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Baby Signing delaying speech?


Forum: Baby Signing

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  #1  
October 20th, 2009, 01:54 PM
Hesperleigh's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm interested in teaching my son some sign language. I mentioned it to a few co-workers today and they all tried to tell me that they feel it delays speech. I don't really believe that since you are signing and speaking the word. Truthfully, though, I haven't done any research on it. I just decided to check out this board today and look at some signs since my little guy just turned 6 months old on Saturday. Have any of you BTDT moms run into these judgements? What do you say?
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  #2  
October 20th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Effervescence's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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There is no scientific evidence that suggests that signing delays speech. On the contrary, studies have found that children come to grasp an understanding of language much earlier when they are signed to. Any children that do have a speech delay benefit greatly from knowing signs, because they can communicate when they otherwise would have been frustrated.

My son is on the near verge of being considered as having a speech delay. And I don't blame signing AT ALL. In fact, I am very grateful to it, because my son who cannot speak can still tell me that he has to go potty, or that he needs milk. We don't have the frustrations that other families with a speech delayed child would have, because our son can still communicate to me.

I know that some mothers will come on here and say that their child has a speech delay and it is because of signing, but they cannot say that. So many factors go into delaying a child's speech, and anything could have happened either in utero or in the child's environment that caused the delay. I have signed with literally over a hundred children. I have seen some children learn language at a faster pace, and some children are delayed, just as it all would have been if we hadn't signed to them.

This is actually a passionate topic for me, that I defend fiercely, because it is the topic that I had proposed for my grad school research. I never ended up going to grad school, yet, because we all know how life does a 180 on us sometimes LOL but I still have been researching it vigorously, as well as taking "in field" notes while teaching at nursery schools. From my observations, a child who is signed to is just as likely to have a speech delay as a child who is not signed to, but they are more likely to be verbally advanced by age two if they are signed to, than a child who is not.
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  #3  
October 21st, 2009, 07:27 AM
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The above post was excellent!

This seems to be our most asked question. Everyone assumes that if babies sign, their speech will be delayed. I usually ask the person if their baby crawled before they walked, and if that delayed their walking. Of course it doesn't. Crawling gives them their first chance at mobility, and when they begin to learn that they can get around even faster on two feet, they immediately start working on mastering their walking skills, and it's made easier by the balance and muscles they developed by crawling.

The same goes for signing; it opens the door for communication, and encourages babies to talk in order to communicate faster and better. Through signing, they are actively learning the names and meanings of words, so all that is needed is for their vocal skills to catch up. Like crawling, signing is a stepping stone that helps them toward their goal.

Here are some great articles that contain more information:
signingbaby.com Blog What to tell people about Baby Signs and learning to talk
signingbaby.com Blog Skepticism and How to Deal With It
Sign2Me - Baby Sign Language Research
https://www.babysigns.com/index.cfm?id=64
Signing Smart - Baby / Toddler Sign Language
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Last edited by A&C's_Mom; October 21st, 2009 at 07:54 AM.
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  #4  
October 22nd, 2009, 07:01 AM
Hesperleigh's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thanks so much! This was very helpful. This is funny because I was thinking of it like a stepping stone, too. And it's not like when a mother signs, she doesn't talk aloud as well.

On to check out the most useful signs!
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  #5  
October 26th, 2009, 08:38 PM
Effervescence's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Posts: 6,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashton&Caoimhe'sMom View Post
The above post was excellent!

This seems to be our most asked question. Everyone assumes that if babies sign, their speech will be delayed. I usually ask the person if their baby crawled before they walked, and if that delayed their walking. Of course it doesn't. Crawling gives them their first chance at mobility, and when they begin to learn that they can get around even faster on two feet, they immediately start working on mastering their walking skills, and it's made easier by the balance and muscles they developed by crawling.

The same goes for signing; it opens the door for communication, and encourages babies to talk in order to communicate faster and better. Through signing, they are actively learning the names and meanings of words, so all that is needed is for their vocal skills to catch up. Like crawling, signing is a stepping stone that helps them toward their goal.

Here are some great articles that contain more information:
signingbaby.com Blog What to tell people about Baby Signs and learning to talk
signingbaby.com Blog Skepticism and How to Deal With It
Sign2Me - Baby Sign Language Research
https://www.babysigns.com/index.cfm?id=64
Signing Smart - Baby / Toddler Sign Language
you always articulate what I want to say so much better than I can! Thanks for this post!
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  #6  
October 27th, 2009, 07:08 AM
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Well thanks, but you deserve the credit because I learned everything I wrote in that post from you, lol.
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