What Makes Us Different?
In 2004, after considerable research, we inaugurated one of the most important programs in our history — Signing with Babies. Today signing with babies is part of our everyday interactions with our infants and young toddlers. Also, this is not an "extra program" as we sign with ALL of our babies for free.
The research regarding the benefits and legitimacy of signing is overwhelming and unanimously in support of substantial benefits. The fact is that while children generally don't begin speaking until the age of two (some might have limited vocabularies prior to that), they can develop signing vocabularies of as many as 30 words before their first birthday! Most research says that children can first start learning signs between 6-7 months of age. When starting that early, it can take several months for them to actually sign back, primarily due to their developing motor and hand-eye coordination skills. Children over the age of 12 months will learn to sign a great deal faster (2-6 weeks).
Some of the benefits of signing:
- Accelerates communication and actually results in earlier verbal language
- Enables children to express their wants, needs and emotions
- Reduces frustration
- Helps children to be more accepting of routines
- Increases children's self esteem
- Promotes active learning
- Increases bonds of intimacy between child and parent/caregiver
- Lowers stress and frustration for both staff and children
- Happier children, happier staff, quieter classrooms!
- Significantly lowers aggressive behavior
- Fosters greater feelings of professionalism amongst staff
There are many sources of information, products, support groups, etc. that can be found on the internet. We've done a great deal of research before launching this program and have concluded that while there are any number of programs that are based upon "inventive" signs, the preferable approach is to work with ASL signs (American Sign Language). The resources listed below are ASL based. Listed below are several two good sources of information related to signing with babies.