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Sign Language for Babies. How to increase your child's intelligence level.

Updated on February 22, 2015

Science is constantly making improvements on the way we communicate and providing instant information. A new breakthrough has arrived in the form of communicating with babies. Research has found that babies can learn sign language starting at the age of six months. This technique is also being utilized with children with learning disorders and autism.

The act of signing goes back to the beginning of time. Cave men signed before they were able to express their ideas through speech, and signing was a way of communication with the American Indian. The average child, including autistic children, and children with speech disorders, can sign approximately three times the amount that they are able to communicate verbally. This can reduce frustration and tantrums of children who are unable to communicate their needs orally.

Parents need to speak the words orally as well as performing the sign for the desired symbol. Children at the age of 19 months can request milk or advise the parent they are finished eating. Once a child is able to communicate by speaking they no longer sign their requests. The act of signing is not a replacement for speaking but a learning tool to learn how to communicate orally.

At times, children who are autistic or speech impaired ,will use the same word while speaking for several different request or items. Research has found they are better able to make their thoughts and intentions known through signing. Signing increases gross motor skills and brain activity.

To begin signing with your child, parents should learn a few words that can be used right away. Suggested signs are for eating, milk, and finished. Signing and signing techniques can be found online, through your local library, or classes that teach signing for the deaf. Parents have reported a huge decrease in crying, due to the frustration of children, who are unable to communicate their wants and needs to others. After utilizing this technique, both parent and child have achieved decreased stress and sucessful communication.

Children who have signed during infancy tend to talk earlier than children not exposed to this alternative and have higher intelligence levels. Studies show that children that signed during infancy scored approxamately twelve points higher on IQ test at the age of eight years of age. Start simple, teach your child a few words at a time. Who knows, you may learn a few things yourself along the way

Signing with Autistic Children

Autism is a brain disorder which adversely affects behavior, social skills, and the ability to communicate, in infants and children with this disease. The disorder causes restricted and repetitive behavior. Teaching autistic children sign language can provide communication in cases where the child has not been able to develop oral communication. Signing is easier for most autistic children than learning language.

Signing increases cognitive skills and the ability to retain knowledge at a later date. The areas of the brain which control speech and language are stimulated by signing. Research has shown that teaching autistic children signing decreases social behavior such as tantrums, anxiety, self injury , and aggression.

Signing with Downs Syndrome Children

Children affected with Downs Syndrome are slower to develop speech and language skills. Teaching sign language, along with verbal reinforcement, is shown to improve the communication skills of children with this disorder.

Kent State University studied a child with Downs Syndrome for an eight month period and found that words that were initially signed were spontaneously spoken. Most signs evolved into spontaneous speech. The study determined that use of simultaneous signing supports the formation of speech.


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