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In our baby sign language classes, you will learn over 100 signs to use with your baby. Classes are 45 minutes long and are designed as fun and engaging play classes for parents/caregivers and babies.
In a playful, educational and language-rich environment, caregivers and children will build their American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary through instruction, interactive games and songs.
What will you be gaining from each class?
Some of the ASL vocabulary covered for this age group includes:
All of our baby sign language classes include a full-color MSH® curriculum book with a CD of the songs we teach. The books have pictures of the signs learned along with descriptions for easy reference long after the class is over!
- Teaching your baby sign language can enhance early communication, reduce frustration, and strengthen the parent-infant bond. It provides a way for babies to express their needs before they can verbally communicate.
- You can start introducing signs around 6 months when babies begin to understand simple gestures. However, every baby is different, and some may show interest earlier or later.
- No, teaching sign language does not delay speech development. In fact, research suggests that it may enhance language skills and can be a bridge to verbal communication.
- Start with signs that relate to your baby's daily routine and needs, such as "eat," "milk," "more," and "sleep." You can gradually introduce signs for objects or activities that interest your baby.
- It's beneficial if both parents and caregivers learn baby sign language to ensure consistency. However, even if only one person is using signs, babies can still learn and respond.
- Babies may start using signs as early as 8-10 months, but it varies. Consistency and repetition play key roles in their ability to understand and use signs.
- It's common for babies to transition from signs to spoken words as their language skills develop. However, some children may continue to use signs alongside verbal communication.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete and distinct language with its own grammar and syntax. It is primarily used by the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community for communication. It is a complex visual language with its own grammar rules, facial expressions, and nuanced hand movements with an extensive vocabulary and can express complex ideas and conversations. ASL is deeply tied to Deaf culture and serves as a primary means of communication for many within the Deaf community and is used as a primary means of communication for Deaf individuals and is an important part of their identity. Learning ASL often involves formal instruction, as it is a complete language with its own grammar and structure.
Baby sign language is a simplified form of sign language adapted for infants and their caregivers. It typically involves using a subset of signs from ASL to aid communication before a baby is able to speak. Baby sign language simplifies signs to make them easier for infants to imitate. It often focuses on basic gestures related to common needs and activities such as eating, sleeping, and playing. Baby sign language is not associated with a specific culture but is rather a tool for early communication between infants and caregivers. Learning baby sign language is typically informal and may involve resources like books, online tutorials, or classes specifically designed for parents and caregivers. Baby sign language is used as a bridge to facilitate early communication between caregivers and pre-verbal infants and is often a temporary communication tool used during a baby's pre-verbal stage. As the child develops verbal skills, the reliance on signs may decrease.
While both ASL and baby sign language involve the use of visual-gestural communication, they serve different purposes and are adapted for distinct audiences and contexts. If you're interested in learning sign language, I highly encourage you to look for classes taught by someone who is Deaf. Below are some resources you can use to find ASL classes in the Westmoreland/Allegheny County area as well as free self-paced online ASL classes from Dr. Bill Vickers.
Join us on Sunday, February 18th for our Love Notes Cabaret from 7-9pm at Sobel's Obscure Brewery in Jeannette! Our Fundraising event for our Frances Fund will feature musical performances, Karaoke and we are happy to have SugarCloud Cookies and Confections and Foxy Frans Catering and Vending Service at the event to provide some delicious food and desserts.
The event will feature:
- A silent auction with artwork and products donated by amazing local artists and local businesses
- A note writing station to write a "Love Note Around The World" for the American Cancer Society. Money from writ