K.D. asks from Bremen, ME on April 14, 2008
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!
2 moms found this helpful
W.D. answers from Boston on April 15, 2008
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 ..
C.L. answers from Boston on April 14, 2008
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
S.M. answers from Boston on April 14, 2008
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.
1 mom found this helpful
M.C. answers from Hartford on April 15, 2008
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.
G.M. answers from Boston on April 14, 2008
I used the Sign With Your Baby, too and liked it. Not all the signs are ASL, though. I know some ASL and used kind of a combination with my kids. I guess it depends what you want out of the experience. I just wanted to reduce the frustration of a pre-verbal baby, and to increase language readiness. Our system worked great for that, but now that my kids are older, they are not ASL users. If you want a child to be a life-long signer, it would be better to use an ASL-based curricula.
By the way, we LOVED signing with out babies. It was wonderful to communicate with them this way.
Also, I have a friend in CA who teaches classes in baby signing. I think her business is a franchise with locations across the US. If you are interested enough, send me a message and I'll ask her for more info.
Enjoy signing with your little one!
R.B. answers from Providence on April 16, 2008
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.
A.P. answers from Providence on April 15, 2008
Sign With Your Baby by Dr. Joseph Garcia worked great for us.
T.M. answers from Boston on April 15, 2008
If you contact Irene Duke at Massasoit Community College (Brockton campus)she will be able to tell you about the best books you can get for infant/toddler sign language. She teaches sign language at the college and often does workshops for early childhood educators. The best time to start simple signs is when your child is 8 months old. Just keep doing the signs while saying the words for it and eventually your child picks up on these cues. It may be best to take a class/workshop where you can actually see how to do the signs. Sometimes the books do not always have a good representation of how to make the signs correctly. Good luck with your quest.
R.B. answers from Boston on April 15, 2008
I'm not sure of the name, but I know there is a Sesame Street book on sign language. You could refer to the American Sign Language on the internet, and I'm sure you will find various books.
My daughter was born with Down Syndrome and was delayed in talking. They used some sign language with her in order to alleviate the frustrations of not being able to tell people what you want. She used a few signs, and then started talking.