All About Baby Sign
Baby Sign is a system of gestures and simple signs that allows your child to improve their communication skills prior to developing spoken words. Any child who has limited spoken language or functional communication skills can benefit from the introduction of baby sign. This includes children with speech delays as well as most typically developing children under the age of 2.
Want to learn more about baby sign?
The Practical Baby Sign Handbook features over 50 signs with teaching tips, pictures, videos, and the exact steps to follow to introduce baby sign with your child.
Introducing Baby Sign
Baby sign can be such an effective tool for supporting communication skills during the first years of life! Teaching your child gestures and simple signs allows them to access more expressive language while spoken words are still developing. Baby sign can help your child to repair communication breakdowns and decrease frustration. It also gives them increased opportunities to communicate and interact with you socially! Use the button below to sign up (for free!) for the Members Only Section of the website. Enter your email address and you will receive an email with the password to access "My First Five Signs", along with other featured freebies.
Benefits of Baby Sign
If your child is under the age of 3 and has limited spoken language, baby sign can help to improve their ability to communicate. An recent study found that half of toddlers between 18-24 months who had language delays were also in the range of clinical concern for behavioral problems (Thrum et al). Baby sign gives your child tools to communicate so they won't have to act out to get their needs met. In addition, parents who use baby sign with their children have been shown to become more responsive to their child's subtle attempts to communicate. These benefits of baby sign can help you to establish more successful and positive daily interactions with your child!
Baby Sign Sources
Susan W. Goodwyn, Linda P. Acredolo and Catherine A. Brown. Impact of Symbolic Gesturing on Early Language Development, Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 24, 81-103 (2000)
Linda P. Acredolo, and Susan W. Goodwyn, The Longterm Impact of Symbolic Gesturing During Infancy on IQ at Age 8, International Conference on Infant Studies (July 18, 2000: Brighton, UK)
Kirk, E., Howlett, N., Pine, K. J., & Fletcher, B. C. (2012). To sign or not to sign? The impact of encouraging infants to gesture on infant language and maternal mind-mindedness. Child Development, 84(2), 574-590.
Petitto LA and Marentette PF. 1991. Babbling in the manual mode: Evidence for the ontogeny of language. Science 251: 1493-1496.
Crais E, Douglas DD, and Campbell CC. 2004. The intersection of the development of gestures and intentionality. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 47(3):678-94.
Lederer, Susan & Battaglia, Dana. (2015). Using Signs to Facilitate Vocabulary in Children With Language Delays. Infants & Young Children. 28. 18-31. 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000025
Seal, Brenda. (2010). About Baby Signing. The ASHA Leader, November 2010, Vol. 15, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR5.15132010.np
Thurm, A. , Manwaring, S. S., Cardozo Jimenez, C. , Swineford, L. , Farmer, C. , Gallo, R. and Maeda, M. (2018), SOCIOEMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS IN TODDLERS WITH LANGUAGE DELAY. Infant Ment. Health J., 39: 569-580. doi:10.1002/imhj.21735