Baby Signing Essentials: Easy Sign Language for Every Age and Stage

Baby Signing Essentials: Easy Sign Language for Every Age and Stage

by Nancy Cadjan

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492612537
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 06/02/2015
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 242,820
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Nancy Cadjan is the founder of Sign Babies ASL Flash Cards-the first illustrated sign language flash cards created for the youngest signers and their parents. Since sales began two years ago, Sign Babies has sold 40,000 sets and received the 2006 Cool Stuff Award from Preemie Magazine. Nancy has appeared on Good Things Utah, in Wasatch Woman Magazine, and Utah Valley Magazine and was named to the Daily Herald Top 100 Companies of 2006 list as a Trailblazer. She lives with her husband and two children in Utah.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

START THE ADVENTURE!

BABY SIGN LANGUAGE HAS BEEN featured everywhere from the news to the movies. But if you're picking up this book, it's likely you want to know more about it than these sound bites and clips offer. You may be wondering whether there is an official "language" called baby sign language and what exactly it means and when to use it. Or you may want to be able to communicate with your baby better but worry that if you sign with your child, she might not talk.

This chapter takes a look at what baby sign language is, its origin, why it works, and what myths might be out there about it. It explains what it can do for you and for your baby, as well as what it won't do.

WHAT IS BABY SIGN LANGUAGE?

We all use language to understand what is said to us (receptive language) and to express ourselves (expressive language). Language is how we communicate with others using words, signs, or writing. Language includes the types of words we use (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs), how many words we use, how we put the words together to form thoughts, and so on. Speech is how we pronounce words and show the language we have acquired.

Believe it or not, before babies can speak, they have a language of their own, communicating with others by using grunts, visual cues, and gestures. Babies naturally point at things they want, wave with their hands to say goodbye, and clap to show excitement. These are all signs. Baby sign language taps into these natural tendencies to gesture with their hands to communicate their needs, wants, and even complex thoughts. You just teach them simple signs for things they want, and they use those to explain to you what they need. It takes a little patience and dedication on Mom and Dad's part, but any baby can do it. And the best part is that it fits right into your daily routine. Just add signs to the conversations and communications you already have with your baby.

Think about how empowering this can be for your baby. Instead of crying and hoping you can guess that she needs her diaper changed or wants to have some applesauce, she can tell you. You don't have to be standing in the grocery store line with a screaming baby wondering whether she is hungry or tired or bored. She can let you know. Baby sign language has the power to stop tantrums and start conversations and create a closer bond with your child.

BENEFITS OF SIGNING WITH YOUR HEARING BABY

Hearing babies who sign with their parents and other caregivers have a unique opportunity to learn to communicate their needs and wants and thoughts long before the average hearing child can. Signing has short-term benefits-reduced frustration and the ability to communicate-that are really important. But it also has long-term benefits-increased vocabulary, IQ, and interest in reading-that will help your child as he grows and matures. What you are doing now will help lay an important foundation for your child's educational mind-set. Signing will help him enjoy learning and develop the necessary skills to learn well.

In addition to the benefits for your child, signing with your baby will help you have a more enjoyable relationship with your child. You will be less stressed out and will be able to understand his specific needs instead of guessing what that cry at 3:00 a.m. means. As your baby grows, you will have less of the "terrible twos" to deal with than other parents. This is because most of these tantrums come from your baby's inability to specifically tell you what he needs. Without this skill, he is left with what he knows-crying. And fewer tantrums are never a bad thing.

A final thing to consider is that even if you are already in tune with your baby, using baby sign language allows your baby to communicate his needs to others who don't have your sixth sense for his needs but who have learned a few basic signs. That is very important for making your baby independent.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Preface

Acknowledgments

Chapter One: Start the Adventure!

Learn what baby signing is, how it can help your baby, and when to start.

Chapter Two: Show Me! Four to Seven Months

Learn the steps to signing with your baby, including tips for creating a basis for lifelong communication.

Chapter Three: Watch Me! Eight to Twelve Months

Your baby is now ready to sign back! Learn how to use your baby's communication clues to increase your ability to understand her.

Chapter Four: Let's Communicate! Thirteen to Eighteen Months

Your baby is primed for communication and is motivated by all the new things he is learning. These easy strategies will develop these abilities to help you both communicate better.

Chapter Five: I Can Talk and Sign! Nineteen to Twenty-Four Months

Your baby is transitioning from signing to talking, but signing can still benefit your baby even after she can speak, including increasing her vocabulary.

Chapter Six: Now What? Two Years and Beyond

If your toddler is not speaking yet, signing will keep the communication going until he is ready. If your toddler is speaking, you can use his signing abilities to facilitate future learning.

Appendix A: Quick Review of Developmental Stages by Age

Appendix B: Signing with Children Who Have Special Needs

Alphabetical List of All Signs

About the Author

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