They especially work well with late talkers who start expressing their needs through pointing and gestures and then slowly graduate to attempting words.

One should always use plenty of gestures and facial expressions along with vocal intonations while singing rhymes and songs with children. The handed signs and gestures give added spatial cues which children pick up in a jiffy! For example, let’s consider the rhyme Incy Wincy spider. Using gestures for “climbing” of the spider, “falling” of the rain, rays of the “sunshine” , the kid is sure to participate with enthusiasm and will also learn the spatial features of simple verbs used in the rhyme and also grab concepts like the sun is up in the sky.

This reminds me of an autistic child who comes to me for therapy. He always utters “Incy Wincy” (misarticulation errors present) and signs a climbing spider, when he wishes to listen to this rhyme. So even though his speech is not clear, his expression is complete because of the accompanied gesture. Hence no frustration and only enjoyment follow!

speak_hands

 

In the USA, sign language for babies has become a frequently practiced approach. This helps foster speech and language skills in normal as well as special kids. I found the following article quite useful.

 

  Sign Language for children with special needs

 

Whether you choose to use these signs with your babies or not, it is worth remembering that expression of language can be through any form or modality.Research has proven that sign language is not just for deaf babies.It is said to promote expressive & receptive language and vocabulary skills of hearing toddlers too. I would like to amplify that gestures and or signs should be accompanied with clear and slow speech as what we are focusing on is – total communication.

 

So enjoy speaking with your hands! You might just explore how effective it can prove for your child’s speech development.

Pratiksha Gupta
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(2 Comments)

  • Anthony Gray

    Would like to know how to sign with my hands.

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