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Document Type


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Faculty Advisor

Mark Brown, PhD


Children with disabilities, including Down Syndrome and Autism, can often face challenges when communicating with their peers in the early childhood classroom. Communication is essential in order for children to develop cognitively and socially, both in the classroom and at home. There are various methods and strategies to improve a child’s communication. One prominent technique is to use American Sign Language (ASL). ASL has been shown to improve communication in early childhood, ranging from student-to-student and student-to-teacher/parent interactions. Using ASL in early childhood is an important, initial step at bridging the communication gap, because young children learn to use ASL in order to improve their vocalization and verbal communication throughout their childhood and eventually, into their later adult years. There are a number of resources that teachers and parents can use in their classroom and at home that can assist in bridging this communication gap. This presentation will focus on the specific benefits of ASL taught to children with disabilities.