The ASL sign for HELP or HELP ME is my second favourite ‘ask for assistance’ sign and it was used on a fairly regular basis in my house.
(*If you missed part 1 – go here to learn the ASL sign for UP)
Whenever my daughter was playing with a toy that she couldn’t get opened, closed, adjusted… or to function the way she wanted it to… she would bring it to me and sign HELP.
She rarely got upset when things didn’t go her way, because she would just ask for HELP when she needed it.
Sometimes it’s hard for us, as parents, to truly grasp how much our toddler understands.
Here is an inspiring story that will HELP put things in perspective ;)
“One day my son Curtis (14 months old) came to me when I was folding laundry and signed ‘HELP’. He wasn’t holding anything so I didn’t know what he needed help with. I said ‘show mommy’ (which has become a very helpful phrase in our house), and he took me to the living room where his friend Lincoln (12 months old) had his hand stuck in a firetruck window! How cute is that?! Up until then, he only used his signs to ‘get’ something he wanted. I was impressed my son could tell me his friend needed help” :)
-Jessica Lynch | New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Pretty AMAZING right?! And he was just 14 months old!
When we hear stories like this it makes us realize that our young children understand WAY more then they can express to you through speech.
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Watch the video below to learn the ASL sign for HELP, and discover how to teach this sign to your child.
There are 2 versions of this sign. Don’t let that confuse you – watch the two videos and decide for yourself which one (or both) is the best fit for your family. Both are highly effective!
ASL sign for HELP ME – Version 1 (my personal favourite)
To make this sign: Pat your chest with one or both hands.
Video Transcript: This version of HELP ME is not a proper ASL sign. I learned this version from Sign 2 Me, and it’s the version that I used with my girls. I liked this version of HELP ME because it allowed my child to bring me an object or a toy that she was needing help with.
ASL sign for HELP ME – Version 2
To make this sign: Make a fist with your dominate hand (If you are right handed use your right hand. If you are left handed use your left hand), and place it on top of your other flat hand, palm side up. Raise both hands at the same time, just like you are helping one hand up with the other.
Teaching strategy: When it’s obvious your baby needs help with something, ask ‘Do you need HELP?’ and sign HELP at the same time.
In the comments below, let me know which version you prefer.
Enjoy the journey,