Post # 1
I’m just curious if anyone else is thinking about teaching baby sign language?
My stepson knew a few words such as more, milk, and hungry and it was really nice to not be guessing what he wanted. Plus he had a LOT of ear problems and was a little delayed in his speech bc of that so the sign language was very handy.
Just curious what you all think about it
Post # 3
My colleague used it with her daughter from a very early age and it worked like a charm! Her baby was able to communicate with very little crying involved. I didn’t even know it was something possible, but I’m definitely going to use this!
Post # 4
I’m not expecting or ttc or a parent, but being in the child care field I’ve been exposed to the idea and I probably won’t implement it. It can actually cause kids to delay talking a bit, though it’s not that big of a problem. I just find that you and the child end up finding ways to communicate anyway. It’s obviously not something that will hurt the child, but I guess I feel like it’s more work than necessary, at least for me :p Talking and reading to your child really helps a lot, and kids definitely understand more words than they can say!
Post # 5
hmm I don’t know about the delay for talking, but I can tell you that at 3 years of age, my colleague’s daughter speaks french, english and a bit of spanish…
I think that well done, it wires them early on for communication
Post # 6
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
I’ll definitely try to do this, at least to some extent. I’ve never seen it in babies, but I’ve worked with a non-verbal student who has autism, and he knew a few signs – it was one of the only ways we could communicate with him and it really cut down on frustration for both sides!
Post # 7
Our friends did it, and it was pretty amazing how complex their daughter’s thoughts were at a fairly young age…they learned a lot about what she was hearing/seeing that they might not have known otherwise. (I remember one story where they were reading her a book and she kept signing dog, and they kept saying no, this book is about a bear (or whatever), and would make the bear sign, but she would keep signing dog—and finally they finished and were quiet, and way off in the distance they heard a dog barking!)
She did talk late (don’t know if it was related or not) but they didn’t seem concerned since she was clearly understanding and communicating fine….and when she did start talking, started in with pretty complete thoughts (just didn’t go through the phase of single words that some of our other friends’ kids have). It pretty much sold me on the concept. I think they started using it around six months, and it was maybe another 2-3 before she started signing back, but by a year she was signing pretty articulately and even making up new signs for things they hadn’t established signs for.
(I think the talking late thing may just be part of learning two languages concurrently, too—FI went to a dual immersion language school growing up, and has often said he thought his English writing skills were delayed because of that….but by middle school it had balanced out, and as an adult he can switch seamlessly between the two languages speaking and reading, which is pretty amazing.)
Post # 8
Egb- the two kids I’ve known who used it both had a speech delay. Nothing serious, but they just relied on their signing more than trying to use words so they just starting talking a bit later than oher kids. In my not-extensive research on the topic, that was something that came up as a “side effect.” Kids all develop at different times anyway so it’s really not a big deal. It’s not like they’re 5 and still not talking. And yes, a 3 year old can learn many languages when exposed to them. They are language learning machines as youngsters! Conversly, some research has shown that if a child is not exposed to language at all during this window, they lose the ability to learn language at all. They key really is just to be attentive to your child. Baby sign language can be a great tool, but it’s not something that is necessary either if someone doesn’t want to do it.
Post # 9
As the mother of an autistic hearing impaired and speech delayed child, I say go for it! Get those synapses firing at an earlier age and your childs capacity for learning is that much greater. And if there are undrlying speech or developmental delays that won’t emerge until preschool age, you’re already that far ahead of the game. Consistency is key, as is encouraging verbal and manual communication. Not too much different IMO than a child growing up in a bilingual household.
Post # 10
I thought about doing it with my kids, but never did it consistently. For those who do, I think it could be helpful but many babies have ways of communicating with the parent so I’m not sure it’s necessary.
I, personally, do not believe it will call speech delays if you’re talking to your child at the same time. As for the two language thing and speech delays, that’s a complete myth. My XH is European and speaks another language. I had the lucky chance to work with an expert speach pathologist and was able to discuss this very thing (learning two languages from birth) and was told that learing two languages does NOT cause speech delays AT ALL.
At first, babies they don’t even really differentiate between the two languages. For example, My two year old would mix English and the other language in sentences and use English conjugations for verbs (by adding ed at the end). They both talked at normal times (if not before) and they both have very advanced vocabularies and diction. So, I’m sure that it could be similar with baby sign language as long as the parents are talking to the children at the same time and doing it consistently.
My two cents for what they’re worth and sorry for the light threadjack. 🙂
Post # 11
I think it’s a REALLY good idea. Usually the point of using sign language with a baby is so that they will be able to communicate better before they’re able to talk. It decreases on the amount of tantrums that are majorly due to the fact that your baby cannot tell you what they need/want.
My mom did it with my little sister and it helped a lot. I’ve also nannied for several families who have used it and it’s been a HUGE help.
I plan on doing it with my children as well, and partly because my fiance is hard-of-hearing, I want our children to grow up knowing ASL as well.
I would recommend using The Signing Time DVDs, they are excellent! I myself actually love watching them too! I learn a lot and retain most of the information as well.
Post # 12
I just bought a book about baby signing at a garage sale yesterday! I’m excited to implement it! I personally believe you’ll have a much more well adjusted child, since your child will not suffer the frustration of you having to guess what they want all the time. Imagine living three years in a country where no one understood what you were saying ever! Wouldn’t you be completely frustrated??
Post # 13
We’ll be doing it. We already know a few useful baby signs (Papa, mama, all done, more).
Anything that will help Lemon communicate with us is good in my book. I’ve seen babies so frustrated at not being able to convey their meaning!
Post # 14
As an early childhood professional, I’ve actually always had a positive reaction to the Baby Signs. For me, anything that helps facilitate communication between baby and parents/caregivers is good. I haven’t read any official research-based studies that slows signing causes language delays. In fact, according to one of my EC profs, it can actually increase language/literacy development, because from a young age the child is taking an active role in communication and language. I’ve always just used the words accompanying the sign and as the child gets older, encouraged them to use the word in addition to the sign. Whenever I sign personally, I say the word along with it, for the repetition.
Post # 15
on a less serious note, does anyone else find it funny that on the short list of words is cookie and frog? that seems about right for a kid of mine, except I will have to add turtle! (luckily, I already know a tiny bit of sign, so this sounds fun to me!)
Post # 16
@cannotwait- haha! Darling Husband saw frog on the list and was confused by it. It was funny though because he was like “I can understand horse, but not frog. Why would they put that on there?”
And, just to reiterate, I definitely think teaching sign language IS a good thing and I have nothing bad to say about it. I just personally don’t feel like it’s necessary if you don’t want to do it, or if it’s not working out. A child that is otherwise on par with the learning curve will do just fine even without sign language. I nannied for a 14month old (started when he was 6mos and his parents actually were worried about him being behind in development) who knew his ABCs (could recognize the written letters, even when not in order), numbers, memorized his songs and books, etc and all this was just from lots of talking and interaction and not from signing. Maybe if my child seems to be struggling when the time comes, then I’ll reconsider.
On another note, I once assisted in a 1st grade classroom and the teacher was struggling to teach her students the sounds the letters made for reading in terms of sounding them out together, and there was a sign language method she was able to use to help them. The kinetic movement of making signs with their hands really helped them visually see the connections of the letters’ sounds and they were able to read much better! Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the method.