It’s hard for me to believe it’s been over 25 years since I first noticed my 12-month-old daughter, Kate, creating her own sign for flower out in our yard. Those of you who have read our book, Baby Signs, know the story. In her desperation to communicate, she pointed at a rose bush, turned to me—and sniffed! What’s more, she proceeded to continue using that sniffing gesture throughout the day whenever she saw flowers—on the table, the wallpaper, and even on her jammies! I was so fascinated that I even recorded it in my journal: “Katie did the cutest thing today.” And that was the start! Susan and I gathered data as Kate made up more and more signs and also quickly picked up the simple, common sense ones we modeled for her. After all, she was clearly eager to do this, so why not make it easy for her?
And now, Kate is almost 28 years old and still smart as a whip! And my second little signer, my son Kai, is almost 23. Those of you who have watched the Baby Signs introductory video on our website will have seen him signing “Fish” when he was barely 12 months old. He was adorable then and is still adorable today! (I’m not biased, of course.) And he’s still helping Baby Signs, this time as the computer guru in our home office.
It’s wonderful to know that what started as a single observation over a quarter century ago is making such a wonderful difference to families around the world.
Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
Baby Signs Program