Teaching Sign Language To A Baby Is Quite Easy


  • Author Nick Clipton
  • Published October 6, 2008
  • Word count 626

There are many reasons that sign languages have been introduced into a child's life. Most of the time we as parents don't think about sign language or teaching the language to our children if they are not hearing impaired. Today there are many individuals and parents who have found sign language can be helpful to communicate with their child as they are growing up whether they are hearing impaired or not. There are several tips in the following article on how to teach sign language. Most of these tips will focus on the hearing impaired, but remember anyone can learn sign language to help boost their communication skills overall.

Teaching sign language to a baby is quite easy and can be a very enjoyable experience. Infants use a different part of their brain for signing than speech and they also develop the muscles in their hands before those which are required for speech thus enabling them to sign successfully before speaking. Research has shown that signing babies experience less frustration due to the fact of being able to communicate their needs and wants to their parents. In addition to this there are many other advantages of teaching sign language to your infant. Research shows that being multilingual expands cognitive processes and intellectual skills as well as it boosts the lingual developments of an infant. So in fact as opposed to the existing myths regarding sign language delaying speech in a child, signing children actually speak sooner than those who do not. Children who sign, has shown stronger lingual development and higher IQ results (10-12 points) than those who do not sign.

Have you ever watched a baby wave bye-bye or point to their mouth when they are hungry, or have your seen a little one point to his nose when it needs to be wiped? These are all symbols of communication, in other words, sign language. They are communicating to you what they want and are expressing it without speech. It is very easy to encourage such a natural form of communicating and to turn it into the use of sign language. You can do this on a daily basis with your child with little effort on your part. This is not a time consuming chore. This can be just a natural part of your communication with your child as well as the rest of the family. You can start using sign language as early as 6 months of age. It will not show up for a few months until they are able to sign back to you, so don't become discouraged.

The following method of teaching your child sign language is simple for both you and your child. When teaching, first say the word you want them to learn. Next, demonstrate the word yourself while saying the word out loud. Finally, show them how to say the word themselves in sign language. For example, when I was teaching my daughter "more" I would first say "more". I would then demonstrate how to say "more" in sign language while saying it out loud. I would do this when she would grunt during mealtime. After I demonstrated it myself, I would then take her hands to show her how to say "more" herself, again saying the word out loud. After a few days of doing this at each meal she finally was able to say "more" herself in sign language. I would use this same method for all words I wanted to teach her. This way she would hear the word, see the word, then do the word herself.

By saying the word, demonstrating the word, then showing your child how to sign the word, your child will pick up these few key words fairly quickly and easily.

Remember, as with anything you teach your child, teaching them sign language takes time, effort, and patience. The payoff of teaching these few words is well worth it though, for both you and your child. - http://www.signlanguagereviews.com/

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