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Baby signing

(13 Posts)
Hatetidyingthehouse Wed 05-Nov-14 13:45:04

Anyone done this? I've bought a couple of books based on bsl. Getting ready and going out I think. Going to use with 19 month old and 2 month old.
Just wondering of anyone has done this and whether they think it's worth while?

PinkAndBlueBedtimeScares Wed 05-Nov-14 13:47:11

My friends mum is a hv and has said they can never tell their clients, because it's personal preference, but baby signing is only really beneficial to those who have speech delay/ problems in this area.
Aparently because they can communicate with their hands they are less likely to want/ need to speak, causing delays in it's own right.

But ts entirely up to you!

Wolfbasher Wed 05-Nov-14 13:48:45

I did a really good class with DS1 when he was a baby (run by someone who 'spoke' sign language, so really knew her stuff).

It was great. He could sign lots of stuff long before he could talk, which really reduced frustration He's 7 now, and doesn't remember any of it, but I thought it was fab.

I did another class (we'd moved area) with DC2 and DC3, which was rubbish - just run by a nice 'mumsy' type, who'd just learned a few signs rather than 'speaking' it. They didn't learn a lot. Both spoke pretty early though (probably because of DC1 rabbiting on at them all the time), so we didn't miss it.

Going the BSL way sounds good. It makes a difference to see it done, though, so a class, or maybe a DVD would help. And for you, it's getting into the habit of always doing the sign when you say the thing IYSWIM.

SeptemberBabies Wed 05-Nov-14 13:52:09

I know a 3 year old who never says the word milk because he always uses the sign for it instead.

That in itself is not a problem since it is not as if he will spend the rest of his life not saying milk, he can physically say it he just choses not to. Which is fine I suppose.

But I understand what the first poster means about it affecting speech development. The Mum in question was really proud when her less-than-a-year-old (I can't remember exactly how old he was) was using the sign. But now it is the opposite. Every time he does the sign she says "Milk? Do you want some MILK? You should say "May I have some milk please"".

caravanista13 Wed 05-Nov-14 14:09:10

My daughter takes my granddaughter to baby signing classes and reinforces the signs and words consistently at home. My granddaughter (11 months) knows at least 15 signs and is so proud of herself when she uses them. Research shows that children who learn to sign are no more or less likely to be advanced or delayed with speech, but may be able to express themselves more effectively before they start to acquire speech and so be less prone to frustration.

LegoClone Wed 05-Nov-14 14:32:43

Everyone will have anecdotes about signing with babies to back up whether they think it's good or bad. wink

The research I read about signing with babies showed that it didn't delay speech and that babies who'd signed had a larger vocabulary at 3. Of course there could have been some bias in the research!

I chose to sign with both of mine and found it very useful - DH and I both think that we had fewer issues with frustration from our DSs than we would have done otherwise, particularly as they were both very difficult to understand when they did start speaking (no later than their peers) due to their pronunciation/enunciation. Neither of them went through terrible twos or threes (although this could be completely unrelated!) grin

The key thing when using signing with babies is to ensure that you always say the word when signing (although I use "no" and "stop" with mine to silently pull them up on behaviour I don't like - I doubt they'd recognise any other signs nowadays! grin ) You don't need to use official sign language, although it can be easier than making up your own signs. It's definitely worth a go in my opinion.

123Jump Wed 05-Nov-14 18:44:21

Agree with LegoClone, the key to signing is that you always say the word when you sign. This actually encourages speech.
I did signing with two of mine and they loved the classes, the signing, amd the DVDs!

bananapickle84 Wed 05-Nov-14 21:20:53

I did the classes with DD and we thought it was great as she was able to communicate simple but everyday things from a very young age. It didn't impact her speech and I haven't met anyone who it has been detrimental for but equally it hasn't necessarily improved speech.
With DS I will just be using the DVD and teaching him myself as I know what I need to know and the classes are for the parents really.

Wolfbasher Thu 06-Nov-14 11:01:04

Studies of hearing children born to deaf sign-language-using parents have shown that their language and communication skills are advanced in comparison to their peers. Because articulating spoken language requires a certain level of muscle co-ordination, children can't speak well until a long time after their ability to communicate. Evolutionarily, our species were probably sophisticated communicators before spoken languages developed.

The children in these studies who don't have any spoken-language speakers in their environment do have spoken-language delays. You need spoken interaction to develop good spoken-language skills. However, the ones who have spoken-language speakers around them do not have delays.

So unless you are withholding all speech and communicating purely via sign, you don't need to worry about negative effects.

Bonbonbonboo Thu 06-Nov-14 19:40:57

We have found signing really useful with avoiding tantrums. She learned more and milk around 6 months. I think she actually learned "milk" from watching other kids.

She learned "help" and uses it a lot when she gets stuck playing or wants something, like if she wants a toy she can't reach. That sign is probably the most helpful of all because it really prevents frustration from turning into a tantrum.

She is 20 months now and communicates well verbally for her age, and also signs for things like nappy, poop, please and thank you. I don't think signing had in any way held back her speaking. She is a natural communicator so I think the signing just helped her communicate with us when she was willing but not able to speak.

lecherrs Thu 06-Nov-14 23:00:17

It's 10 years since I did baby signing with my DD, but back then all the research indicated that signing helped children with their language development and did not hold them back in any significant way.

I signed with my DD. We didn't attend any classes etc, but I just incorporated signing into every day life. DD was a prolific signer and then speaker. At the time, she was also being observed by the babylab for her language, and so I had to document for the research all the words she used. At the age of two, she had over 500 spoken words with the vast majority of them being words that she had initially signed. The average for 2 is 50 words.

I think the thing we got out of it was the fact that she was able to convey complex ideas. at 12 - 15 months, she could ask for me to read a book to her, and then tell me which book she wanted. (she'd sign book followed by bird, for the bird book etc). We also discovered the reason why she was waking at night when she signed light in the dark. This was at 11 months. We worked out that she was scared of the dark, turned the light on and weeks of night waking vanished overnight! It also helped to overcome toddler tantrums because she was able to communicate exactly what she wanted, and from 12 months onwards was able to combine signs to form more complex sentences. She was able to ask for things that was beyond her verbal capacity - for example, she could ask me to put the washing machine on her (she used to like watching it!) etc.

For us, I would say that there were no negative consequences but you have got to make signing a natural part of your language for a few years. You have to get used to just signing every time you speak. Do that, and they pick it up quite easily ime.

Wolfbasher Fri 07-Nov-14 07:48:54

very intereting post lecherrs, and I agree with you.

milkpudding Sat 08-Nov-14 22:33:14

What is the sign for help?

I am having difficulty in finding examples of signs online. Can anyone recommend a resource?

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