Signing from Baby to Kid

signing kid

Baby Signing: language development timeline

This documentation project follows a baby's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, week by week from gazing at birth to manual babbling, to first words just before the first birthday in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.

Toddler Signing

The second-year and third-year documentation continues to follow the same child's language and phonological acquisition and literacy development in ASL on a weekly basis from the one-word stage to two-word and multiple utterances.

Preschooler and Kinder Signing

The documentary continues to follow the same child's ASL language and literacy development on a regular basis from age three to four or so. It surveys ASL phonological acquisition and more complex utterances.


These posts on ASL-English bilingualism, language acquisition, and bilingual education may be of an interest for parents who raise a bilingual-bimodal child in ASL (or another signed language) and English (or another written and/or spoken language of its respective) as well as informative and educational for ASL specialists, educators, and professionals.

In a nutshell: language development timeline

Is there manual babbling in sign language? Yes. Does signed language function in the same left linguistic regions of the brain as spoken language? Yes. Is a it (e.g. ASL, Auslan, etc) a real human language? Yes. Are language developmental milestones in signed language the same as spoken language? Yes. Does it have linguistics? Yes. Research studies in the fields from neuroscience to linguistics can confirm these.

Documented language acquisition of the child Juli's language development, literacy, and phonological acquisition in full-fledged American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language from birth proves to be the similar development and linguistic process as a spoken language.

In addition, this sequential bilingual child acquires English as a second language (typically at age two) shows the similar bilingual developmental milestones as those sequential bilinguals in both spoken languages.

This longitudinal documentation of the language acquistion in sign language illustrates a normal language development and literacy in sign language among Deaf children and codas who acquire ASL as a first language from birth or early childhood (e.g. deaf children of hearing parents) into adulthood.

Codas (hearing children of Deaf parents) usually have no problem acquiring English on par with English monolinguals by the preschool time earlier or later, just like spoken bilinguals. Also, ASL-speaking Deaf children of Deaf parents can acquire written English as fluently as hearing English speakers.

Linguistic research shows that sign language acquisition follows developmental milestones similar to those of spoken language. The longitudinal documentary follows a bilingual child's language development in ASL as a native and primary language since birth.

"The human brain does not discriminate between the hands and the tongue. People discriminate, but not our biological human brain." -- Neuroscientist Dr. Laura Petitto, 2012.