Back in graduate school, I became really interested in the idea of teaching hearing babies sign language. In fact, I was so interested that I did a huge research paper on the topic. At that time the research was just beginning to be published and it was all looking very promising. Since that time, additional studies have been published with very positive results: Teaching hearing babies and toddlers sign language was providing positive outcomes in their speech, language, and communication skills!
Fast forward to when I had my daughter almost 4 years ago (I cannot believe it’s been almost four years!), and I was determined to use sign with her. I did and she had many signs she used until she started speaking. But it was when I began signing to my son that I realized just how valuable sign language can be for little ones that may not not be the most advanced talkers. You see, my son is not much of a talker at 20 months. He has definitely finally hit a little “explosion” but I am not kidding when I say signing saved us. It gave my little guy a reliable way to communicate! You can read more here in my post Thank Goodness we are Signing.
But why sign to your infant or toddler? Won’t it delay their speech? How do you even start? How can you learn sign language? My series on signing should answer all these questions and more!