Finger spelling is a building block in which you or your child uses hands and fingers to spell out words. Hand shapes represent the letters in the alphabet. Finger spelling is used with many other building blocks; it is almost never used by itself. It is most often used with American Sign Language (ASL), Conceptually Accurate Signed English (CASE), and Manually Coded English (MCE) to spell out words that don’t have a sign — such as the names of places or people.
Like all building blocks, you can start using finger spelling when your baby is very young. He or she can learn finger spelling naturally — the baby doesn’t need to know how to spell. He or she will just learn that the movements of the hand mean something. For instance:
- Page last reviewed: April 11, 2018
- Page last updated: November 20, 2014
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