More About the Author
Sign2Me® Early Learning is a highly respected, established company based in beautiful Mukilteo, Washington, just 20 minutes North of Seattle. Our offices and warehouse are just a short stone's throw from the sparkling waters of Puget Sound. Our dedicated team is committed to the development, production, publication, and distribution of print, video, and multimedia resources to help establish two-way communication between hearing parents and their hearing children through the use of genuine American Sign Language signs. Each of our products has been carefully developed with the common goal of leaving the world better than we found it! We hope you will consider the many benefits of using ASL signs to communicate with the babies and children you love. We promise that you will be amazed when your baby signs. Sign2Me® Early Learning is the original baby sign language company based solely on American Sign Language.
HOW IT WORKS
Sign2Me® Early Learning is revolutionizing the way adults view and interact with preverbal babies. Perhaps for the first time in history, infants and toddlers are able to express their wants, needs, and observations in a manner that is clearly understood by their adult allies. Recent research, coupled with the experiences of parents and childcare professionals, is confirming that using ASL signs offers a host of significant benefits.
Scientific research is revealing that a baby can understand and express much more than what was previously thought. Consider the fact that hearing babies can understand spoken words early in life, though spoken words are frequently more abstract than signed words. The sounds "m" and "ah" have no inherent meaning but, when combined to form the word "mama", babies quickly learn to associate this symbol with the nice woman who feeds and takes care of them! To some degree, all words and signs are abstract symbols. If we consistently use the word "mama" in context, most babies will learn to understand what this symbol means. If we also use the sign for "mama" whenever we say that word, babies will come to understand and relate this symbol as well.
Incorporating signs into your daily routine does not require fluency in American Sign Language. Rather, it teaches that even a few simple gestures can make a big difference in empowering and meeting the needs of a child. Parents and caregivers should start slowly by introducing several ASL signs that represent ideas babies can understand, like "more", "eat", and "milk". When babies are able to replace some of the screaming, whining, and crying with a few simple hand gestures, it can dramatically improve their relationships with caregivers.
With each day, more and more people are coming to recognize the power of signing as it changes the way they view and interact with preverbal children.
BENEFITS OF USING ASL (AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE) SIGNS.
* Offer consistency through the use of an established, standardized language. Using standardized signs allow children, family members, caregivers, and other professionals to communicate using the same set of signs. This consistency helps facilitate transition from one setting to another.
* Are easy to learn for both children and adults. Most typically-developing children will learn and use somewhere between 20 and 50 signs before speech becomes their predominant form of communication. The good news for busy parents is that it is quite easy to learn these 20 to 50 essential signs, even without prior experience using ASL.
* Are easy for babies to understand, as many ASL signs are iconic; they are manual imitations of the actions or objects they represent. For example, the ASL sign for "bird" is demonstrated by placing the finger and thumb next to the mouth in the shape of a bird's beak.
* Are widely known and easily accessible. American Sign Language is the third most commonly-used language throughout the United States and Canada, and the strong guiding presence of the Deaf community in North America provides excellent opportunities to learn and utilize ASL.
* Allow for creativity by encouraging parents and babies to create their own sign when a standardized ASL sign does not exist. Be sure to document these special signs such that other caregivers may use them appropriately.