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Communication Through Sign Language for Babies and Late Talkers

Updated on January 4, 2015

Babies come into this world ready to communicate. Caregivers can often tell if a baby is hungry, tired, or in need of a new diaper by listening to the cry. Introducing sign language can give a baby an early way to communicate.

Benefits of Signing with Children

As children, we learn language through three modes (in this order): gestures, oral language, and written language. For example, first we learn to wave goodbye, then say goodbye, then finally we learn to write it. When a child who doesn't speak wants something they will often point. It is frustrating for a child when they can't communicate their needs/wants. It sometimes leads to whining or even full temper tantrums. One way to alleviate some frustration is to teach your child sign language.

Babies Communicating With Sign Language

The benefits of teaching sign language to children who aren't yet speaking include:

  • Signing uses large muscle groups to gesture, and is less complicated and intricate as the coordination of mouth, lips, tongue, etc. used to speak.
  • Signing is a stepping stone to full speech giving the child the opportunity to practice communication before fully able to vocalize.
  • Studies show that children who have early exposure to signing have larger speaking vocabularies than children who don't.
  • Signing helps children learn imitation. The visual aspect of sign is easier to process and store in long term memory than speech.

There are quite a few resources available for teaching children sign language. I recommend and used with my boys "Baby Signing Time". The use of mixing music with sign makes it easy for child and parent to learn the basic starting signs. "The Joy of Signing" is an excellent sign language manual for reference.

Baby Signing Time

Would you teach your baby sign language?

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© 2013 HeatherH104

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    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      My daughter has been teaching her baby sign language and it's surprising just how much they can communicate without having to speak! She has been using some UK DVDs on sing and sign, which the baby loves and which have taught her a lot of signs.

    • HeatherH104 profile image
      Author

      HeatherH104 3 years ago from USA

      That's great DreamerMeg! Signing gives a baby a great start on successful communication.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

      Heather

    • Weldon Jewellers profile image

      Weldon Jewellers 3 years ago from Ireland

      nice hub, thumbs up :)

    • HeatherH104 profile image
      Author

      HeatherH104 3 years ago from USA

      Thank you Weldon Jewellers! :)

    • Carola Finch profile image

      Carola Finch 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I fully support teaching signing to children, both hearing and deaf.

    • HeatherH104 profile image
      Author

      HeatherH104 3 years ago from USA

      It is a great communication tool for all.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Carola! :)

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