Babies who cannot communicate effectively
tend to throw tantrums. In case you are not able to guess why the child is
distraught, the situation gets helpless as it makes the child inconsolable. Teaching
your child to use sign language can allow your child to communicate what they want,
providing a bridge to the spoken word. Know that babies and toddlers are able
to understand far more than they can express. Hence sign language is the much
needed skill to articulate speech until the age of 10-12 months when auditory
skills are underdeveloped.
You can begin demonstrating when your child
can hold your gaze for a couple of seconds i.e. when the child is between the
age of 6-8 months. Start with three to five signs, using eye contact and saying
the word out loud. Add additional words when you begin to make progress.
It helps reduce the guesswork of
understanding your infant’s thoughts, allowing a better understanding between
you two. Remember you’re not formally “teaching” signs as such, just adding
simple gestures which are easily linked to the objects. It doesn’t really
matter what the sign is, as long as you agree on its meaning.
and Language skills
When you are teaching your child sign
language, do it by saying the name of the sign out loud and many times as you
show your child the sign. This repetition may help to expand your child’s horizon
of both auditory and visual vocabulary and language skills.
& Spelling proficiency
Research supports that children who learn sign
language in infancy have better reading and spelling skills. As sign language
is a visual language, it involves using the visual and attention skills which
are very important skills in both learning and social interactions.
The practice of sign language stimulates
and engages children of different learning styles. When children use sign
language, they are learning visually, verbally, and kinaesthetically all at the
Teaching to use sign language can support
in development of your child’s fine motor skills. Your child gets to practice
fine motor skills as they learn to sign back to you.
When learning sign language both the left
and right hemisphere of the brain are used compared to learning a spoken
language, which only uses the brain’s left hemisphere. Signing children are
also found to have higher IQ at a later stage.
Children are all different and may or may not
show an interest in signing
attention skills and Joint attention skills
Teaching using and understanding sign
language requires a child to utilize his visual and joint attention skills,
both of which are very important skills in both learning and social