Deaf Dad Captures First Time Toddler Interprets For Him Using Sign Language

Danielle Broadway
toddler holding adult hand
Unsplash | Laura Ohlman

Too often adults underestimate what children are capable of, especially at younger ages. Seeing them learn and grow can be a shocking and beautiful thing. This is especially true for one deaf father that shared a very special video on TikTok of his toddler acting as an interpreter for him for the very first time at the store. It was a milestone that resonated with many people. With limited mainstream depictions of children of deaf adults, with the exception of the recent the Oscar-winning film, CODA, stories like this are exceptionally heartwarming.

The recent Oscar-winning film "CODA" introduced people to what life is like for people who are the children of deaf adults.

scene from CODA

The film centers around a teenager named Ruby whose parents and brother are deaf. As the only hearing person in her family, Ruby often has to act as an interpreter for basic day-to-day tasks.

The movie's popularity and success opened the door for people in the deaf community to share their own stories.

Baby and mom
TikTok | @oursignedworld

One of those people is dad Zachary who runs the TikTok account @oursignedworld. Zachary is deaf, but his wife and infant daughter are hearing. The whole family — even one-year-old Madison — uses American Sign Language to communicate.

Recently, Zachary posted one of Madison's ASL milestones online only for the video to go viral.

It began as a typical day at the store.

father walking with his toddler
TikTok | @oursignedworld

Zachary and his daughter, one-year-old Madison, were at the store one day running errands when Madison heard a baby crying. She dropped the sponges she was carrying, to communicate to her dad what was happening.

It was Madison's first time interpreting for her dad.

toddler in store using ASL
TikTok | @oursignedworld

Zachary couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Madison stop what she was doing and sign to him, "baby crying," to communicate that there was a crying baby nearby. She even pointed to the sound for him to get a visual and he signed is back to her, conveying that he understood.

He had to post this gem on TikTok.

TikTok page
TikTok | @oursignedworld

Known for their TikTok channel, @oursignedworld, Zachary and his family make videos about their family, which consists of both deaf and hearing members. They explore various topics that many people may be unfamiliar with, like if deaf people can enjoy operas, day to day life, teaching their daughter ASL, and much more. With 591,000 doting followers and 20-million likes throughout their TikTok page, they're one family that gets lots of love. So, when this landmark moment happened, Zach had to take it to TikTok.

The video has people in awe.

TikTok comments
TikTok | @oursignedworld

With 6.9-million likes, Zachary's TikTok video is reaching new heights. People are applauding Madison's skills with another language, empathy and awareness. It just goes to show that children are capable of so much.

Many people think all infants should be taught ASL.

TikTok comment
TikTok | @oursignedworld

Not only would it be inclusive and beneficial for everyone to learn ASL, but experts believe that teaching babies sign language helps them communicate before they are able to do so verbally. As Madison proves in this viral video, teaching babies sign language is possible and effective!

There's a follow-up video on teaching infants ASL.

Madison's mom joins in on this video to explain to people that sign language can be taught right after birth, as a child's cognitive development has already begun. At five months, Madison could sign, "milk" and then at six months, she could sign, "mama." People in the comments all seem to agree, Madison is a truly smart cookie.

Some people think Madison is enjoying her first time gossiping.

TikTok comments
TikTok | @oursignedworld

There's nothing like something juicy to get a toddler talking, or in this case, signing. Madison notices a baby crying and decides to stop what she's doing to spill the tea for her dad. Not only is she showing impressive interpreting skills, she's also showing that nothing gets past her cute lil radar.

Their family helps dispel misconceptions about deafness.

woman using ASL
Giphy | @InvestInAccess

It's unfortunate, but some people don't understand that people from all different walks of life communicate in different ways. There's no "superior way" when it comes to both deaf and hearing families doing their best to raise healthy and happy children. Sometimes people make assumptions that underestimate what deaf adults with hearing children can accomplish, but it looks like Zachary and his family are doing just fine.

Madison will grow up knowing two languages.

By 2050, around 2.5 billion people around the world will have experienced mild to severe hearing loss. So, knowing American Sign Language is kind of a big deal. It's a language that will always be necessary and helpful for both deaf and hearing people to know. Zach and his wife make sure their TikTok videos reflect the importance of Madison understanding both ASL and verbalized language. It looks like she's is soaking it all up like an adorable sponge.

It's a moment that will be cherished forever.

TikTok video
TikTok | @oursignedworld

Madison reminds us that we don't need spoken words to communicate. Even before children develop audible language, they can often sign. Whether a child is deaf or hearing, it may be a life-changing decision to teach a child ASL.

Let us know what you think of this heart-warming story in the comments and if it resonated with you.