Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sign, Baby, Sign -- Suzie Button's Side Dish...

And also, here's my alternative header for my Suzie Button Side Dish, isn't this cute?!!
Today's a story about sign language...for Babies! I think it's an interesting topic since my first Grandaughter, Madison, is set to be born in April. When I had children no one would have thought, oh, let's teach baby sign language!!
Going a bit off topic here, before I worked as a broadcast captioner, I worked as a CART provider. What's that, you say? Well, it's an acronym for Communication Access Real-time Translation. I used my skills to provide the words in classrooms in middle school, high school and college courses for Deaf and HOH (hard-of-hearing) individuals. These students would read off of a laptop on their desks what the teachers and students were saying in the classroom setting instead of having a sign language interpreter. Because at that time I worked in the public school system in the Deaf Education Program, I had the opportunity to take SEE (Sign exact English) sign language courses for FREE! I wanted to be able to communicate with all the kids in the program, and I saw it as a wonderful bonus of the job, so I took classes for a couple of years. So, thus, I became interested in Sign language and I learned of its value.
What are the arguments for teaching babies sign language though? Here's some thoughts...
>> Children with baby sign language seem to get a head start on communication.
>> Reciprocal communication between parent and infant through sign language relieves frustrations for both.
>> Babies or toddlers who learn sign language seem to have more words at their command than other children--even through the age of three.
>> Your baby or toddler can communicate with other babies who sign -- it's incredible to see two toddlers signing.
I'm all for reducing frustration in babies, but could using sign language delay babies learning to speak? Or is it just making them bilingual?
Have you had an experience in baby sign language? I'd love to hear about it!
In the coming weeks I hope to share more personal stories related to hearing loss, and introduce you to some really interesting people I've met because of my wonderful career as a communication provider in both CART and captioning! So please come back!
In the meantime Suzie says...
I know you understand this sign! It's universal! Happy Side Dish! Suzie


  1. I am always thinking about taking a sign language course as my mum is slightly hearing impared. She should wear an aid but finds it unhelpful and relies on lip reading and her good ear!

    With my nephew entering the world a few months ago I'd be interested to in what people have to say about baby sign language!

    Victoria x

  2. I think sign language is excellent for children and would be a great thing for babies. When Jace first started loosing his speech at 15 months he was so frustrated. Jace started speech therapy at about 18 months and the first thing they did was to teach him some signs, like.....more, all done, music, and so on. It was so helpful to me and really helped him to communicate with us. If he had started as an infant it could have really helped with the frustration level. Personally, I think it is a wonderful idea!