Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ASL reduces Tantrums: what is your baby trying to tell you?

What does my baby want? Why all the crying? Are you hungry? Do you want to be able to communicate before they learn to talk? Many babies can learn to sign even at 6 months. If your little one is already waving good-bye and can hold a rattle, start signing!

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Why learn to sign? Baby signers cry less often since they are understood better. Once they can sign even a few words their frustration is reduced. Less frustration means less crying, less crying leads to less tantrums, which results in less stress for not only the baby, but your whole family. Even Fido will be happier. Although tantrum and stress reduction alone is a pretty big benefit, baby signers also learn to talk sooner. The 2-way communication helps to create stronger parent-child bonds.

The benefits don't end there. Signing increases your baby's self-confidence and helps self-esteem. Signing babies are often more interested in books and better readers. Studies have shown that 8 year olds that learned to sign at an early age can have IQ's 10-12 points higher.

How does this work?
Let's take the sign for "more," for example. You might give your baby a few spoonfuls of cereal and then stop. Then you would ask, "MORE? Do you want MORE?" (making sure to emphasize the word as you sign) Do it enough and your baby will catch on. You can use that same technique to teach that same sign in other contexts. For example, "more" of a book… "more" tickling. Just start the activity and then stop, always asking your baby if he wants "more."

From Extraordinary Benefits Result when you Teach Sign Language To Your Hearing Baby
By Diane Ryan

For the best results start signing between 6 months to 3yrs, but it is never too late to start. Like any new skill signing will take practice and repetition. Your baby will recognize signs before they can sign back, but soon you'll be having mini conversations. Think how much easier life would be even if they only learned 4 signs: Eat, More, Milk and Change (diaper).

If you're in Santa Monica (310) 998-1981, or Hollywood (323) 469-5300, CA look for our "Learning Little Signs" and "Sign & Sing with Little Treblemakers " classes. Call today for new class dates and times!

Complied from:
Sign Language - Start Baby Signing - By Nancy Cadjan, Updated April 28, 2009

Using Baby Sign Language with Your Baby - By Jamie Berke, Updated July 14, 2009

Original Baby Signs Study - from babysigns.com


cher said...

I learned ASL in college. I think it would be awesome to try a few signs out with a baby who's not able to speak yet. Great Idea!