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graphic found at http://www.misslifesaver.com/2013/07/teacher-tip-tuesday-hand-signals-to.html
I loved learning sign language when I was young. I was hard of hearing, and had lots of "deaf" or hearing challenged friends growing up, and even into college and grad school. We moved out of state, so I lost touch with that community.
I also worked in various facilities and schools for very seriously developmentally delayed children. We used sign language to help with them so that they could understand and communicate, even when they were not verbal. It was a big help for the students and teachers.
It is common to use sign language now with young babies, so that they can communicate more fully before their verbal skills develop.
In the 1970's research was very important with a few primates, teaching them to use sign language to speak to their human teachers. One family even brought up a chimp in their home as one of their children.
Over the years, they found that some primates with enough training actually moved past "hand signals" the way dogs learn commands, to actually have independent thoughts presented with creative combinations of signs. It was quite a break though.
Research has been done with gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos, among others.
This article tells you about different animals that talk with humans in different ways.
This is the story that inspired me to share today! The chimp understood what her caretaker told her, and showed compassion and related to the situation. Amazing!
My post is based on the story recounted here
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