What research has been completed?
1987 - Joseph Garcia, Interpreter, Alaska Pacific University, first researched the concept of signing to hearing babies after interpreting to deaf families with hearing babies and then conducted the first studies of Baby Signing at Alaska Pacific University. Results of the studies were that signing eases frustration, helps babies to communicate more, signs are picked up easily at around 6 months or so.
1988 - 2009 Dr. Linda Acredolo and Dr. Susan Goodwyn, University of California at Davis, studied with small babies through to 8 years of age and now have over 30 years of research papers, showing that in babies who sign, there is greater verbal language development, higher IQ's, a baby will share it's world more, increases parent-child bond and eases frustration.
2007 - Dr. Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon, Stirling University in Scotland, researched baby signing and found that it helped very small children to communicate, eased child and parent frustration and helped toddlers develop socially acceptable behaviour.
Will Baby Signing inhibit speech?
No. Definitely not. Always say the words as you sign them. Remember it's simple hand movements you're introducing to normal speech and not replacing speech. You are probably signing to your baby already - using signs "all done" and "ta-ta".
How does it work?
Studies have indicated that babies can absorb and communicate information shortly after birth. Visual acuity and muscular coordination are in place long before babies can speak. Kiddisigns mimic an activity or movement and therefore, they can be easily recognised and remembered.
What age do I start Baby Signing?
Any age is the answer!! We believe that the earlier you introduce KiddisignS, the better the outcome. You may have to wait a month or two for results though!! Best results come from starting at baby's age of 4 months or more. The babies get excited at the Kiddisigns at that age so it's nice for parents to see another form of communication working. Generally, babies will form signs from around 5 months onwards.
Please be patient with your baby/child as they are all individuals and will learn at different paces.
My child is speaking, so what use is signing to them?
For speaking children, they are learning a new language - they will be able to communicate with younger siblings and with deaf children. The signs are universal and will also help integrating non-English speaking children into an English speaking situation e.g. Nursery.
Also, they will enjoy being able to Kiddisign along to nursery rhymes they love.
From the moment babies are born, they start to communicate by using sound and natural gestures. Kiddisign's book teaches you to sign in context and, in a child-like way, to help build on these gestures.
As the baby develops, she/he will then use both speech and signs as methods of communication. If the child becomes frustrated or has not learned to speak a certain word, they will use a sign, otherwise they will use speech first.
The vital connection between you and a baby or child depends on this communication. They will use extensive body language, facial expressions, and all sorts of verbal sounds to interact with you.
These movements and sounds will eventually evolve into language. But until they do, you may have to try and read their mind!
The muscles that allow speech to form take time to develop and this frustrates the child as it has many specific needs and thoughts to express!