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Signing With Babies And Children: April 2011

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sign language beneficial for babies in low-income families, study finds

Sign language used by mothers in low-income families can have a profound effect on babies' development, according to research conducted by the University of Hertfordshire.

The research, partly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, will be discussed at an ESRC-organised event on Thursday called Communicating with Your Baby.

Based on a two-year study of 25 mothers and their babies, the findings suggest sign language has a significant impact on babies experiencing language delay, which the researchers claim is most likely to occur in low-income households.

The research suggested that sign-language classes in children's centres could have wider societal benefits for babies from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"In families where the language environment is known to be less than optimal, gesture is identified to have the potential to effectively promote better mother-infant interaction," said the report. "The appeal of the sessions is likely to attract attendance at Sure Start centres, therefore these sessions provide community practitioners with access to parents at risk and enable other services to be opened up to them.Through early intervention, gesture has the potential to reduce the disadvantage that children face from impoverished language abilities, and ultimately bring about lasting benefits."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baby Sign Language App Coming Soon: Click- Smile - Share - Shine!

Baby signing and singing is a fun and integrative way to play with your baby! Teaching your baby to sign songs is a simple addition to your baby's playtime, and it can end up benefitting them in so many ways.

Sign and Sing app for iPhone and iPad by SignShine is coming soon. you will be able to watch and learn how to sign many known Children's Rhymes. Are you ready?

Everyone likes bloopers, right?! So here I am, letting the world see my silly side... hopefully YOU, friends and family will enjoy it... so PLEASE forward it to anyone you love!

Let us know if you LIKE it or to post a COMMENT on YouTube:

Let's Sign and Shine!


Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sign Language Requires that One Communicate Without Multitasking

I had a parent share with me that one of the hardest part of signing is that you actually have to use your hands and eyes to communicate and most of the time we're too busy to have our hands and eyes free. We are so used to holding our phones and ipads in our hands, that we often don’t have time or the ability to use our hands to communicate. Our eyes are often so focussed on the screens in our lives that we run the risk of losing the ever critical skill of eye contact. We are so busy doing things and multitasking while with our babies and children, that we often don’t take the time to just focus on communicating with our babies. The beauty of sign language is just requires that you put other things down, and give that quality time that involves your undivided attention to your child.

By exposing our children to sign language, we are exposing them to a more effective way of communicating - one that incorporates body language and facial expressions. Studies have shown that listeners learn from nonverbal cues most often, especially in deciphering feelings and attitudes (Mehrabian, 1972). When our body language conflicts with our words, effective communicators are able to focus on the nonverbal messages.

Signing With Babies And Children: Autism Awareness Month

Signing With Babies And Children: Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

Paretns of Children with Special Needs ask often times: "Why should we use sign language if my child is not deaf?"

Children with Autism, or ony child that struggles with spoken language can benefit from using signs. Enhancing communication skills with sign language has a profound impact upon the quality of interactions between children with special needs, their peers, their families, and the professional who work with them. Sign language is now being used more and more outside the deaf community by children with and without disabilities, in order to communicate more effectively. In fact, signing is recommended for children with disabilities for several reasons (Sundberg and Partington, 1998):
  • Signing is completely portable and requires no special equipment.
  • Signing can be performed at a speed similar to talking.
  • Signing initiates motor movements, which may prompt talking.
  • Signing may reduce problem behavior more effectively because the response form is more efficient than when using picture selection or exchange.
  • Signing is easier and quicker to learn than picture selection or exchange by some children. Parents or teachers can help a child learn signs by helping mold the child’s hand into the correct sign for a given word.
  • Signing may enhance receptive language.
Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner