Monolingual ASL Milestones

Birth – 3 Months:

  • Look around surroundings with alertness
  • Is attracted to any human movement
  • Ability to look attentively at her person’s fact
  • Responds to smiling by smiling back
  • Enjoy cuddling and close interaction (i.e. holding)
  • Enjoy playing with hands and fingers

3-6 Months

  • Smiling and laughing
  • Ability to make eye contact
  • Enjoy facing any position where they are looking in an outward direction
  • Turn eyes to flashing light
  • Turn towards vibrations (ex:phone ringing)
  • Plays with hands and enjoy finger play

6-9 Months:

  • Enjoys hand babbling – repetitive hand movements (ex:opening and closing hands in a rhythm)
  • Turning of head to locate an object in motion & to watch sign movements
  • Looks at common objects and family members when named in ASL
  • Understands simple ASL words

9-12 Months:

  • Start to hand babble with varied patterns
  • Begin using simple hand movements (ex:straight forward hand motion)
  • Use simple hand shapes to form first ASL words
  • Words with simple hand shapes: eat, play, milk, mommy
  • Vocabulary of around 10 words

12-18 Months:

  • Begin combining ASL words into simple sentences
    • Two signs (ex:eat more)
  • Touch and gestures are used to get attention of parents when they need something
  • Point
  • Can sign some letters of the ASL alphabet
  • Use negation
  • Shake head symbolically for no
  • Use up to 40 signs but have the ability to understand much more
  • Have ability to ask yes/no questions with one word signs
    • Ex: “mine?” for “Is it mine?”

18-24 Months:

  • Linguistically points to self and others
  • Start telling stories about present situations
  • Have a love for ASL stories from books
  • Can copy the character’s facial expressions
  • Can take turns signing back and forth with another
  • By age 2:
    1. have a vocabulary of more than 200 words!
    2. play seems to encourage development of communication
    3. use symbolic substitution: use one object for another