Sign Of The Week

Speech-Language Pathologist, Sara Gotlieb, introduces a fun way to learn American Sign Language to communicate with your child

My name is Sara Gotlieb and I am a Speech-Language Pathologist at Blue Bird Day’s Northcenter location. I work on a team with other Speech-Language Pathologists with varying specialties, along with therapists across all other disciplines. As providers working with young children, many of whom have communication delays, my colleagues and I use basic sign language frequently throughout our days. I have always pulled from the limited signs in my repertoire, knowing that one day I wanted to learn more.

In discussing my interest to learn more sign language, I discovered how many of my fellow co-workers shared my interest. We discussed different options, such as taking an online course together, but with busy schedules this continued to get pushed to the bottom of the ever-long to-do list.

One day in a meeting with some of the speech therapists, I jokingly asked a colleague who knows sign language if she would be my teacher. Again, others voiced their interest in learning. After this meeting I got to thinking on how we could turn this interest into a reality.

After discussions with the team, we came up with the idea to send a weekly video to the staff of a common sign that would be applicable to the work that we do with our clients. Soon thereafter, the “Sign Of The Week” was introduced at Blue Bird Day with the goal to educate our staff and families about common signs that can be paired with verbal language as a support to their language development and understanding.

The Sign Of The Week teaches the sign corresponding to the scheduled core vocabulary word targeted weekly at Blue Bird Day. Pairing sign language with verbal language is a great way to support development of children’s language understanding and expression. This weekly initiative has allowed for collaboration across disciplines and within the homes of our children and families. Tune in to “Sign Of The Week” each Thursday on Facebook to add to your sign vocabulary. We hope that you enjoy learning as much as we have!