There is nothing like a funny Santa photo to make us laugh during the holidays. But all hilarity aside, this is the perfect example of babies using sign language!
His mom, Kerry Spencer, Tweeted this picture of the Santa visit:
We taught our baby sign language. This is the sign for “help.” You’re welcome. pic.twitter.com/i6NkxBf4KP
— Kerry Spencer (@Swilua) December 5, 2017
Who knew that sign language would be so helpful for babies in situations like sitting on Santa’s lap?
Spencer is one among many parents who are now teaching their children sign language. Whether they are deaf, hard of hearing or hearing. Kerry said that she taught her children, who have normal hearing, sign language before they could speak, according to Mashable.
“It is so very useful to be able to communicate with your baby,” she said.
Phonak hEARo Lucie says sign language has benefited her son with cochlear implants, and thinks all children should learn sign language when they are babies.
“Not only is sign language useful for children with hearing loss, but its also great for hearing children to learn as well,”she says. “Even when they are very young, a baby’s motor skills and ability to make hand gestures are far more developed than their ability to speak, which makes it really very easy for them to learn the basics of sign language.”
She even credits Harry’s sign language skills to helping save her life.
“Harry heard me fall to the floor and came straight over to see what on earth his Mummy was doing,” she says about the incident. “He immediately knew that something was wrong and signed to me to ask if I was sad. I said, “yes” and used sign language to asked him to find my phone. He understood the sign for “phone” and immediately tottered off to find it.”
Read more: How Sign Language Helped us in an Emergency
Lucie says that she hopes that her son will keep practicing his sign language even though he is learning speech as well, so he will have more than one mode of communication and will be able to communicate with hearing and deaf communities.
Of course, as infants learn sign language there can be some variations, as with any language. Some people have pointed out that the sign Kerry’s son is doing doesn’t exactly look like American Sign Language. His mom, however, says it’s the “sign he always made when he needed help.”
Here’s the actual sign for comparison: pic.twitter.com/WTu2FPTl7O
— Kerry Spencer (@Swilua) December 8, 2017
It is great that he is learning sign language and will improve as he continues to practice!
Maybe next time, Spencer’s son will have a signing Santa!
What experiences have you had around the holidays with your deaf and hard of hearing children? Let us know in the comments!