Babies, from their earliest moments, know what they need and want. But expressing it is another story. How can we breakthrough this invisible wall?? The key is American Sign Language.
“As your baby grows, their receptive language (what they can understand) will develop more quickly than their expressive language (what they can express with words or signs). It is in these early months that you really want to start capitalizing on the engagement that comes with receptive language,” says Colleen Brunetti, M.Ed., C.H.C.
The consistent and repetiouus use of American Sign Language in the daily interaction with an infant and/or toddler can reduce temper tantrums, fussiness and become a building block to a more confident child, because their needs can be expressed and then met.
Teaching a baby sign language starts with the most basic of words. One word that is instinctive to their survival…..”milk”, is commonly the first word they will recognize. When parents and caregivers, consistently use the signs, babies start to connect the symbol to the act or item. The sooner you begin signing with your infant, typically the sooner you will see results. It is not uncommon for a parent to begin signing with their child at the tender age of 2-3 months. With this early start, we will sometimes see the child’s signs emerge by 10 months old.
Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwin, two leaders in the research field, did a study of the affects of teaching American Sign Language to infants and have had very interesting findings. According to their research, children who signed in infancy and beyond showed better language skills, larger vocabularies and even higher IQ scores.
With all of this information, we know that the earlier we can provide our non-verbal children the gift of communication, the sooner they are able to express and engage in the conversation with us.
Signing Time, an-award winning children’s PBS series, has taken these findings and built an educational foundation to catapult and stimulate our children’s communication ability. Rachel Coleman, co-creator of SigningTime, has developed a wonderful program of DVD’s, CD’s and other resource materials for families. Starring in these herself, Rachel brings an easy and fun approach to learning American Sign Language. Each DVD is filled with songs and movement to entertain both young and a little more-than-young alike!!
Due to the efforts of nine Signing Time Academy instructors, Austin is proud to be hosting an upcoming Rachel Coleman LIVE! Concert on Saturday Aug 9th at LifeAustin Church. Tickets may be purchased at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/717076 .
For more information on local Baby Sign Language classes in the Austin area, please contact Amy Joines at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy, owner of The Signing Connection, is a certified Baby Signing Time instructor through Signing Time Academy, and serves the Round Rock/Austin/San Marcos area.