An Early Start
Some mothers actually begin teaching their children sign language at birth. In fact, one woman was quoted as saying that her son understood the sign for milk at the age of three weeks. While this may sound a bit far-fetched, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that signing can be helpful to babies.
Dr. Joseph Garcia is credited with the popularization of baby sign language. He's the inventor of the "Sign With Your Baby" system. Certified instructors teach the language to parents and babies nationwide.
Sign Language Promotes Other Skills
Dr. Garcia has been quoted as saying, "Signing is different than verbal language in that there's an eye connection. You must look at someone when you're signing to them." The physician believes that the majority of babies can start learning American Sign Language at six to eight months of age. In addition to language skills, ASL helps to teach them the importance of stopping, looking, and listening — habits they can carry with them throughout life.
Through the system, an 18-month-old can learn how to sign more than 150 words — a phenomenal number by any count. Usually, parents start by signing the words for eating and milk. Of course, it takes a great deal of patience for a parent to teach sign language to a baby. In fact, it may be several months after the initial lessons before the baby begins signing on his or her own.
If a sign is paired with a spoken word, chances are the signing child will actually start talking sooner than his or her counterparts. People who answer yes to the question, should hearing babies learn sign language, claim that, rather than retard speech development, ASL actually promotes it.
Should hearing babies learn sign language? It would appear that there is certainly no harm in it, and that, in fact, it can help to improve communication between parent and child. And what could be better than that?
- E-books Teaching Parents And Carers How To Use Sign Langauge As An Early Means Of Communication For Use With Hearing Babies. Talk To Your Baby Before He Can Talk! British Sign Language.
- Learn How To Communicate With Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Speak Using American Sign Language! Includes Video Of 250 Signs!