This is what I have started doing with Micah this week. We are learning sign language together. I personally think this is a beneficial endeavor for both parent and child (regardless of age). You might be asking yourself, why? Well listed below are some reasons why. My main reason is so that I can communicate with my baby even though he can’t do so verbally. I also did this with my daughter somewhat and it worked great and made things easier. This time around I am trying to stick to ASL signs, less work for me now and more beneficial in the future for Micah. By the time he is able to talk he will already know a second language.
Signing allows babies to communicate their needs and wants. Signing allows them to tell mom, dad, and caregivers what they need or want before they have the ability to control the movements of their tongue and mouth necessary to speak. At earlier ages babies gain the ability control the movements necessary to form signs, which gives them a voice to communicate and enables them to not become as frustrated when trying to communicate specific needs and wants.
Studies have shown that by the time children who signed as babies are in second grade, their IQ is an average of 12 points higher than the IQ scores of their non-signing peers. So the benefits of baby signing go beyond the present time to long term benefits. [www.babysigns.com] Research as also shown repeatedly that baby signing does not delay the child’s speech. In fact it does the opposite, signing babies and children actually begin to speak earlier and more often than their non-signing counterparts. [www.signingsmart.com]
Here are the signs we are working on this week and probably for the next two or three weeks. I don’t want to overwhelm him (or me). As soon as he starts picking up on them, I will add one or two more. We are doing mommy, daddy, and i love you. Keep checking back to see how our adventure is going! It should be a grand one.