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Been busy and absent from posting here! Here's a little something I wrote about my experience as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adult) and relating to giving babies a voice. 

Did you ever consider you ability to sign, no matter how few signs, was a gift to open up the lines of communication with a deaf stranger?

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

What are you doing to celebrate Read Across America Day?

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is "My Many Colored Days." 

http://youtu.be/Vdw6s_0ZIuw

#drseussbirthday   #readacrossamericaday   #babysignlanguage  
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Have you seen baby sign language improve learning right before your eyes? I know I have!

Please share your experience and your stories. I love to hear them!
Can We Improve Learning in Babies?

Those of you who know me well already know my answer to this question. But I share this not to push my bias and experience on you, rather to share some research on the matter. The science is compelling in the article shared on +BabyCenter Kids learn better from adults who talk with their hands.

They start off with:
The evidence has been accumulating for years. People who gesture with their hands are better at multitasking. They are better at recollecting details, retaining new concepts, and solving spatial problems.

And now, thanks to Susan Wagner Cook and colleagues at Michigan State University, we’ve got evidence for something more. Kids learn math better when they watch teachers who use hand gestures.

We know the brain is developing the most in the first 3 years of life. So doesn't it make sense that we would apply the research findings to our youngest humans?

The Baby Center article is here -- http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/kids-learn-better-from-adults-who-talk-with-their-hands/

The blog post I wrote directly after reading it is here -- http://sign4baby.blogspot.com/2013/04/ever-wonder-if-signing-with-your-baby.html
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February is national "I Love Reading" month

Which makes it so fitting that one of the Signing Story Time videos I posted reached an incredible milestone of 10,000 views!

We've been told over and over again about the benefits of reading to our children, and if you're in this community you probably know the benefits of signing with your baby... combine both of those things and you earn an A+ in my book on preparing your little one to be a lifelong avid learner!

http://www.sign4baby.blogspot.com/2014/02/how-to-sign-brown-bear-brown-bear-what.html

Another article I wrote awhile back gives more detail about why signing while reading to your child is such an incredible tool:

https://www.naturalbabypros.com/article/306/signing-story-time-is-nourishing-baby-039-s-brain/

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Not baby related, but signing related and totally put a smile on my face #SuperBowl #deafpride #Seahawks  

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This blog post was written by a mommy in one of my classes.  I often am asked if signing delays speech production.  As a speech language pathologist in my private practice and a mom of two, I can anecdotally say that it does not.  It is always nice to have a signing mom who shares the success that we have all seen.  In addition, this mommy has created an awesome graph to show just how effective signing has been in the spoken vocabulary development of her little one.
http://naturallycontrary.com/2014/01/a-language-explosion/

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I think often we get fixated on wanting our little one to form a sign correctly, because that is how we see it demonstrated to us and that is how we sign.  Babies do not have the fine motor skills to SIGN words correctly.  Just like they don't have the fine motor skills to SAY words correctly.  Here is an example of my son at 5 mos old signing MILK.

Notice that his approximation is close, but could be mistaken for other things if taken out of context.  He is also signing with both hands.

Accept all approximations with praise!  Fine motor skills will come in time.

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I'm getting ready to share this article and video with my currently enrolled families because we are on the topic of "Snack and Meal Time" signs this week. Maybe your baby is just getting started on solids or has a few favorite foods they would like to ask for specifically and you can pick up a few new signs by watching. Enjoy!
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