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Baby Sign Language

You don't need to spend hours studying and learning the complete ASL dictionary if you wish to teach your baby sign language; it can be easily worked into your normal routine and you can learn right along with your baby. Start with simple, need-based, and commonly-used words such as milk, diaper, more, and eat, and remember these important tips:

  • Always pair the spoken word with the gesture.

  • Always praise your child's attempts, and be excited and animated. If you are bored or frustrated, your child will be too.

  • Show your baby the sign before and during an activity such as feeding or changing a diaper.

  • Be consistent - use the sign every time you do the activity.

  • Stick with one sign until your baby begins to sign it back to you, then choose another sign and start the process over again. But don't abandon the first sign - continue to use it frequently.

  • Be patient - your child won't learn to sign overnight.

  • Be flexible - your baby may invent a new sign once she understands that everything has a sign. Feel free to continue using it, or show her the correct ASL sign. Either way, praise her for her efforts.

There are many sign language dictionaries available in book form, on video and DVD, and posted on the Internet. The following websites offer classes, instructional products, demonstrations of basic signs, as well as recommended books and videos.

Baby Signs Program
http://www.babysigns.com/

Handspeak
http://www.handspeak.com/

Kinder Signs
http://www.kindersigns.com/anim_dictionary.html

Born 2 Sign
http://signwithme.com/002_browse_signs.asp

WeeHands
http://www.weehands.com/

 

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