"Talking" Babies with Baby Signs Language

by Susan Kobrovsky,MSP
(Charleston,South Carolina ,USA)

Baby Sign Language

by Susan Kobrovsky,MSP

Baby sign language is an ever growing movement of parents and day care centers, teaching babies simple gestures, or signs, affording them the ability to communicate long before they can talk.

Many new parents are overwhelmed with the idea of learning sign language to use with their baby. They can't imagine finding the time to learn the signs or having the expertise to teach them to their baby.

This is one of the greatest misconceptions of baby sign language - with a little instruction, parents can easily learn the signs, and teaching these signs to their baby requires no extra time at all.

It's as easy as teaching a baby "bye-bye".
Without a way to express their words, babies often have "meltdowns" due to the inability to make themselves understood.

Sign language is a natural extension of a baby's instinct to point and gesture. It gives them the ability to express their wants and needs and to make associations in the world around them.

Research shows that many signing babies speak sooner than their peers with larger vocabularies, show a greater interest in books and perform better on later IQ tests.

Teaching hearing babies sign language seems to open the doors of language earlier for many children. Given the tools to communicate more effectively, these children have a headstart on language skills and experience less frustration so the "terrible twos" can be less terrible.

There are a variety of ways to get started. There are videos, books and web sites that offer an abundance of information and links to online signing dictionaries that show the various signs.

Taking a class from a certified instructor is a great way to start because it gives parents the opportunity to see how the signs are made and provides them immediate feedback on their signing attempts.

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