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American Sign Language:  "child"

The sign for child is done by doing two pats on the top of an imaginary child's head.
You can do it with "one" pat, but could be mis-interpreted as "short."

The sign for "children" is to pat the heads of two different imaginary children one time each. The children are standing in front of you and slightly to the right. After you do a single pat on the head of the first child, move your hand to the right one time and do a single pat the head of the second child.


CHILD: (two pats on one head)

CHILDREN:  (One pat on two different heads.)

CHILDREN (variation 2)  Used more for emphasis, story telling, or "many" children.

Notes and discussion:

A student asks:  "How do I tell the difference between "short" and "child"?"

CHILD: Generally moves directly to a starting location somewhat near stomach height and then does two quick, loose pats.

SHORT: Generally moves directly to a starting location somewhat near rib height and makes one controlled, specific, downward movement.

CHILD: Generally uses a flat hand (fingers together, thumb mostly alongside--not extended)
SHORT: Generally uses a somewhat bent hand (fingers together, thumb alongside, thumb-tip may be sticking a bit up beyond the bent fingers, the fingers are bent at the large knuckles but not at the mid nor small knuckles, the bend varies but is around 45 degrees or according to comfort).

Also, the context of your sentence will generally make it clear whether you are talking about a CHILD or being SHORT in height.

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