Maryland toddler signals 'help' in sign language during photo with Santa

Maryland toddler signals 'help' in sign language during photo with Santa

Every year, hilarious photos of children with Santa surface on social media, but a woman's photo of her one-year-old baby using sign language to signal for "help" has gone viral.

Mom Kerry Spencer recently tweeted an old photo of her now 13-year-old son, Samuel Spencer, when he visited Santa at a mall in Provo, Utah.

The family now lives in Parkton, Maryland. "It is a family legend", Spencer told People.

This year, she posted it on Twitter at the urging of a friend, causing a social media frenzy. "This is the sign for 'help.' You're welcome", the mother tweeted.

Kerry Spencer taught both of her children to sign using American Sign Language before they could speak because she found it useful to be able to communicate with them when they were babies.

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"As someone on Facebook just said: Babies trying to say "fork" sometimes say "fuck".

Spencer told the TV program that Samuel is not deaf or hearing impaired, but she and her husband taught him sign language as a baby to better communicate at an early age. "By the time he was two he did it properly".

Several Twitter users said it didn't look like the toddler was signing for help, but Spencer said it was just a different variation of the ASL sign. But anyone who has taught a baby sign language knows they don't sign perfectly.

Other parents opt to teach their infants sign language in hopes of spurring language development. This is the sign for "help".

The amusing photo launched a debate among sign language experts about the proper way to sign.

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