American Sign Language (ASL) is a natural, visual language that is communicated through hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions. Back in my middle school years, I was inspired to learn this language in a couple of ways: I learned a little in my Social Skills program class with my speech-therapy teacher, and I was inspired by my best friend since 3rd grade, George, since he could not hear at all out of one ear. Ever since then, American Sign Language has made an impact on me.
I started learning this language on my own through ASL books. Then, I joined the American Sign Language Club in my high school, in which I continued to learn more about this language in depth and continued to do so for all of my high school years. In college, I took all of the American Sign Language courses that were available. In my ASL courses at college, I learned how much this language could help in my future career for working with special education students, including those who cannot hear. Now working in my career today, I noticed how much this language is helping students learn to communicate and develop other important skills.
American Sign Language can benefit in various ways for people living with Autism. When a visual sign is accompanied with verbal communication, it can help people with Autism who do not have as much communication develop language. Plus, ASL helps people with Autism to accept more physical prompts and increase imitation. If you want to witness how much American Sign Language means to me, please check out this video below, which is an American Sign Language performance I did through one of my ASL courses at college.