Friday, December 15, 2017

Baby Sign Language Enhances Child Development

January 22, 2007 by  
Filed under Parenting

Teaching your baby sign language addresses their desire to communicate their needs at an early age. A baby’s lack of ability to communicate with adults is the primary source of frustration and tantrums. With practice parents, infants and toddlers can communicate fluently and clearly using baby sign language.

A comprehensive study done by neurologists, psychologists and child development specialist prove that hand-eye coordination is easier to learn than speech which requires the simultaneous coordination of the lips, tongue, breath, and vocal chords.

However the use of baby sign language is not yet widespread due to the misconception of many parents that children who use baby sign language will not learn to speak properly later on. In fact the study reveals children who use baby sign language during infancy go on to develop exceptionally rich spoken vocabularies, as well as a predisposition to solve problems through communication rather than throwing up tantrums. Besides, children who learn baby sign language are able to teach younger siblings after they themselves have learned to switch to spoken language communication with their parents.

Parents are not aware that their baby has a lot to tell; if the baby is able to communicate through baby sign language, they acquire better communication skills and less tantrums, develop a stronger parent-infant bond, literacy is increased and vocabulary is further enhanced, the ability to speak earlier is greatly developed and their average IQ is shown to increase by as much as 12 points.

In teaching your baby sign language, make sure that you do not make up your own signs but rather adopt the America Sign Language (American Sign Language) or alternatively, you can search the Internet for resources on how to acquire training videos for baby sign language.

Using video-based training modules ensure that the sign language learned by your baby is the universal sign language clearly understood by other baby signers and child care centers. This ensures that the baby sign language is the medium of communication between babies and the adults who interact with one another. Having a common language to communicate with further enhances a child’s language skills as the child is motivated further than the basic need based signing.

Baby sign language is a powerful motivator for young children to develop their spoken language skills because it makes them feel part of the adult world rather than the world of children due to their advanced communication skills and aptitude.

Parents can help their children by teaching them basic signing language related to food, sleep, play, drink, change me and then progress on to signs of related objects and animals around like doggy, television, toy, friend, sister, brother etc. In this way, a parent directly helps build the young child’s vocabulary by teaching signs for object, animals and people the child develops an attachment to.

Babies adept at sign language are more motivated to increase their vocabulary because of their experience with the power of communication through signing. Many babies who learned to communicate through sign language actually start to speak earlier compared to babies who have not learned the art of signing.

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