Benefits of sign language

Recently, we met a physical therapist, who was delighted to get one of our “courtesy” cards for the signing English website. She was an intern and noticed a lot of different patients struggle not only with health issues but the ability to communicate as well. She listed a few physical limitations that may require the use of an alternative way of communicating. Below is the summation of our conversation.
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sign language helps individuals rather children or adults with special needs or disabilities
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sign language is not just for the deaf and hard of hearing (HoH) but often those who struggle with other issues of communicating, for one reason or another (this list below is far from complete):
individuals with unique understanding, comprehension, and articulation (responding)
neurological disorders; multiple sclerosis (MS); brain trauma; Parkinson’s
severe temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues (jaw); dental trauma; or
accident causing jaw issues
partial complex seizures and epilepsy
anaphylaxis (allergic reactions that make the throat swell rather mild or severe)
special need individuals; down syndrome; autism, etc.
visual learners
individuals who have trouble with speech due to anxiety
dry mouth from medications
permanent language problems, aphasia
severe fatigued
migraine
bell’s palsy
muscles used for speech are weak: aphonia or dysphonia
vocal cord damage
etc.
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sign language as a visual language improves:
speech
motor skills
brain function – motivates and develops the speech center
promotes early word recognition
promotes intellectual development earlier
promotes retention of information earlier
reduces frustration in the struggle to communicate
breaks down barriers in communication
sense of accomplishment
speaking with your mouth full (my daughter added this one)
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Babies can often do sign language before they get verbal skills mastered, so it is never to early or to late to start with babies

Adults with brain injury from an accident or war injuries also master sign language before they can master speech.
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Personally I never connected the need for sign language with the TMJ that I struggle with but more with the hard of hearing and the mild anaphylaxis, so maybe you know someone who is struggling to communicate and could use a hand learning sign language and you can help them, just like my daughter is learning with me.

Mrs. J.