Using American Sign Language, Lil' Hands assists parents and children in developing communication skills, reducing the common frustrations that arise from a young child’s inability to convey their needs. Through the inclusion of both responsive and receptive communication, a child gains a deeper understanding of language; a language that can continue to grow as they do, nourishing their mind cognitively and intellectually. Through signing, a child gains the ability to express their basic wants and needs with gross and fine motor skills long before their vocal cords are fully developed.
Frustrations on both sides are drastically reduced as a child no longer has to rely solely on crying or tantrums to get their needs met. Milk, more, finished, hurt, hungry and dirty diaper, are just a few of the many that can be communicated with sign language at an early age. These tools allow the child to convey their thoughts, promoting positive emotional development and boosting self-confidence.
Signing can be wonderful opportunity to establish a deeper, more interactive relationship with your infant. Where other parents will be left to guess why their children are crying, your child will be able to tell you. Don't let your child remain trapped in a world where no one understands them! Give them a head start over others in language acquisition and witness the positive results for yourself.
Why sign, my baby will talk soon anyway?
A 12-month-old is considered advanced when speaking two or more words yet has the physical ability to begin signing as early as 7-10 months. Moreover, results of a study done by Acredolo and Goodwyn (1988) revealed that 24-month-old babies using sign language were, on average talking, more like 27 or 28-month-olds, representing more than a three-month advantage over the non-signers. The babies utilizing sign language were also constructing significantly longer sentences. In addition, 36-month-old signers on average were talking similarly to 47-month-olds, putting them almost a full year ahead of similarly-aged peers. At 8 years, those who had used sign language as babies scored an average of 12 points higher in IQ on the WISC-III than their non-signing peers.
Will signing delay speech by inhibiting language development?
Not at all. As crawling leads to walking, signing is a natural developmental stepping stone on the path toward full speech. Babies have a natural desire to communicate and are already attempting to do so in their own ways. What is it your lil' one is trying to say when they point, raise their arms or clap? Signing not only helps them with what they can't say, but can clarify meaning of what they are saying. Once vocal cords are developed, speaking becomes a quicker and more efficient form of communication, and therefore takes precedence over signing.
Won't signs, especially American Sign Language (ASL) be too difficult for my child to formulate?
Babies have limited fine motor skills, so beginning production will not be precise in the beginning. Just as intelligible speech develops with time and repetition, so will their ability to sign. Why not teach and learn a true language that can be utilized in the future? You never know who your lil' one will grow up to be, or who they will encounter in their life.