Teaching British Sign Language to Improve the Lives of Children with Mental Disabilities

Teaching British Sign Language to Improve the Lives of Children with Mental Disabilities

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There have been countless ways in which doctors and teachers have tried to improve the lives of children with mental disabilities. A number of methods and lessons have been created to hopefully help these children. Though not all have been successful, there were some that stood out from the rest. One, specifically, was the teaching of British Sign Language. Teaching British Sign Language to mentally disabled children helped not only their ability to communicate but also improves their literacy skills and mental processing skills.
Teachers and doctors enjoyed using and teaching British Sign Language to people with mental disabilities even if it wasn’t proven that it helped. (Francis and Williams, 1). After studies that taught British Sign Language to children with mental disabilities, the results demonstrated that it helped create better speech (Francis and Williams, 1). Not only that, but the children were able to detect meaning in the signs (Vallotton 16). All the results from the studies give a great example as to why British Sign Language should be taught to children with mental disabilities. They show how helpful it can be.
Signs such as water helped children spell and sound out the word (Vallotton 17). Teaching British Sign Language allowed the children to feel more comfortable and calm. Since they felt this way, it made them want to learn and understand. The children were seen to be motivated and the extent of their disabilities did not affect the learning process (Francis and Williams, 31). The children were able to have better learning experiences.
The early child educators who have used signs to teach children have received greater responses from the children. When the children signed the teachers were capable of cr...


... middle of paper ...


... Bloomsbury Publishing, 2006. Print.
Francis, Valerie and Christopher Williams. “The Effects of Teaching British Sign Language to
Mentally Handicapped, Non-Communicating Children.” Journal of Educational Psychology
(2009): 18-28. Print.
Jones, Michael. “Sign Posting” Nursery World 29 July. 2010: 20-21. Print.
Kanade, Shrinivas. “Sign Language for Kids” Language 3 December. 2011: 1-16. Print.
Marschark, Marc, Brenda Schick, and Patricia Elizabeth Spencer. Advances in the Sign
Language Development of Deaf Children. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
Sutton-Spence Rachel and Bencie Woll. The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An
Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Print.
Vallotton, Claire. "Signing with Babies and Children.” Language & Communication (2006): 1-
18. Print

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