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Baby Sign

Baby Sign
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Baby Sign involves using sign language
to communicate with infants and toddlers.

Children of an early age have a desire to communicate
their needs and wishes, but lack the ability to do so clearly.
This often leads to frustration and tantrums.

Hand-eye coordination is easier than the coordination of speech,
which requires coordinating the lips, tongue, breath, and vocal
chords simultaneously. By using simple signs for common words
such as "eat", "sleep", "more", "hug", "play", "cookie",
"teddy bear", etc., infants can learn to express their needs
before they are able to produce understandable speech.

Babies in deaf families, immersed in a signing environment,
use simple signs from as early as 6 weeks.
Some parents feel that they don't have enough time
to teach their baby sign language, but by using sign with each other
in front of the baby, they will need to spend little time in actual instruction.

Use of Baby Sign is growing, but still not widespread.
This is at least partially due to the fear that children
who sign will not learn to speak properly later on.
However, all available research shows that hearing children
who sign as infants go on to develop particularly rich spoken
vocabularies, as well as a tendency to solve problems through
communication rather than tantrums. They may also teach sign to
younger siblings after they themselves have switched to speaking
with their parents.

Parents who have some enthusiasm for sign language may already know
the local adult signs for "eat", "sleep", "more", "play",
but may find it more natural and productive to use simpler "baby"
versions of these words. Some may gradually introduce adult signs
as the infant grows. It is, however, common for parents to teach
their babies non-simplified signs from adult sign language such as
American Sign Language rather than specific Baby Sign.


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