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Using Signs in Early Intervention

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Overview / Abstract:

Course Learning Outcomes
After this course, participants will be able to describe important milestones in the development of manual activity in the first 12 months of an infant's life
After this course, participants will be able to sequence the developmental acquisition of gestures and explain their predictive values for vocabulary development
After this course, participants will be able to describe how to incorporate skills in observing babies' manual activity with formal instruments that explore gestural use and sign acquisition
After this course, participants will be able to describe a corpus of 25 "first signs" to promote in early intervention and for babies that are typically developing
After this course, participants will be able to explain at least three strategies to use with parents in signing with their children.

Course Abstract
This lecture addresses early manual activity milestones and their importance to communication development, the rise of early gestures from and as part of these milestones, and implications for sign use in early intervention programs for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and other children at risk for delayed spoken language acquisition. Assessment tools, sign choices, facilitative strategies, and developmental trajectories should prove valuable for a broad range of clinical populations, including those who receive cochlear implants and transition to spoken language, and those who transition to American Sign Language. This information is also applicable to typically-developing babies and for clinicians involved in AAC programming.


Sep 16, 2020


Audiologist , Speech Language Pathology CE



Credits / Hours

ASHA/0.1 Intermediate, Professional; IL EITP/1.0; Kansas DHE, LTS-S1370/1.0; SAC/1.0

Presenters / Authors / Faculty

Brenda Seal, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Brenda Seal is a professor of Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences at Gallaudet University. Brenda's research interests include infant sign language signing for hearing babies and for D/deaf and hard-of-hearing babies, including children with cochlear implants. Brenda holds a Ph.D. (1992) in Communication Disorders from the University of Virginia, a Master's degree (1975) and B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology (1972) from Appalachian State University. Her first professional role involved 8 years as a primary school speech-language pathologist at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton. She followed that with 28 years in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at James Madison University, where she was a Distinguished Teacher and Madison Teaching Fellow. Brenda retired from JMU in 2009. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia and is involved in collaborative ventures with students, friends and colleagues at both UVA and JMU.

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