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Learn How to Sign With Your Baby through Their Language

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/2/2006 | Parenting

So, you are at your wits end dealing with your little baby who never seems to be satisfied with anything and throws up tantrums to wreck havoc on your nerves. Please dont blame it on the poor soul! It is all because his inability to express his demands or state clearly what is bothering him so much frustrates the little thing. Maybe it is gas in the stomach; maybe it is a pain in the ears. You never know what is in his little mind unless he shares them with you.

What are you thinking? It is impossible for a baby as little as six months old to communicate with you on the matter that exactly irritates him? It is possible through a little training in the sign language program. Early sign language training can do such a wonder that your baby will actually ask you to change his diaper as and when he wets it.

Still skeptical? Lets discuss in details.

Inside the deaf community, it has always been the open secret that the hearing babies of deaf parents can respond to sign language from an age as young as few weeks. This proves that young babies can be trained to make some basic signs to communicate with their parents long before they learn to talk. This piece of notion however led many a researchers to build up the programs of special baby sign language that are easy to learn and not as complex as the standard sign languages as American Sign Language (ASL).

A common misconception relating to baby sign language is that if the babies become habituated to get every thing literally at their fingertips they may not be interested in using the vocal language to communicate with the others.

On the contrary, prolonged researches have established that sign language has a number of educational benefits:

  • The babies that have undergone sign training in their infancy develop higher IQ in the latter course of their lives than those who havent learnt sign languages as babies.
  • Then the sign language trained babies become active communicator in the latter course of their lives.
  • The signing babies have a better control over their environment.

Now the question is how the parents would train their babies to use signs to speak out their minds to their parents. There are two major options:

    1. You can go for any standard sign language like American Sign Language. But in most of the cases, these signs are far too difficult for a babys motor skills.
    2. As a new parent if you are not short of money you can join a baby sign language training course. Two most popular courses have been developed by Joseph Garcia and author duo Linda Acredolo & Susan Goodwyn respectively.

There is another option and that is the easiest: develop a sign language between you and your child. Choose a word and use a particular sign every time there is any occasion of using that word. For example, use a particular sign every time you are giving your child his favorite toy. Make it a point to repeat the sign along with speaking it loudly every time you are using the thing and the child gets the impression that whenever he would need it he has to make that sign.

Once your child becomes familiar with the use of sign corresponding to a particular object, now gradually introduce her to new words", but once at a time and with good number of repetition.

As your child learns to make signs to reflect different words that are important for her, a sluice gate of communication will open up before you and your child. Repetition and revision are the keys to your success and never bother   if the signs aren't "proper" sign language. The signs that help to overcome the communication gap between you and your child ARE the proper sign language and teaching your child these signs will surely be the great source of fun and personal bonding.