Imagine how it feels to be unable to effectively express your needs. Amongst many other emotions, the one at the forefront has to be frustration. Frustration that people don’t understand, frustration that you can’t communicate to get your needs met. It is widely accepted that sign language is an invaluable way of bridging the communication gap between deaf people and their peers. Did you also know that sign language is also used by many other groups within our community? Those with hearing impairment, developmental delay, speech impediment and babies. Yes babies and young children who are yet to gain sufficient control of their vocal cords to communicate through speech can express themselves through signing!
Children naturally use gesture but signing enables them to be specific about their wants and needs. They can begin learning right from birth but won’t have the dexterity to begin to sign until around four to six months. First signs are usually things that are most important to them such as ‘milk’. This can then develop onto more complex signing as they grow such as signing ‘teeth’, ‘hurt’ and ‘medicine’ for when they have teething pain.
The key to success is to reinforce the signs whenever possible, use the sign every time you use the word. Make sure you don’t use the signs on their own as the point of signing with babies is not to replace the spoken language but to enhance it. Many question the potential impact signing has on the speech of a child, research has shown that it doesn’t delay speech but in fact improves and widens the vocabulary. It’s biggest advantage though has to be reducing tantrums born from frustration. Something which is priceless for any parent!
Classes available in Witham St Hughs on Wednesdays at 10am and North Hykeham on Thursdays at 10am.
Baby Signing Lincoln
01522 398380 / 07432737469
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