|In the 1980s, a guy named JOSEPH GARCIA, who was a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage (where your humble professor got her master's degree)
learned sign language. He noticed that the hearing babies of many of his deaf friends were pretty much communicating (through signing) by age 9 months. The babies of
hearing friends weren't communicating much at 9 months (I find this a little odd, to tell you the truth . . . ) ANYWAY, he started teaching HIS son how to sign.
LINDA ACREDOLO, a professor at the University of California took her baby to the doctor. In the waiting room, Kate (her daughter) went over to the fish tank and
started imitating the mouth motions of the fish. When they got home, she made the same mouth motions at her mobile over her crib. Dr. Acredolo wondered how many other
gestures Kate was using to communicate.
She talked to her colleague, SUSAN GOODWYN, and they got a grant from the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF CHILD HEALTH AND HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT to study this thing. Isn't that just like a professor to get a grant to study something she just can't wait to research? I bet she got tenure, baby.
~Babies who sign can communicate even if they can't yet speak.
~Babies who sign may speak earlier.
~Babies who sign are less frustrated.
~Babies who sign develop larger vocabularies.
~6 -- 8 months, when a baby first starts waving goodbye, they can begin to sign BUT begin signing to them right away!! They will learn to sign just like they will learn to talk.
~8 months old, babies imitate gestures, can express 1 -- 5 signs such as MORE, ALL DONE, EAT, DRINK.
~By age 1, babies begin to understand approximately 12 words -- family member names, pets, body parts, basic clothes.
OTHER TIPS THAT YOUR BABY IS READY TO SIGN:
~If he becomes more curious about the things around him.
~If she drops a toy or object and looks to see where it went.
~If he picks up an object and looks to you for more information.
~If she points at objects.
~If he's already "signing" such as waving bye-bye.
~If he can imitate gestures or actions.
CRITICAL GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS:
~Speak as you sign.
~Sign in the baby's sight line.
~Smile and use maximum facial and verbal expression.
~Sign ONLY in context.
~Introduce signs only when you have the baby's attention, never when he is teething, cranky, sleepy, or mad.
~Reward the baby's efforts.
~Don't expect perfection.
WARNINGS: Consult your pediatrician if:
~Your 3-month old is not responding to voices or sounds.
~Your 8-month-old is not making several sounds or reaching for or grasping objects.
~Your 8 to 12 month old does not look at people when they talk to him.
~Your 8 to 12 month old does not point to objects or make sounds to get what he wants.
~Your 18-month old does not say more than a few words clearly.
~Your 20-month-old cannot follow a simple request such as "come to Daddy."
~Your 24-month-old does not put two words together.
MOST POPULAR BABY SIGNS:
I LOVE YOU
Information signs and Communication: airplane, apple, ball , book, bottle, car, cookie, dance, diaper change, down, drink, finished/all done, flower,
gentle-touch, good, help, I love you, listen, pain/hurt, sit, sleep, telephone, up, water, where, yes, no.
Safety Signs: Touch, no, stop
Clothing signs: hat, pants, socks, shoes
Family Signs: Mommy, Daddy
Animal Signs: bear, bird, cat, dog, elephant, fish, giraffe, lion, monkey
all of the colors
moon, sun, stars
fingerspell own name
This is a cute website, where you can watch videos,
order videos, go to the activities, and you can do crafts,
or download coloring books, etc. I have visited this sight
for the past 55 years or so.
This one just looks cute, and has some cute pictures of
children signing. With a baby, you have to take
approximations. Make sure that the websites you visit
are talking about ASL, because some baby signing
sites don't use ASL. This one does.
This web site is one that the Drs. Acredolo and
Goodwyn (above) did. GUESS WHAT!!!! You can buy
their books here.
There are likely a zillion more. Look. Research.