5 Reasons We LOVE Sign Language!

As speech therapists, we have had many parents express a fear that if they start using sign language with their children, their children will not learn to talk. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Research has shown that sign language actually supports verbal language development. There are SO many benefits from learning sign language:

Here are the top FIVE reasons we recommend using sign language with your baby/toddler:

1.Learning a few simple signs can reduce frustration. Sign language gives babies and toddlers the ability to communicate their wants and needs before they are able to use verbal language — that is HUGE in being able to reduce frustration! An 11-month old baby many not be able to tell her parents that she is thirsty using vocal words, but she can sign “water.”

2. Sign language is easy to use in your daily routines. We suggest starting with very functional words that are part of your every-day routine. Common first signs are: “more,” “please,” “milk,” “all done.” Use them with your baby during those every day situations — you can learn more sign language with your baby, as the new needs/situations arise.

3. Signing enhances expressive language skills. It gives your child a visual AND an auditory cue for what is being communicated. Enhancing communication, on any level, will increase your child’s desire and ability to communicate back!

4. Sign language introduces the reciprocal nature of communication. Communication is like a dance – back-and-forth responses from one person to another. Sign language introduces this concept early-on and gives babies and toddlers the ability to practice this concept before they are using verbal language.

5. Sign language can be used with children of varying abilities. This is one of our very favorite reasons for choosing to teach children sign language – it can be used with babies and toddlers of ALL abilities.

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