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Isabella Signs and You Can Too! Come Learn American Sign Language!

Updated on November 14, 2011

Isabella, my daughter.

Signing With Bella!

Hi! My name is Lisa Combs-Creech. I am an Advanced Signing Instructor for the Signing Time Academy. Signing Time is a video series through Two Little Hands Productions that came into being when it's founder, Rachel Coleman , discovered that her daughter, Leah, was deaf. In an effort to get people to understand American Sign Language so that people would welcome her daughter in the community for birthday parties etc. she created the Signing Time videos. She didn't know what a hit they would become across the nation and now world. I found Rachel and the Signing Time Series the same way. At first I was learning ASL via Signing Time for my daughter with Downs Syndrome. ASL is a great tool for infants and toddlers , regardless of disabilities, to help children communicate their needs and with their families., Believe it or not, children can sign before they can speak. But children with disabilities love to learn to sign also and it helps tremendously. I've lost track of how many signs Isabella now knows, but it is in the hundreds. It wasn't until later on, that we became aware of how important ASL and Signing Time was going to be to us. Isabella we discovered has a mild hearing loss secondary to the Downs Syndrome, but we just recently found out that our 12 year old daughter, Ally, has moderate nerve damage hearing loss secondary to a rare reaction to an antibiotic when she was an infant. Long story.

So now we are a signing family and I recently became an Advanced Signing Time Instructor with the Signing Time Academy. Signing Time Academy is a division of Signing Time that enables people to become instructors and spread the message and tools of ASL with everyone. So if you are just curious about signing, want to communicate with someone who is deaf or has hearing loss, or just want to learn signing for your little one to reduce temper tantrums (plus it has been shown to increase their reading skills) join me each week as I blog and teach you something new. And little ones learn ASL quickly. I held my first daycare class last week and a 1.5 year old was signing at lunch. Isabella turns 2 next month and she signs more than she talks. Amazing! If you can't wait for my updates, check out my Signing Time Web Site at You can check out what Signing Time is all about and purchase the products. Plus I am available to teach classes for all age groups from daycares to adult groups, live or web chat. Comment below or e-mail me at to find out more. Thanks and I look forward to blogging with you!

What's Going On in The Signing Time World of Bella and Lisa

So sorry that it has been a while since I've updated my blog. I have been one busy Signing Momma! But I want to share what I have been doing in the Signing World just to reiterate the usefulness of learning ASL. Besides signing at home with my two hard of hearing girls and my 2 yeard old, Bella, I have been teaching a couple of classes. One is for some teenagers and their moms whom are home schooling. They are learning ASL as a foreign language credit. I am also beginning a class in a group home for some gentlemen who are non-verbal. So I will be teaching their care givers and these men. Their story is amazing. One of them recently went to the doctor's office whereby two people were speaking in ASL and he started signing himself. So we are hoping to make these non-verbal gentlemen very verbal via their hands soon. Another one of my counterparts, teaches sign language in a nursing home for people who have had strokes. How amazing is that? In addition, for those of you who have little ones at home, are you potty training? Signing Time now has a video that teaches sign language with catchy music and many people have mentioned success of their children being potty trained after watching these videos. One even stated, he son watched it 8 times and was successfully potty trained. That is fantastic! So check out what's new at my store and see my link above and let me know what you would like to see on my site! Thanks!

The Benefits of Signing

Many times when one thinks about using sign language, they think only of the person who is deaf. But ASL is useful to all kinds of people with all kinds of disabilties and without disabilities and the young and old. My daughters, Ally and Isabella have hearing loss. They can still hear us, they just can't hear everything and Ally probably thinks that is a blessing sometimes when we are cleaning house. They both benefit and love to sign. Isabella is 1 and she signs more than she talks. When a toddler or infant learns sign language, their frustration level is lower. Little ones such as her can learn sign language before they learn to speak. Imagine if you wanted a drink and the only way you can get it is screaming your lungs out. Now imagine it the Isabella way, She'll go to the fridge , sit down, and signs as if a cup is to her lips and then signs like she is squeezing a cow udder with one hand. That is the sign for a drink and for milk. But she isn't screaming and I know she wants some milk. Isn't that so much nicer for you and your child? I know it is much more peaceful around here and with five kids that is saying a lot.

Sign language being taught at such a young age has been studied and has been shown to increase the reading abilities for those children. That is fantastic! Plus people of all ages enjoy learning sign language. I am teaching a class of daycare children for about 6 weeks and these iddy biddy kids are taking it all in an amazing rate. I go in 2 days a week for 30 mins. On the first day, they were signing to the director at lunch. Yes, they can learn that quickly and some of these kids are just barely 1. These classes are taught with using the Signing Time DVD's and classroom interaction. The Signing Time DVD's and other products can be viewed at my web site at And the series is enjoyable for all ages. My husband and I enjoyed watching them as much as the kids.

But here are some other good reasons for learning sign language. For hearing loss, increase reading skills, communicate when you have loss your voice or have new braces and it just hurts to move your mouth (for my daughter Rachael), people who have had a stroke, there is an endless list. My daughter , Ally , and I enjoy signing across the softball field. i can tell her what she needs to correct in pitching and she can tell me what she needs like water. Which by the way is making a "W" and placing that "W" next to your mouth. Better yet, your child has to face you and play attention to you when you are signing. If you home school, it is great as a secondary language option. The benefits are endless.

I hope to get posted on here soon some videos of signs. Look forward to it soon.


ASL as a Foreign Language Requirement

Do you home school? Then you are probably researching the foreign language requirement in your state for high school and in many states, American Sign Language does qualify as a foreign language in many states. And guess what? Your local Signing Time Academy Instructor would love to spread the joy of learning sign language to your home school student or group. I cannot think of anything more fun than teaching a group of students on a school year basis ASL. I just completed an 8 week course of signing with a daycare group and what a great group of kids. Those kids were signing on the first day and many knew ASL well enough to correct the adults at the daycare. And these children were ages 1-4. Here is my web site to check out classes or to find one closer to you. I'll even teach via web cam. And check out my video of my daughter with a hearing impairment signing with my youngest daughter a song below. Have a great week.

Ally Signing the Signing Time Theme song to Isabella

Common ASL Signs used with infants.

As I stated before, the benefits of learning ASL for infants is to reduce frustration in communication with your little one. They will learn signs before they learn many spoken words. You child being able to talk to you and the joy of seeing them talk to you is immeasurable. Call to take a class today. Here is a video of the common signs infants use and the ones that my Isabella uses all the time. Try ASL out and find out why it is an important tool in your child's life.

Common Signs Used by Infants

Read and Sign

As you have heard me say on hear before, studies have indicated that parents who teach ASL to their babies and toddlers, have children who learn to read at an earlier age and are more fluent readers. So in response to this data, I am excited to say that Two Little Hand Productions via Signing Time will be presenting a series geared just to teach young children to read and sign. Please watch my web site for updates on the series at .

In addition, Signing Time has sets created specially for children with Down Syndrome and Autism. So if you are wondering which DVD's are created for your child, Signing Time has taken the guess work out of it for you, by tailoring the kits for your needs.  Look on here soon for a video of my daughter, Ally with her new hearing aids and she is going to sign a song for you! Good night!

Signing Time Video Series Featuring the Bible

Are you a Sunday School Teacher for children? Or may be you a Home School mom who teaches religious education with your curriculum. How about a dual effort in your educational endeavors by adding Sign Language to your lessons. Two LIttle hands Productions/Signing Time has added a video serie revolving around the Bible. This series will be on sale soon and you can check it out here.


I am starting an American Sign Language class starting Sept. 12, 2011 from 7-8 pm at the Monroe County Public Library in Ellettsville, IN. We will meet in the lobby of the library. I will start with basic signs and the alphabet and over the year we will progress to signing books and songs to further our vocabulary. This is a great class to learn sign language for your infant, to learn to sign with your toddler and bring them along. In fact it is good for children of any age and even professionals wanting to learn how to sign with people you interact with in your lives. Drop in class, cost S5.00 per person per class. Hope to see you there!

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How familar are you to the Signing Time series?

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