By caroline | August 4, 2008
A mum recently told me her son learned Lamh (the language for nonverbal children) at school, so the kids could sign with a boy who used Lamh.
With ‘baby sign’ growing in recent years, there’s a higher chance that kids in the same class as a child who signs, will know some sign language.
In practical terms, it makes sense to teach sign language to the classmates of a child who signs, as all the children benefit in different ways.
Children learn new languages much more quickly than adults, and gain a first-hand understanding of how deaf children can communicate manually.
Language is a key element of functioning in society, and if the classmates of a signing child know some signs, everyday interaction is smoothed.
Direct communication is possible between the kids while the child who signs, feels accepted and learns early social skills from their peers more easily.
In Ireland, childcare & teaching staff tend to learn Lamh or ISL off their own bat, which can disrupt teaching continuity if these staff change jobs.
Lamh and ISL are marketable skills for childcare & early education workers as their value in building a child’s communication skills becomes apparent.
In the youth sector, Presidents’ Award candidates & transition year students can take ISL classes. Details are available from the Deaf support groups.