37 answers

Sign Language with Infants/toddlers

Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows of good books about how to do sign language with toddlers and/or at what age it is best to start teaching sign language. I've known some people who have tried this and it seemed to really help with the "terrible twos" but I don't really have any other information, any suggestions would be great!

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you don't need a book, just go to the American Sign Language website.. they show you all the signs you need. Beverly School for the Deaf has info too. Good luck, it helped us with my speech delayed kid ..

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start now if can... so your daughter can learn by receive the sign language and will express for commucation when she older.. she will sign then speak... :commucation with the family better.

i am deaf mom, my son is also deaf. i would choose the book careful. i will get back to you tonight with 1 book that i DONT LIKE because wrong sign... and it made us and people who learn sign from that look like fool.. that book is for baby/toddler. all other book or movie is wonderful esp that 1 book i dont like. i will let u know what the name of that book to AVIOD :o)

the respond below me, the show on PBS Is great too!

1 mom found this helpful


I am not deaf (and neither is anyone in my family), but I started signing with my now four year old son very young (about 3 months). He signed simple things like "more" and "milk" from a very young age. Now, that he a preschooler, we use it mostly to tell secrets across a room or I can tell him to "listen" to his teacher or "wait" his turn at swim lessons from across the ymca.

We used Baby Signs (book) and Signing Time (dvds). The Baby Signs book http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Signs-Revised-Linda-Acredolo/d...
is not true ASL because many the signs have been simplified for babies who do not have the fine motor coordination to fully sign ASL. Some people are more rigid with their signing, but I found it useful.

We also used Signing Time (and its related Baby Signing Time) dvds are true signs taught by a mother and her deaf daughter. They have written great songs (the mom is a singer/songwriter in her own right). They are a great way to learn with your child.

Whatever you decide, do not let any ever tell you that it will impair language development. The exact opposite is true. My son is one of the most verbal children you have ever seen and he signed, and still does. It has also helped him as he is learning to spell now. He is learning to finger spell words as he learns to spell words in letters (at just over four years old).

I think that children who learn to sign learn that the purpose of language is to communicate with others as opposed the those who only learn traditional oral language which often starts with learning to label items. Children are able to understand before they can produce language (that is a physiological fact), so signing provides a way to relay that understanding. Children are able to move their bodies/hands before they are able to make certain sounds. So, I think you may be right about lessening the tantrums, which are usually caused by children not communicating well with others.

Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

I wouldn't really recommend learning signs, even just "baby signs", from a book unless it's your only option. Most libraries have baby signing tapes or dvds at this point, or can get them for you from another library via interlibrary loan. Video is really helpful with any kind of signing because signing is 3-D. Also, if you want the signing to be something your baby could potentially build on (in order to learn a fun second language) make sure the signing method you choose is an ASL-based signing method, not an English-based signing method. They really are two totally different languages, with different syntax, etc.

I started signing late with my daughter, around 10 months. Start whenever you feel like it tho, now would be a good time! Build up those neural pathways, get her used to seeing the signs, and she'll make the connections when you least expect it. :) We used the kit "Sign with your Baby", http://www.sign2me.com/ . We also like the Saturday morning TV show called "Signing Time" on PBS, and we use a website with ASL videos to help us teach words on our own. :) My daughter is 6 yrs old now, and LOVES learning new signs. She did drop it for a while, but is back at it happily. The website for the ASL browser is: http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm

Enjoy, it's a LOT of fun!!

Hi, yes!! We taught my son some sign language. He had almost no tantrums. Now, my 18 month daughter, has only learned a few signs. She has daily tantrums. Partly, it may be due to the differences between girls and boys, first and second born, or many other things. But, we think it's mostly the sign language.

I haven't found any books that I love. I would be interested to learn of any that other people tell you about. We have had great fun with the Signing Time videos. I borrow them through our library since they're pretty expensive. We've watched them with some friends of ours, and everyone loves them. Rachel, the signer and singer, created this series for her daughter, Leah, who was born deaf.

Even if you just teach signs for milk, more, cookie, cracker, book, "I love you", apple, juice and banana, you'll notice how well they can communicate at such a young age.

I hope this helps. Good luck. R.

baby einstine has a good video sign with me i have checked it out of the library twice and has helped me learn the signs making it easier for me to teach my son, it isnt every word but basic words for baby like eat drink, more, milk, story, sleep, blanket, mommy, daddy, baby stuff like that. It really has been fun to watch him catch on he can sign milk more and eat so far. Goood luck

Kelly, my nephew is 2 and has speech problems so the therapist has taught him how to use sign language instead of grunting and pointing. The library should have sign language books for toddlers. If not you can google the info online. There are websites that show the signs for words just can't remember them right now. I have an older friend who was born deaf and his daughters are both hearing but they learned sign language at a little earlier time then most children began to talk. hope this helps.

Sign With Your Baby by Dr. Joseph Garcia worked great for us.

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