Learning ASL through Love

Today we are featuring the signing story of Nolan and his parents. You can find them on Instagram at @OurOregonAdventures.


“When Nolan was born, we had no idea what Treacher Collins was.

We were young, hopeful first time parents who were told our baby couldn’t breathe on his own, hear on his own, eat on his own, etc!

There were physiological reasons for all of those statements, and we’re proud to say that Nolan can now do ALL THREE, but it’s been quite the journey.

I was able to personally tackle his hearing right away, rocking him in the NICU. My mom had used baby signs with me and my siblings, so I instantly started in on ‘mom’ , ‘dad’, ‘Nolan’, ‘bath’, ‘diaper’, ‘toys’, ‘milk’, ‘eat’ and OF COURSE– ‘I love you’.

I KNEW my baby could see me, feel me, and learn to understand me even without hearing most sounds because I willed myself to become fluent in ASL while I sat in that pesky NICU with otherwise entirely chaotic moments.

I can’t express the peace I felt knowing that no matter what, Nolan and I could communicate with each other.

It bonded us, his eyes lit up when I’d run in to the room and sign ‘mommy here’.

His first sign, ironically, was ‘dad’, but the love I knew he had for me was unreal.

Though he now has normal hearing with a state of the art hearing aid called a BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid), he needs that second form of communication (and will his whole life).

In loud restaurants, in the bath, at the pool, in the rain, his hearing is compromised but never his communication.

We have sign language!

Then, he looks at me locked into perfect attention and we become that mother/son team in the NICU again–learning about the world together.

Life is just that cool, we are immeasurably blessed.”


Written by Ally Faber. Read more about Nolan and his family at Proverbs31intraining.com.


free baby sign printable

You’ve reached the end of the blog post. While you’re learning, get a free printable emailed right to you to print out and put on your wall. It includes babies signing 10 most used signs.