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Signing With Babies And Children: Sign language beneficial for babies in low-income families, study finds

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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."

1 comment: said...

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