Language Development

Deaf newborn sees the lights, movements, colors, and faces in the environment, but the words spoken go unheard.


According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA),

You CAN have language without having speech.

Language is a symbolic (written, spoken or signed), rule governed system used to convey a message.


Speech is the verbal means of communicating. You can have speech yet lack a command of language.

LEAD-K Family Services

You might be concerned about teaching only sign language as it is your family's communication method. Sign language will blossom the language part of the brain. Eventually, your child will start developing bilingual with secondary language (English) with your and possible outside supports. This part of the website will share different ways to support your child's language development including sign language, English literacy, and listening. Additional activities that support language development are sharing the bottom of the page.

Early Language Milestones

Early language milestones will help you track your child's language development. The first five years of a child's life are the most critical period of language development. First milestone chart, early language acquisition milestones track the children who use American Sign Language, including CODA children. We also included (second milestone chart) for children who also develop spoken language. NOTE: Every child develops differently, and actively observe your child will help you keep track of their development.

Start the language development, including sign language, from the first day your child is born. Chat, Read, and Rhyme together every day! Watch your child growing through the milestones. Milestones also will help you when it comes to IFSP/IEP if your child needs it.

Sign Language is a dance with words, to be enjoyed from babyhood, through childhood to adulthood...

-Marilyn Daniels

CODA children can use either milestones but don't be much concern of speaking ability. CODA children will learn spoken English as times goes. The child might show some ability later than stated in this milestone. They often make process and catch up when they started school. if you have more concerns about your child, you can ask for early intervention in child's school district/county.

Find out about how you can read to your child
Find out about how you can play with sign language with your child
Find out about how we can support children with hearing ability including CODAs
Find out about how VL2 storybooks are bonus additional to language
Find out about how children can enjoy story signing
Find out about how storytelling can benefit the children
Find out about how bedtime can thrive the language and connection
Find out about how children can benefits from fingerspelling

With links to the playlists in this and other pages, I also have list my favorite channels for ASL QUALITY videos for young children signers are listed below; if you follow/subscribe to these channels, you'll be the first to know when they post new content (signed stories, ASL rhymes, chants, number stories, educational content, etc):



RMDS ASL Education



CSD Early Childhood Education

CSD Elementary


MSD Techie

ECC ASL Storytime Videos, Rochester School for the Deaf

AASD Accessible Materials Project

Rochester School for the Deaf

ECE at the Indiana School for the Deaf

Wisconsin School for the Deaf