Toddler's ASL language development

The video summarizes a first month of the language development and litarcy of the toddler Juli at age 2.

Toddler talking about feelings

The toddler Juli (2;0,2) talked about feelings what she noticed in the picture books, videos, and drawings: sad, crying, happy, smile, and serious or straight-faced.

I'm not sure if she understood the concept of "serious" or "straight-faced" but it was how she learned when referring to the specific one in the book.

Language development

Some examples of the following referential words and phrases that Juli used during the week (2;0,1) are: stuck worm (referring to the stuffed worm being stuck in the doorway in a home video), cat eat, candy please!, basement please!, Ash (a signed name), some more shown in the video above, and other ASL words mentioned in the past months.

The following referential words and phrases that Juli used that week (age 2;0,2): chocolate milk, drawing basement (drawing in the basement), walk slowly, (being careful on the icy sidewalk), some more shown in the video above, and other ASL words mentioned in the past months.

On the acquisition in English as a second language, Juli was reported to have spoken the English words, such as doctor and please.

Phonological development

The toddler Juli attempted to form the ILY handshape when waving bye as I was about to leave for work. I caught her forming the "horn" handshape for a moment. A difference between the "ILY" and the "horn" handshapes is the thumb in/out.

An exciting thing has happened that I had been waiting for a long time (without molding her hand). Juli (age 2;0,1) was able to produce either mother or father with the correct handshape, using the thumb!

But, then Juli (age 2;0,2) lapsed into the old phonological handshape for "mother" and "father" out of habit when casually uttering them. But, she formed the correct handshape when consciously uttering them.

Juli (2;0,3) finally transitioned from the handshape "A" to "5" when producing mother or father!

Juli had produced ASL word phonologically correct more and more. E.g. mother, father, firefighter (even with the correct palm orientation), stop, etc.

A week later (2;0,4), Juli had begun using the thumb incorporated in her ASL production. For example, she produced fine perfectly when imitated. Note that, this sign "fine" uses the thumb in its production, that the ASL signs "mother" and "father" require the use of thumb.


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The BSL-speaking mother and 24-month-old toddler are having a conversation about the birthday party the other day in British Sign Language (BSL).

"Our 2 year old signing animals and fruits and names. His mom is deaf and dad hears; we love american sign language, great communication for the youngins."

"Dad and Travis (who's only been exposed to language for less than 7 months) sit at the table and look at some family names and favorite words in English. As parents raising a Deaf child, we value both ASL and English. Now that he has a strong base in ASL, we can use all of the conceptual knowledge he has to expose him to English. Even though he's three, and only 7 months old linguistically, he's already recognizing names and a few of his favorite words." -- YouTube at txbrown5

Toddler Travis teaches his toddler brother Tian in ASL.

Tian loves ice cream! Voice, ASL, captioned.