‘Switched at Birth’ Cast Shares Their Favorite ASL Signs (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

ABC Family’s Switched at Birth introduced the beauty of sign language — not only to its audience but also to a slew of hearing actors who were asked to learn American Sign Language (ASL) as part of their roles.

The Kennish family learned their daughter had actually been switched in the hospital just after she was born. And when they reunited with her years later, they learned she had fallen deaf as a result of an illness as a toddler. She was fluent in sign language, as was her mothe.  And as the Kennishes got to know her, they learned to communicate that way, too.

Though Katie Leclerc, who plays Daphne was fluent in ASL before getting the role, everyone else has been learning as the show has been unfolding.

“It’s great because it’s kind of like a dance,” Switched at Birth’s newest cast member Max Lloyd-Jones told Celebuzz when we caught up with him on-set.

“You’re so focused on the movements that you can be a little freer in your attitude and your dialogue, and it’s an added layer in the scene.”

Like any language, there is a slang to ASL that one only picks up on after getting comfortable with it. But that kind of shorthand is only the tip of the iceberg of fun that the Switched at Birth cast has had with ASL. The cast now boasts secret, silent conversations on-set — and during press conferences– using the language.

So, what are some of the Switched at Birth’s cast favorite signs?

Watch Celebuzz’s exclusive interview featurette above to see which ones Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Lucas Grabeel, Constance Marie, Lea Thompson, and more selected!

Switched at Birth returns to ABC Family on Jan. 7, 2013.

Has Switched at Birth inspired you to learn sign language? What’s your favorite sign? Tell us in the comments below!

Danielle Turchiano

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