Baby Talk with a Twist, Teaching Sign Language - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Baby Talk with a Twist, Teaching Sign Language

Posted:
GEORGETOWN, Del.- Imagine knowing what your baby wants before he or she is able to speak, reducing frustration, encouraging thought and enhancing language development.  Parents and even some classrooms are teaching children sign language well before they can even talk.  

At Delaware Technical Community College's Child Development Center in Georgetown, 15-month-old Rex Wright and 11-month-old Hailee Phillips are just two of the students learning sign language. 

"It's really neat to see them make the connection, to begin to understand language. Because all that they know is screaming. They're frustration turns into screams.  So sign language is a way for them to communicate with us without the frustration and the screaming.  And it's really cool when it finally clicks with them in their head.  They understand that if they sign they are telling us what they want," said Sonya Yoder, a Classroom Leader in the Infant Room at Delaware Technical Community College's Child Development Center. 

Parents say learning sign language can help children learn to speak at an earlier age than an average baby. 

"We actually would get compliments from people about him being able to put together his sentences," said Kristen Mears, who taught her 8-month-old and 5-year-old sign language. 

She says sign language has made communication much easier at home. 

"I find myself talking and communicating more with her b/c I want to implement the signs.  So at meal time I'm not just preparing the food.  I'm walking over to her and sitting down. I'm talking to her asking her if she wants to eat, if she wants more, if she's all done. So I find myself talking through everything I'm doing," said Mears. 

Why does sign language work well with babies?  Shira Fogel, a Speech and Language Pathologist, says it exposes them to three modes of learning: visual, the see the sign being made; auditory, they hear the sign being made; and kinestheticic, they feel the sign being made. Fogel says research shows babies "hear" the spoken word and store it on the left side of the brain.  They "see" the sign and store it on the right side of their brain as an image, giving them two places to recall one word and building brain power. 

Mears says she has seen her child make the connection between using signs and getting what she wants. 

"We were at my parents house and my mom was just talking to her she was playing and stopped doing something. And my mom said.  "all done" and my daughter threw her hands up and started waving the all done sign.  And I was like it's all done.. Everybody She's doing it," said Mears. 

If you are interested in teaching your child sign language, classroom leaders at the Child Development Center say start with the basics.  They say signs are typically introduced when a child is between 6 and 8 months old, mostly at meal times. 

"We always verbalize when we sign.. Like this is more.  And just the repetition and you'd be surprised by how quickly they pick up on it," said Yoder.  

Frequently used signs are more, drink, please, thank you, all done and eat.  

Of course there are critics. some say teaching children sign language actually delays speech- because they are dependent upon the signs.  The parents and teachers we spoke with did not experience that problem. 



  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Questioned

    Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Questioned

    A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county. Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State Police trooper. In the post, Lewis referred to the protesters as "fist wielding, black power activists" who decried law enforcement officers' work.

    More

    A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county. Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State Police trooper. In the post, Lewis referred to the protesters as "fist wielding, black power activists" who decried law enforcement officers' work.

    More
  • 18 Inmates Charged in Deadly Del. Prison Uprising

    18 Inmates Charged in Deadly Del. Prison Uprising

    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two other inmates were also charged in connection with the incident on Feb. 1-2 that resulted in the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd, injuries to Correctional Officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson, and the kidnapping of counselor Patricia May.

    More

    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two other inmates were also charged in connection with the incident on Feb. 1-2 that resulted in the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd, injuries to Correctional Officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson, and the kidnapping of counselor Patricia May.

    More
  • Anti-Discrimination Draft Concerns Some in Sussex County

    Anti-Discrimination Draft Concerns Some in Sussex County

    Months after Governor Carney issued a memorandum asking the Department of Education to create a model anti-discrimination policy for the state, a draft is available for public comment.

    More

    Months after Governor Carney issued a memorandum asking the Department of Education to create a model anti-discrimination policy for the state, a draft is available for public comment.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices