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Baby Sign Language: Info, classes, workshops and products

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Hello, my name is Danielle Dalziel. I am a Signing Time Academy certified baby sign language instructor and owner of More Than Baby Talk. I offer workshops and classes in the GTA and Muskoka and sell the Signing Time products (available through me directly or on my website – SigingTimeAcademy.com/DanielleD).
Signing with your baby is not only a fantastic way to spend some quality time together, but you are also providing then with the tools they need to communicate at an early age, learn the value of language and potentially increase their reading skills and IQ. Despite misconceptions and misunderstandings, introducing your child to sign language does not hinder their speech, in fact, it does the opposite. Sign language helps your baby to understand the value and importance of language. It also allows them to communicate at an earlier age than if they were to rely solely on speech. They are able to sign at a younger age then they are able to talk.

Below are some answers to common Baby Sign Language Questions:
Frequently Asked Questions: Introducing Sign Language to Babies

How will sign language affect our baby’s language development?
Through signs, babies learn that their thoughts can be conveyed symbolically. A baby may think “I touch my fingers to my lips and my parents know I’m hungry.” Signing lets babies begin to explore and understand the basic functions of language at a very early age. In addition, signs help reinforce the meaning of spoken words, especially when both words and signs are used simultaneously.
Will it be difficult for our baby to learn and understand the signs? Will it be difficult for me to learn to sign with our baby?
No. Most babies learn to identify and the form signs quickly. The structure of ASL is compatible with the nature of language development in infants. One sign can relate an entire concept. ASL signs are also very iconic; in many cases, the signs resemble the objects or concepts they represent. This will help both you and your child remember signs. Rather, we recommend introducing signs that are relevant to your child’s interactions with the world.
Does signing with babies delay their speech development?
Research conclusively indicates that babies who sign tend to have a stronger command of verbal language and often being speaking at an earlier age then babies who do not sign. Countless parents and caregivers have confirmed these findings with their personal experiences and observations. In addition, many Speech-Language professionals, pediatricians, and educators are supporting the use of signs to encourage early language development.

What is the optimal age to introduce signs to our baby?
No age is too early to begin learning and modeling signs with your baby. At the same time, it’s never too late to start; even toddlers who have a few spoken words can significantly benefit from signing. Learning specific signs for “ball”, “bath”, and “bottle” can help distinguish the specific word when “ba” is used for all three items. Using the sign paired with the baby’s spoken sounds can help reduce frustration for both you and your baby.
What scientific research supports the idea of signing with babies.
Joseph Garcia first research the concept of learning and teaching signs to babies in 1987 as part of his Master’s Program at Alaska Pacific University. A longitudinal study was conducted at the University of California at Davis by Drs. Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn. This study, which followed babies through their eighth year, indicated that signing with babies offers many benefits, including a strengthened parent-child bond, increased interest in books, enhanced verbal language development, and higher IQ’s.
Benefits of Signing
Signing as a parent provides you with the unique opportunity to develop a window into your child’s mind. By including signs in daily activities, parents spend less time guessing what a child wants and more time fulfilling specific needs.
• Signing allows your infant to clearly communicate specific thoughts.
• Signing reduces frustration for you child and for you!
• Signing won’t delay verbal language development – in fact, it may accelerate it. Research shows that babies who sign usually start to talk sooner and develop larger vocabularies than non-signing babies.
• Signing children tend to be more interested in books
• Signing builds on babies’ natural tendency to use gestures.
• Signing creates a unique and special bond with your baby.
• Signing stimulates emotional and intellectual development, an important aspect for healthy social growth.
• Signing helps develop fine and gross motor skills.
Feel free to contact me for more info at DanielleD@SigningTimeAcademy.com
Level 1
Baby Sign Language Workshop
June 12th 10:00am-12:00pm
Come join Danielle Dalziel, a certified Signing Time Baby Sign Language Instructor for an ‘intro to Baby Sign Language’.
Cost: $45.00
Includes: workshop workbook, a set of Baby Signing Time flashcards and learn over 50 signs!
Location: Brampton Library (Four Corners Branch)
65 Queen Street East,
Brampton, Ontario, L6W 3L6

For More information or to register please contact:
Danielle Dalziel (705) 828 2289; DanielleD@SigningTimeAcademy.com

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