BENCHMARKS FOR LANGUAGE SKILLS

Importance of ASL Assessment

© Artwork used with permission of ASL Rose

When children do not have a fully developed language base, they are not ready to learn and will not have the skills needed to access education. Statistics by the California Department of Education show that 92% of deaf children and 85% of hard of hearing children enter kindergarten with lack of age-appropriate language skills. 

Deaf and hard of hearing infants and toddlers’ milestones of language development, either in signed or spoken languages, needs to be carefully considered. Assessments should include multiple measures of cognitive and communication development outcomes.  


2 – 6 Months 

ASL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT                                                                                        

  • Pays attention to faces
  • Follows things with eyes
  • Is fascinated by his or her own hands
  • Copies movements and facial expressions
  • Babbles with his or her hands

SPOKEN STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT

  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Smiles when spoken to
  • Responds to pleasure with 'cooing' noises
  • Notices and pays attention to sounds and music
  • Shifts eyes in direction of sounds
  • Makes babbling noises that resemble speech


 6 – 12 Months

ASL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT                                                                                     

  • First hand shapes emerge; ”5” and “S”
  • First signs may emerge – “Mommy,”
  • “Daddy,” “More,” “Milk,” “Bath,” “Bed.”
  • Mimics signs and facial expressions
  • Points to people, objects and places but not at self

SPOKEN STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT 

  • Recognizes basic familiar words such as cup or ball
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Produces first words such as bye-bye or mama


12 – 24 Months

ASL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT                                                                                    

  • Uses at least 10 signs
  • Begins to use points as pronouns
  • Acquires new signs but does not mark with inflections
  • Responds to signed requests 
  • Points to things or pictures when named
  • Knows names of familiar people
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats signs seen in conversation
  • Understands and carries out complex commands and requests
  • Shows interest in “how” and “why”

 SPOKEN STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT 

  • Listens to simple stories
  • Identifies pictures by name when directed (point to the cow, e.g.)
  • Speaks two-word sentences such as more juice or where daddy?


 2 – 3 Years

ASL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT                                                                                          

  • Uses directional verbs – “Give Me”
  • Expresses possessives – “My Shoe”
  • Uses action and object forms – “Drink Water”
  • Signs to self
  • Signs throughout the day
  • Sign order used to show semantic relations
  • Begins to use classifiers to represent objects
  • Demonstrates negation with headshake or sign “No”
  • Begins to use possessive (your, mine) and plural (“Us-Two,” “You-Three”) pronouns
  • Refers to things around them during conversations and storytelling; may copy the actions and facial expressions of others in a story

SPOKEN STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT       

  • Understands differences in meaning for basic words (up-down or in-out)
  • Produces three-word sentences
  • Can name most objects
  • Understands simple questions


REFERENCES:

American Speech-Hearing-Language Association: How does your child hear and talk? Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/chart.htm

Kansas Department of Education Guidelines for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (2009), http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=zx2msZjP5YQ%3D&tabid=3757&

Thriving with Your Child (2011), California School for the Deaf, Fremont, http://csdeagles.com/outreach/calnews/2011-12/deaf-baby.pdf

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    © Jaclyn Vincent 2015. All rights reserved.