English/ French

Monday, October 19, 2009

Silent Communication and Early Learning

More and more parents are now discovering the world of Sign Language and using it to communicate with their babies at a very early age. Sign language gives the child a means of communication before they are able to use verbal language. It is amazing to see how much they understand!

Sign Language is a language, just as English, French or Spanish are languages. There are different sign languages as well. One of the most commonly used in North America is ASL, or American Sign Language. However, when it comes to baby sign language, parents can also use their own signs to communicate a word or phrase. Whatever you feel most comfortable with, as long as your signs are consistent and you and your child both understand the meaning!

We use sign language with Emma and all of my dayhome children use baby sign language. It is a fantastic way to communicate! Only one of my dayhome children is using verbal words and very minimal at the moment. They are able to tell me when they are “all done” a meal or activity, and when they want “more” of something. One child is also able to say “please”. I know if I had worked a bit harder with Emma there would be even more signing but we focused on mealtime as the main point of interest in having her communicate. We are now using more signs when we speak with her. I now use “help”, “stop”, "please", "thank you" and “sleep”. I have sign language cue cards and a g

reat book but I find DVDs are a wonderful way to learn with your baby as you can see the lesson!

The Baby Einstein series of DVD’s has a Baby Sign Language version which is a great way to learn basic words such as ‘Mommy’, ‘Daddy’, ‘cookie’, ‘baby’ etc. The children also enjoy watching this movie as it is created to suit their attention-span.

One of my most FAVORITE resources are the Signing Time DVD’s. These are so much fun and very educational. They sign to very fun songs and teach many, many different signs. I

was first introduced to these DVD’s when I worked at a playschool and I fell in love with them. The children thought they were fun and they were learning so much at the same time. Visit their website to learn more!

I would encourage any parent to use baby sign language, even if it is only a couple of words. It is a lot of fun for your child to learn and gives you such an amazing feeling to know you have given your child a means of communication well before they are able to speak verbally! What a gift.


mapsgirl said...

We signed with our girls and I totally feel that it made the biggest difference in the world!

Our favorite signing tools are found here: http://www.mocobabies.com/

Tessa said...

I sign with my son and he is jsut starting to verbalize at 18 months. But I've been communicating with him since he was 11 months old. My favorite sign that he knows: diaper change. He will often tell me if he wants one but sometimes he will even tell me before he needs one! I check his diaper and it's dry but then within about 5 minutes he's soiled it. Fantastic start to potty training!

Tessa said...

don't know if my last comment posted or not. My son is 18 months old and just starting to verbalize. He's been signing since he was 11 months though. My favorite sign: diaper change. He will sometimes even tell me when he's dry and then I check 5 min later and he soiled it. Great start to potty training!

Drew said...

OMG I want this DVD. I had some girl come into my drug rehab and she was deaf. It was so hard to communicate with her.