Sign Language for Baby

Updated on April 15, 2008
T.B. asks from Arlington, TX
51 answers

Does anyone know of a free web site that teaches American Sign Language? I think it will help my baby communicate with us while he is still learning to talk. I guess I could also check with my local library. Any ideas of some good resources?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for the positive responses. I have visited several of the web sites you all mentioned and am finding a wealth of information. I plan to also look into the PBS show "Signing Time". I am going to the class at the First Baptist Church, too, if it's not too late to sign up. My oldest boy is extremely interested as well. We went to the library and picked up a children's book of signs. He rarely picks up any books to read on his own but I caught him looking through that one this morning. Thanks a bunch. T.

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

T.,

Try this website http://www.lifeprint.com/. It has baby's first 100 signs and it also has all the ASL words and phrases.

L.

2 moms found this helpful
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T.D.

answers from Dallas on

Try ASL University on-line at www.asluniversity.com. When it opens up, you'll see an alphabet at the top of the page. Click on the letter for the word you want to find. My 9 yr old daughter is deaf/ HOH and this web-site has really helped me with my signing and understanding of the Deaf community. Hope it helps you.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.A.

answers from Dallas on

BAby Einstein has a video called "Baby's First Signs" - I picked one up for my grandson at Sam's for about $14
My daughter loved it
J.

1 mom found this helpful

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S.J.

answers from Dallas on

T.,

A few years ago I worked as a director of a Mother's Day Out program and we used "Baby Signs".
https://www.babysigns.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/aboutus.ma...

It is based on American Sign Language but is flexible and easy to understand and incorporate into everyday life. At around 6 months old when babies start to sit in a high chair and eat little finger foods such as Cheerios, we would constantly sign "juice", "cracker", "more", "please", "thank you", etc. (pertaining to what we were doing and talking about with the baby) The exciting part, the kiddos actually picked it up and were signing in a few months. (not fluent sentences but words pertaining to needs and wants) It was sooo cute!!

I also did a Google search and found a couple of websites you may want to check out. Best of Luck!!

Look at the dictionary of signs
http://www.mybabycantalk.com/index.aspx

http://signingbaby.com/main/?p=8

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F.F.

answers from Dallas on

My 3 year old son has Down Syndrome has been signing for over a year and right now it is his only form of communication. He absolutely loves watching videos called "Signing Time" made by a mom who has a little girl that is deaf. They have several of them at the Frisco Library. They are great because other kids are teaching them to sign, it keeps them really interested. There are also several books you can get that will teach you the signs so you can use them in conjuction with you verbalizing the word. It has been a life saver for us. Good luck and I hope this helps.

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

ASL.pro is my favorite. We used sign when my daughter who has Down syndrome was little. Today I sign at our church.

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S.

answers from Dallas on

If you are looking for just baby sign language(not for a child with specific hearing problems), you can go to half price books and get some great deals and lots of variety. I found two books there and my baby did so well with it. Really simple signs, but for a frustrated one year old, it was a miracle!

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L.P.

answers from Dallas on

T., it's great that you want to teach your youngest sign language as a bridge to communication before he starts to talk. I taught my daughter starting at 8 months and she had a signing vocabulary of 50 signs by the time she was a year, and 100 at a year and a half. She is quite the talker now at 2 and says mostly 5 word or more sentences. I loved teaching her to sign so much that I looked into teaching others this wonderful way to communicate with their hearing babies. The Baby Signs program is great. I became a certified instructor for the program because of the great research and curriculum to support it. You can get a Baby Signs book from any local bookstore, or online. Or, you might also find a copy in the library or Half Price Books. It is very easy to read. The library might have the older version, so you might want to check to see if it was updated around the year 2000. I love the PBS show "Signing Time" for myself to learn extra credit signs. I am always adding to my daughters signing repertoire, even though she speaks almost exclusively (except to communicate in extreme situations where someone isn't quite understanding her). Your youngest won't be able to watch the PBS show yet, but you will get a lot of education. I also recommend checking out the Baby Signs website (www.babysigns.com). You can find a local certified instructor and find out if they have either a play class or parent workshop in your area. Parent workshops are great for parents who want to learn the basics of baby sign language and then enjoy taking that knowledge and teaching their child on their own. The parent workshops are very affordable (usually $55 per couple and include a take home kit with resources to teach your child and yourself at home). In addition, Baby Signs has play classes for mom/dad and baby to interact with other children and parents who are also signing with their babies. A great way to get out of the house and have some mom/baby education time. I teach in the Arlington/Grand Prairie/Mansfield area, but you can find out any instructors in your area on the corporate website. Most instructors host free signing storytimes in the local area and other activities for signing families. I'm happy to answer any of your specific questions about signing with your baby or the Baby Signs program. Feel free to check out my website at www.see-n-sign.com for more info and my e-mail address.

Good luck and Happy Signing!!!

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R.L.

answers from Dallas on

they teach it at the comunity center in burleson. 6 classes for $40. ###-###-####

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

Hi,
What SJ said is right on. I too did this with both my girls, but the only resource I used was a small pink square book from Walmart (I can not find it there anymore but any baby sign book that has good pics will work). It showed the pics and using it naturally in your normal communication is all you really need to do. They will get it and it is so helpful.

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S.E.

answers from Austin on

I have a set of flash cards from parenting magazine. 50 easy words to sign, I love it. You should check out the link on www.parenting.com. good luck!

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

My twins and I learned sign language using the Baby Einstein DVDs.

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K.P.

answers from Dallas on

I tried unsuccessfully to find a sign language class for baby and mom that was not during the day - I work full-time. I found a Baby Einstein DVD that is called Baby's First Signs, and it is great. You may want to start with it.

Regards,
K.

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S.H.

answers from Abilene on

its not much but baby einstein has a couple of sign language movies - one is around the house (we have it and my daughter can almost do all the signs) and the other is around the neighborhood (i think) - these might help a little

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I would like to say that all the reccomendations are very good. I used sign with my all three of mine, and we did make up our own. Actually it does make sense to them--if you have studied Language then you understand that's how ASL was created in the first place. People needed to communicate with others who could not speak and they made up their own signs--several signs from several groups were merged together and obviously more were created to make ASL.

Using sign helps your baby understand that they can communicate with you without crying, and you can use it way before they talk because the modality of the language can be done at a younger developmental stage than speech.

I always said the words at the same time, and they used some signs longer than others, but it was always a joy for them to be able to tell you they wanted a cup or they were hungry. This was especially true for when other family members were watching them. They learned the signs as well,and it put me at ease to leave them for a little while.

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

Parents.com has a few signs that they teach, but you have to sign up for their free membership first. Also, I bought a couple of inexpensive books from babycenter.com.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

We used a book called "Baby Signs', I believe. It wasn't exactly American Sign Language, but was very similar. I don't know the author - gave it away. It was very helpful and fun to teach to our daughter. Seems like we got the book at a chain bookstore. It should be pretty easy to find it or something similar. Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from Lubbock on

my daughter's besy friend started teaching sign to her now two year old shortley after birth. her pedi told her not to teach her very much as she had started to depend on sigh instead of speach. she has now developed into a very active child and has retained a few sighs "eat" "more" and such. lots of luck

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

I got a book called Baby Sign Language for Dummies (or something similar). It's very straightforward, based on ASL and geared toward useful baby signs. Good luck!

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

T.,
First Baptist Church of Mansfield is starting beginning sign language today at 4:30-5:45pm. It will meet on Sundays. The text required is :The Joy of Signing" and the person to contact is Shirley Trigg at ###-###-####.

Hope this helps.
A.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

Unfortunately, Baby Signs is not ASL.

"There's no need to use made up signs, there's no research behind it and on so many levels it doesn't make sense!" - Sara Bingham, founder of WeeHands.

Check out WeeHands, which is ASL.

WeeHands :: helping parents and babies connect, learn grow!

The WeeHands Baby Sign Language group is designed as a place for parents who are interested in signing with their babies, toddlers and preschool children. WeeHands places a strong emphasis on using American Sign Language vocabulary with young children, as well as age-appropriate language development strategies.

Here you can get help and support both from other parents, child care providers, as well as WeeHands Licensed Instructors! This group is open to both parents and professionals who are signing with the children in their lives!

Please join in and share your signing stories and questions!
[email protected]____.com

I'm a member and have been signing with 9.5 mo Sierra since she was 5 mo. She signs ALL DONE, MORE, MILK and a 2 word sentence - MORE MILK. She speaks too! "Hi" "Hi Daddy" "Hi Kitty" All this verbage happened in the last 2 weeks!

We can also post to Mamasource and see if other ASL moms and babies want to get together for playdates.

PS It's never to late to learn ASL. Even your 7 and 6 yo will enjoy communicating with you and your 1 yo!

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

You can go to Google and ask for sign language, it will list a whole bunch of them. I quickly scanned them and found the Wikepedia Dictionary offers free sign. Hope this helps.

M.

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J.L.

answers from Dallas on

There is a show on PBS very early in the morning on, Sunday i believe, that teaches baby sign language.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,

Try Signing Time DVD's, they are available at the library.

D.

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N.W.

answers from Dallas on

www.americanbaby.com has some great basic sign language that's perfect for babies/toddlers. this site also includes animated pictures to teach parents the correct way to do each sign. this is a great site!

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J.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I don't know about free websites, but I know there is an awesome show called 'Signing Time'. They teach different signs and sing songs. My kids really liked it. The woman on the show started doing it because her oldest daughter is profoundly deaf. To find out what time it comes on, activities you can do, etc., go to their website at www.signingtime.com

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S.R.

answers from Dallas on

ASLpro.com is a sign language website. There is a section there that shows signs for babies. It has an interpreter actually signing, so you can see the proper way to sign. Hope this helps.

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A.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Well I don't know, any web sites but I can tell you that, it was GREAT for us I have a 2 yearold how is really smart and very articulate, I was told his vocabulary is far past what it should be for his age. I definately recomend baby signs it really helped him learn to speak sooner than I think he would have without it.

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M.K.

answers from Dallas on

T.,
I have used sign language with my daughter and it has been wonderful! I just started with a few signs like more and milk then progressed from there. There is a TV show on PBS called Signing Time that is great for learning new signs (they also offer DVD's but we don't watch that much TV). Gorbella's is offering a baby signing introductory class this Wednesday at 11:00
Here is some more info on that there is a fee of $2.00
When
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 11:00 AM
Where
Pulse Fitness Center
3900 Arlington Highlands Blvd Ste 209
Arlington , TX 76018
###-###-####
Info/Map
Who should come
Anyone interested in learning more about the Baby Signs play classes or just wanting to learn a few signs to start using at home. Children ages 6 months to 3 years will enjoy the play class experience.
Hope this helps.
M.

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B.D.

answers from Dallas on

PBS used to have signing times on in the evenings on Thursdays and that is how my kids learned to sign. Signing Times is a video (www.signingtimes.com) and they are GREAT! I highly recommend them.

I also read this book and this is wonderful for teaching most signs you would need for a baby:
http://www.amazon.com/Sign-Sing-Play-Signing-Activities/d...
I'm sure you can get it from the library. It has an index in the back so you can quickly find what you need.

My youngest is 17 mos old and picks up signs very quickly now. He signs a LOT. I also signed with my oldest. It really does eliminate most tantrums because they can talk to you. I highly recommend you try it!

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

I recommend going to Amazon.com and buying a book titled Baby Sign Language Basics by Monta Z. Briant. We bought it , and loved it. It worked well and was close at hand to find a sign quickly. It also sticks the closest to American Sign Language that is taught throughout the U.S. It's simple to read and the whole family will get caught up in it! It was so fun to have the kids sign that they loved us, or wanted milk, etc. Good luck!
C. M.

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

Just a suggestion but I would not go with the formal way of signing. I would try and find someone that is deaf to learn from. My cousin is deaf and I can see if she knows of any people that might help you out. Let me explain why i say go with a deaf person is, its like spanish. There is the proper way of speaking it but then there is the way that the spanish people speak it. Its just two totally diff ways. I will check with my cousin and see if she knows any thing.

Princess

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K.B.

answers from Dallas on

There used to be a show on PBS called Signing Time. You can check the videos at most libraries now (I don't think they show it on our PBS station anymore). My son and daughter learned tons of signs just by watching this show, and I really think it helped my daughter talk too. They go through each word several times and the kids really seemed to remember the signs quickly. We still love it!

K.

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T.F.

answers from Abilene on

I am a deaf education teacher in Texas. Of course, my students NEED ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate, but I think it is also a wonderful thing for hearing babies! I am currently teaching my own seven month old signs. I am always on the lookout for really good signing resources! One really great site that I know of is ASLpro.com. It is a little confusing to navigate at first, but once you find the dictionary, it has real people showing the signs, so it is better than learning from a book. Also, there is a GREAT set of DVDs called "Signing Times," which are the best ones I have found. You can find them at signingtime.com. Hope this helps! Good luck! :)

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C.E.

answers from Dallas on

SIGN LANGUAGE IS A MIND SAVER!! We use sign language with all 3 of our kids and you don't have to take a class to do it. We've just used the ASL online sign dictionary to find the sign for a word we want to use. We also used the Baby Einstein First Signs video. Very cute! Just keep it simple, you don't have to sign a complete sentence to communicate with each other. We started with the most important things to the kids: milk, eat, more, book, shoes, bath, hurt, mommy, daddy, please, thank you, hear/listen... We pick the words they want or need to communicate with us. If it's something important to your baby, your baby will be more motivated to use it. We've even made up a few of our own along the way. (moon and washing machine were especially funny) I must say using signs has been a huge help in keeping the frustration level down for everyone in the house. We even teach our babysitters some of the important signs (like milk & eat) so they will know what the babies want. Eventually we would add words in their environment: bird, cat, rain, and things like that. Have fun with it!

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T. B,
Here's a link I found with many different types of resources. Although they may not be free, perhaps you'll find some of these at the library! Just paste the following into your browser:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.aramedi...

Good luck!

C.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

There is a tv program called Signing Time that airs every Sunday morning on KERA at 6:30 (I usually Tivo it to watch later.) It's a fantastic program geared to parents and young children. In fact, the mother who created it leads the program and her daughter who is deaf is in the program. They also have a website which is www.signingtime.com. If you sign up for their e-mail, they send discounts for their store items which include cd's, dvd's and books.

Another free site not mentioned that I found in my online research that gives a large list of words is
http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm.

If you want to go the book route, I have a book called: Signing Made Easy by Rod Butterworth & Mickey Flodin which is very good because not only does it teach you words, but it teaches you sentences and phrasing. At the end of each course, it will also teach you fingerspelling techniques, how to read sign language and also have you sign the words. I've had this book for over 15 years and I still benefit from it. I highly recommend it for anyone interested!

Also, the Collin County Community College Sign Interperter program in Plano is very well established in the area and they may be able to provide some assistance. You can ask one of the students to tutor you or check with their offices to see what resources they have available to share.

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L.L.

answers from Dallas on
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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

Definitely check out what your library offers; ours has the whole "Signing Time" series and my girls (ages 21 months and 4 years) really love it!

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E.R.

answers from Dallas on

I started signing with my 18 month old when she was about 5 months and she now knows and uses over 50 signs. I believe that because of that, she also knows and says over 80 words. She is definitely able to communicate effectively with us. It's wonderful.

I recommend two videos called Baby signing time with Rachel Acevedo, Vol 1 and 2. You can find it on amazon. They are wonderful and will help your baby start signing within like 2 weeks. They are actually okay to watch, as the parent too!

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A.F.

answers from Wichita Falls on

www.mybabycantalk.com is a good place for beginners.
Also, at signbabies.com, you can buy products to help teach your baby sign language. I bought a set of signing flash cards (so worth it!) and might get some DVD's next.
There is also a website that fully teaches ASL, free courses, but I have forgotten the web address. If you'd like to check that out, search for 'free ASL courses', I'm sure you'll find something.

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M.J.

answers from Dallas on

We did baby sign language with my son and it was brilliant. He was able to clearly communicate his needs and wants. We used the book "Baby Signs". As we learned, kids adapt the signs that you teach them and create their own signs. Good luck!

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M.I.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,

I taught both of my girls basic sign language when they were 9 mos - 1 year. You don't need to tackle the whole language, start with 'more' and reinforce the word and the sign and the reward every time he wants 'more' milk, or more juice, or more singing, etc. it's an easy sign and then add in 'milk', 'please' and 'thank you.' He'll get the connection VERY FAST once the first one clicks for him. I simply picked up the first BABY WISE book and, if I remember correctly, many basic signs are included. It's a powerful tool for the little ones before they can talk! Great job!

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E.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,
What a great idea! Go for it! Yes, the local library is always a good start, to see what’s available. I'm a certified nanny and I do basic sign language with my little charges. I love it, as it helps tremendously to improve the communication between babies and parent/caregiver. I find it also keeps them entertained, which usually results in a less fussy baby. This is the book I use: “COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO Baby Sign Language”, by Diane Ryan, $14.95. I find it very user friendly. There are also several cool websites. This link offers an online sign dictionary, videos and Sign with Me DVDs: www.signwithme.com. Depends on how much time you’ve got?! to explore, this is what I found, when I googled: http://images.google.com/images?q=baby+sign+language&.... I wish you and your baby and older children lots of fun. E. M.

P.S.: This is a very basic sign language, for things like: milk, more, enough, thank you, please, cold, hurt, yes, no, etc., and doesn't take up a lot of time to learn for you. You just have to be consistent and make it fun!!! Your older children might like it too. Start with just one language sign at a time and even though when Baby just looks at you, s/he is taking it in and will eventually use it. Good luck! E. M.

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

T.,
I'm a grandma of 7, soon to be 9. I have 3 daughters that used baby sign language and it works wonderfully well! If you want to learn, it doesn't require a class. As a matter of fact there are a group of women that arrive at The Colony McDonalds each Thursday morning at 11:00 and hang out together with their troup of children for several hours. If you are bold and brave, you could walk up to this group and say "Hello, my name is T.. MiMi Linda sent me here to learn to use baby sign language." You will have NO trouble figuring out who they are in the playgound area.

Or, if you're not brave. I can connect you another way. Either way is PERFECTLY OK!

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

I know people who've used Baby Signs (including me!), but you really don't have to have a book. There's no right or wrong way to do it. Just be consistent with whatever sign you choose for a word. In fact, you will notice that your little ones will, a lot of times, pick their own signs for something (whether or not it's the "right" sign).

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G.N.

answers from Dallas on

Hello! After experiencing my 2nd baby's late talking, I decided on my 3rd to use Baby Sign Language. Some areas offer classes...like at Gymboree. However, we just bought the book "Baby Signs"...it's easy and fast to read and you'll be signing to baby the same day...fun fun! It really did help us with #3. And it was so cute to watch him learn. He started looking at my hands all the time to see if I was "talking" to him. He spoke at the normal time and eventually the signs just fell away. Good Luck!

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A.M.

answers from Abilene on

T. you can google american sign language and it will bring up their website. They have lots of great information. I have also been told that on the baby einstein videos they use sign language, it's worth checking into.

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

Talk to him, like you must of done with the other two children. He'll communicate you have two others what are you going too do teach them to sign as well, so they can Communicate with their brother..come on lady you have enough with three kids, don't add any more too the "mix". You must have too much time on your hands! Get in a mother's day out program, believe me he'll learn to speak soon enough. Your other two did, didn't they?

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

hi T.,
check out www.daywithyou.com. it's a new video series for children that uses sign language,, songs and play in each DVD.

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