Sign Language Speaks through Babies

Essay by SafyreCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Sign Language Speaks through Babies

Communication between babies and parents has been a problem since the beginning of time. The subtle hints into what a child is thinking, feeling and experiencing every day has become a topic of many discussions and books. In the last few years parents and scientist have reviewed many alternative ways to communicate with babies and toddlers, one of which is sign language. The idea of teaching signs to babies has been around longer than most would expect. We all know what it means when a child holds both arms above their head at your feet. They usually want picked up. However, the real function of signs has not been studied until recently. Sign language makes communication between parents and children easier, gives children self-confidence, and may even improve on a child's I.Q.

In reference to teenagers, many parents hear advice from relatives and even on television commercials that now a day communication is the key.

This is also true for toddlers. The terrible two's, as they are lovingly called, can be a test for every parent's patience. The problem seems to lie in the lack of communication skills in the average two year old. Many children do not know how to express what they want and need. This usually ends up coming out in pure frustration on the child's part. Sign language seems to be a ventilation system for many children. Children often make up their own sign's long before they are able to communicate. For example, when a child's stomach hurts they may point to their stomach while crying. This lets parents know what hurts. Children often mime the activates of parents as well. They learn in some cases that if they are being told "No!" that they should point their finger as well.