Baby tantrums tamed by sign language 
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 Baby tantrums tamed by sign language

        excerpt independent.co.uk
consult the trouble-shooting section of the book. "My baby makes one sign for everything. What
should I do?" "Often a young baby will make her first sign (perhaps for MILK or MORE) and will
discover the sign gets results," says the book. "She will then use that sign for everything. This is
perfectly normal and clearly demonstrates your child's understanding that the sign symbolises
something." The book then suggests that I show Jerry many more signs and "provide an environment
that stimulates communication". "Consistency and repetition are the key to helping your baby
understand," says the book. And so we start again.

Week three, and I am somewhat frustrated at our lack of progress. Despite singing songs from the
"Let's rhyme, let's sign!" section of the book ("If you're happy and you know it..." I do HAPPY by
brushing one horizontal palm against the other a couple of times and then clap my hands at the
required bit), Jerry is still doing the MILK sign accompanied by advanced double-babbling.
"Ma-ma-ma-ma," he says. "Da-da-da-da."

I go to my local playgroup. Just as I am telling Jerry I am about to change his nappy, "CHANGE" I
say, clenching my hands into fists, putting my wrists together and twisting my hands back and forth,
I notice another mother doing it too. It turns out that she goes to local baby-signing classes. I
ask her how it is going, all the time staring intently at her baby girl to see if she's got the hang
of it. The baby looks no more involved than Jerry, but the mother tells me that her baby has,
contrary to all appearances, grasped the nettle when it comes to signing. "She can tell me when
she's hungry or cold or when she's tired," says the mother. "I feel we communicate much better now
than we did before, and she cries a lot less." Later on she tells me she also likes the idea of baby
signing because, according to the teacher, it helps babies speak earlier and have a broader
vocabulary.



Sat, 16 Feb 2008 19:17:30 GMT
 
 [ 1 post ] 

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