Using Sign Language with hearing children

Hickory, Dickory, Tickle, and Bounce                     Week 2 

Throughout Hickory Dickory, Tickle and Bounce, you will learn various signs in American Sign Language.  We started using signs with the song “Love Somebody”, and if you need to review the signs, you can find them in your Home Journal in the back.  This week’s journal page is on the benefits of signing with hearing babies. 

New research shows that even hearing children who learn sign language know more words than children who don’t know sign language. Typically babies are ready to respond to signs at around six to nine months of age, but they may be recognizing signs earlier than that.  Find out more at www.signingbaby.com , where you will see pictures of babies making signs.  Fascinating! 

baby-sign-candy.jpg   “candy”        baby-sign-more-eat.jpg    “more” and “eat”

As you go through your day, you may be surprised how often you can incorporate the signs we’ve explored thus far: “Book,” “Love,” “You,” , “Yes”, “No”, “Up,” and “Down.”  Watch closely and you may find that your baby creates new signs for things such as “all done,” “milk,” “sleepy,” and others. 

Cora’s first signs, around 10 months old, were “more” and “finished”.  At 15 months, she also used “help”, “please”, “down”, “up”, “walk” and “stop”, and sometimes “no”.  For some reason, she always verbalized “yes”.  Several of you commented that you use a few signs with your baby as well, mostly “eat”, and “more”, and one family regularly uses the sign for “shoes”.  There was a new sign that a parent showed us this week, for “Amen”, so the child could participate in mealtime prayers.  Excellent!

Children are very motivated to learn these words!  From all the families I know that have used sign language with their children, I have only heard good things.  The parents truly feel that building communication skills, way before they can talk, resolves a lot of frustrating issues, both for the parent, and for the child. 

I look forward to learning about all you’ve “said” to each other at our next class.

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