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Sign Language

Why do we incorporate sign language in our infant and toddler programs?

 

Babies are communicating to the best of their ability as soon as they are born. They develop at an incredible rate during the first three years. A newborn infant cries when it needs something because it has no other choice. He cannot point to what he wants, say what he wants or move to what he wants.

Soon he will develop cries that are slightly different from one another, taking communication one step further. Parents learn to tell the "hungry" cry from the "tired" cry or the "hold me" cry.

Then he will start to coo and babble, trying to tell you about his world.

And then he will start pointing at objects and using the tone of his voice to get a point across. This phase lasts from around 4-6 months up until around two years. That is a long span of time to have limited communication when it is entirely possible to have wonderful conversations with your child that you can actually understand!
 

Baby Sign Language is much more natural than most parents realize. We all teach our babies to wave "Bye-bye", shake their head "Yes" or "No." We show them how to blow on their food when it`s "Hot" or gently pet our arm if we want them to be "Gentle." These are all gestures used in Baby Sign Language. Expanding their vocabulary gives you and your child some great advantages.

By teaching them signs for things like "Eat", "Drink", "More" and "All Done" you eliminate many tantrums that come from a child being hungry and not having the tools to communicate what they need.

 

Being able to tend to your babies needs without the frustration is reason enough to teach them baby sign language, but there are many more incredible benefits.

Teaching Baby Sign Language promotes healthy social and emotional development. Being able to communicate gives your child the opportunity to explore more and share more allowing them to develop to their full potential.

Teaching Baby Sign Language helps babies learn to talk sooner. One of the most common concern we hear  is "Will my baby learn to rely on signs and decide not to speak?" Scientific studies prove exactly the opposite. When a baby learns to crawl they realize that they can get from here to there and work on improving that skill into something that works even better. The same goes for signing. A baby realizes they can communicate and grasps the concept of communication at a much younger age. When you understand what your baby is saying you repeat it back allowing them to hear the words more often, helping them to learn to speak the word sooner.
 

The benefits of Baby Sign Language don`t end when your child starts talking. Most children start dropping their signs as they start speaking more words, eventually leaving all their signs behind. But the benefits of what they`ve learned have just begun.

The more gestures a baby uses at 14 months the larger their vocabulary is at 4.5 years. A larger vocabulary is directly linked to a higher level of success later in life.

Babies who were taught to sign scored an average of 12 points higher on an IQ test at age eight than those who were not taught to sign!



 

 

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