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Signing With Babies And Children: May 2010

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Babies Who Sign Feel Respected

Empowering your baby with sign language allows him to grow up feeling respected. When children feel understood they feel respected, and when they feel respected, they in turn are more aware of those around them and the impact they have on them. They feel more confident and happy because they can be understood. So if your baby is not yet able to express himself using his vocal chords to form spoken words, by empowering him with signs, he knows to use language to communicate - to get his/her ideas across, to express feelings using words, to use words to express needs and wants. Instead of crying, s/he now has the knowledge to use words, whether they be signs or vocalizations, or even pointing to refer to objects or people. Surprisingly, his confidence spreads across languages. One might think that a baby who is signing might get frustrated with someone who doesn’t know sign language. On the contrary, babies know to switch languages depending with whom they are trying to communicate. Often, one will observe a baby say ‘water’ to her mommy or daddy, but ‘agua’ to her nanny. Interestingly the baby will use the sign for ‘water’ with mommy, daddy and her nanny, demonstrating her understanding that the sign language is a bridge between the two languages. One of my moms reported that her little one knows to get her jacket and shoes when her nanny says ‘vamanos’ (let’s go), but when mommy or daddy try to say ‘vamanos’ her baby laughs.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Audrey signs: birth to 2 years old

Audrey's parents took SignShine classes when mommy Tammy was pregnant with Audrey. Daddy and Mommy started signing with her at birth. Today I am sharing with you this beautiful journey.
Click here to view Audrey's signing moments: birth to 2 years old.

Let the Sign Shine!

Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What is the perfect age to start Baby Sign Language / Baby Signing?

"What age should I start signing with my baby?" this is the most common question parents ask me.

"What age should I start Baby Signing with my baby?" “When should I start baby sign language?”  these are the most common question parents ask me.

For babies and for us as parents, new beginnings are not reserved for one time or hour. We are fortunate enough to experience these every day, as our little ones reach new milestones, change in subtle and obvious ways, and learn more about the world.  The first smile, a little something to make them giggle, an independent step, or an exciting discovery -- there isn’t anything more beautiful than to see our children grow, explore, and flourish. 

A quick browse on the Net will result in various answers, no surprise, and the truth is that I do not like to give an exact time frame to any parent.  Children are unique in their development, and sign language is no different than rolling over, sitting up, smiling, crawling, and walking. Your baby will sign according to his/her own time frame.

Babies are often ready to sign back when they sit by themselves and can point. Does that mean we should only start signing at that time?  Definitely not.  We start talking to them well before this point and the same applies to sign language. In fact, babies who are born to families with deaf parents or siblings are exposed to signing
at birth
. I do not believe in ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ – you are the expert on your child and your instincts will lead the way.  Keep in mind, however, that babies are fast learners and may understand what you are signing well before they are able to sign back.

I began the signing process with my daughter when she was 8 months old. whe she was– 16 months– signing remains part of her daily life and routine. Her vocabulary is
so rich and she is constantly asking to learn more signs and words.  (We just learned the signs for ‘imagination’ and ‘pretend’ as she is playing with dolls).

Recently I received an e-mail from Magda, a mom who uses sign language after participating in our class.  Her message read:
“I took Etel's class when my son was 5 months. By 6 months, he started signing ’milk’, wow. My son was fascinated by the class, looking at everybody signing at the same time”.

Etel Leit, M.S.

Founder & Owner

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Signing with Babies - Part 3

Here is Part 3 of our Baby Sign Language journey with baby Scarlette. If you missed it you can read Part 1 and Part 2 first.

In Part 1 we discovered how useful baby sign language was - before she could sign with us and in Part 2 we managed to capture her very first sign on video which was an amazing milestone. Here in Part 3 we discover how all of her signing starts to develop into two way communication for the first time.

After Scarlette signed to us the very first time it took another couple of months for us to see some more progress but it certainly did come together just after that. First was the sign for 'more', then came the signs for 'eat' and 'shower'. Soon after this came the sign for 'toilet' which she does now before dragging one of us off by the hand to the bathroom!

In between she has learnt some words to complete her animated little personality. These baby signs complete her vocabulary for words she is yet to pronounce however at this early age, she is communicating to us with such great comprehension. In fact, there is rarely a time when we don't know what she wants or needs.

There have definately been some key elements to her fantastic communication development. We get really excited with her progress and offer her loads of praise. We are also constantly talking with her. Stay tuned for Part 4 where I will go into further detail on why I think that Scarlette has has such an amazing journey with baby sign language and some of the key things we did to make it much easier for her to communicate with us.

Baby Signing: How to sign and sign? - You are my Sunshine

Here is a short tutorial how to singn and sign "You are my SignShine' (Sunshine) is one of my favorite songs to sing and sign. Follow up step by step, sign and sing it with you child.More about Teach your Baby to Sign Songs:

Let the Sign Shine!etel

Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Be Aware of Gestures and Eye Contact

One of the moms in my Baby SignShine class shared with me that her little one had been signing ‘milk’ for days before they realized that she was signing ‘milk’. Her baby just turned one year old, and is rapidly acquiring many more words. During her meal time, she would reach her arms out as if to ask to be taken out of her highchair. When her mommy realized that she was not happy with being taken out of the highchair, she suddenly realized that her child was actually trying to let her know that she wanted ‘milk’. Every time she wanted ‘milk’ she would reach out her arms and wave her fingers.

Another mom reported her baby placing his hand on his head whenever he would hear his daddy’s car parking in the garage. Then she noticed he would do that same hand on his head gesture when the phone would ring, and it would be daddy calling to say ‘hi’. Mom realized that he was anticipating daddy either coming into the room, or hearing his voice because the baby would clearly make eye contact while touching his head. Although it didn’t look exactly like the sign for ‘daddy’, it was definitely an approximation. It would have been easy for this mom to miss the sign and think that the baby was rubbing his head randomly.

When a baby is consistently using the same gestures in the same context or situation, chances are, they are using an approximation for a sign and are trying their best to communicate. It may not look exactly like the sign you have learned, but it is in fact your child trying his/her best to communicate!....Blink, and you may just miss your baby signing! Look for gestures that your baby is using over and over again in the same context, observe his/her eyes as s/he tries his/her best to make eye contact, take note if s/he seems frustrated if you are not understanding his/her efforts to approximate the sign. You may find it helpful to write down what you think is his/her approximation and be sure to share this with your spouse or nanny so that s/he can keep an eye out for such approximations. The sooner you can identify what sign s/he is attempting to use to communicate, the more empowered your child will feel, and the happier you both will be! See how Frisee and her mom are understanding one another:

Use these same tips for your baby’s approximations of spoken words, and you will see how rapidly s/he will be able to communicate using speech in addition to her sign. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Connect with SignShine and win: $120 Apple, $80 Amazon and more!

view this message online:

SignShine would like to celebrate Father's Day with you! on June 3rd we will give you super prizes (see below). All you have to do is Cick, Connect and WIN! It is easy on: facebook / twitter / Blog.

Every time you sign up to be a Facebook fan or a friend, follower on twitter, or subscribe on our blog your name will be put in our drawing, 4 times it is!
Every time your friend mention your name in his/her drawing, you get an extra entry in the drawing! So now, email it to all of your freinds and ask them to mention your name.
You don’t have to be a parent or a signer, ANYONE can join!

There is no purchase necessary and a purchase will not increase your odds.

First Prize: $120 Apple Gift Card
Second Prize: $80 Amazon Gift Card
Third Prize: free SignShine Sing and Sign on line
Forth Prize: 2 movie tickets with popcorn

Following is how you enter, each step is one drawing entry:

1. Become a Friend of SignShine on Facebook and Fan of SignShine on Facebook
2. Follow us on Twitter
3. Subscribe to our Blog

Now (you must complete the entry and follow this last step!), come back to this page and leave a comment with the following information:

- Your Name
- The name of the person who suggested you become a fane.g.
“Hi, Jane Doe here, I was referred by John Smith. Hope to win!”

Remember the more friends you invite to become a fan, the more times your name will be entered by your friends, so the odds start to look better for you.

All entries will be entered into a random drawing. The four winners will be picked from one valid entry, where both names appear. Odds depend on number of entries.Winners will be drawn at random on June 3, 2010. Winners names will be posted on the website, Facebook and Twitter pages and will be contacted directly via message Facebook.

[Your email is never published or shared]

Sunday, May 9, 2010

So many ways to express my love- MOMMY!

I wish you a special day, celebrating the most important, joyous, complex, rewarding, challenging and miraculous “job” in the world -- being a MOM!

Let's start by signing MOMMY:

 Spell: M O M
Baby: "MOMMY"    -     Mom: "I LOVE YOU"

Let the Sign Shine!

Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner  
Become a fan