No Myth’s, And’s or But’s About It: Baby Sign Language Works

Some people have doubts about things when they don’t know if it works, including doubting that Baby Sign Language works.


Myth: American Sign Language is just for Deaf people to communicate with

But: Sign Language, whether it is British, French, or American is a language that is inclusive for all people.

And: All pre-verbal babies can benefit by using sign language to express their needs. We know that babies as young as five months can demonstrate that they have a need or a want, for example babies reach for items they want and by crying when not understood. To make a sign requires gross motors skills which is developed before speech.

All toddlers benefit from using baby sign language to enhance their developing speech skills and for reading readiness.


Myth: Baby Sign Language delays children’s speech development

But: Baby Sign Language has the opposite effect on children’s language development. It is a tool when used daily enhances a child’s speech development. Babies understand what they see before they can by hearing words. Babies are fascinated by your movements and your face; parents can use baby sign language to be more descriptive then speech and to expand on their child’s communication skills.

And: At the Inclusion Playland American Sign Language is used in combination with total communication. Total communication uses the three ways people learn. Total communication is visually (sign language, symbols, pictures, verbally (speech, singing, rhyming) and kinetically (sign language, dance, movement).

Myth: My child has started to talk, and Sign Language is no longer helpful.

But: American Sign Language is still useful to a child who is speaking because it can be used to improve reading readiness. Signing keywords when reading allows them a deeper understanding of the word and they feel like they are reading along with you. Books for toddlers are simple with only one theme and a few words on each page. Word recognition is improved with the continued use of signing to children.

And: American Sign Language can be used to supplement children’s vocabulary. Children begin developing speaking and communicating with cooing and babbling, followed by a slew of consonants then one-two-and three-word sentences. Signing to your child can help with the progression in several ways. The first is using two-word sentences to respond when your child is using one. Use three-word sentence responses when your child is using two. When your child for example says “Bird” you respond and sign with “yes, Blue Bird’ and “yes, Big Blue Bird”.

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