Monday, July 20, 2009

A Window into the Infant Mind

Much to my delight, the good news about baby sign language has spread far and wide—especially in contrast to how few people knew anything about it when Dr. Susan Goodwyn and I published our first article about babies and signing in 1985.

I do find, however, that many parents and child care providers focus almost exclusively on the signs around mealtime—like EAT, DRINK, MILK, MORE, ALL DONE. What a shame! Yes, babies want and need to communicate these things, but many of them are even more interested in communicating about the exciting things they see in the world around them.

Babies want to tell those they love that they see a doggie, a bird, a butterfly, or a truck. They want to request to read a book, blow bubbles, or go outside. Providing babies with signs for these things, as we do in the Baby Signs® Program, gives them a chance to share their worlds with adults—and gives adults an amazing window into the infant mind.

Happy Signing!

Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
The Baby Signs® Program


Anonymous said...

Madison's first sign was "frog" at 9 months. While she did the food related signs like you mention soon after, one of the greatest 'clinchers' of the topic of this blog for us was when she signed "outside" because she wanted to play outside. I signed "cold" and said it was too cold outside and that we could go later when it warmed up. Because she understood the concept of the sign for cold and instead of throwing a fit and continue to beg to go outside, she went on to something else. Funny enough later that day she signed "outside" and "cold" but her face was as if she was questioning me like asking if it was still cold outside. This example was one of MANY at how we have been able to communicate with out daughter so much earlier than I ever imagined.

Madeline said...

I completely agree with you, Dr. Acredolo! My daughter's favorite signs are dog, bear, car, train, and book. I recently counted the signs she does now that she is 15 months - 38 signs. If you'd like to see another baby getting the benefit of your program, you can check out a video I recently posted on our family blog. Thanks again for such a great and easy program!

Baby Signs said...

Thanks, Madeline! We just sent out a "Tweet" about Darcy at! She's our siging star of the day.

-Linda Easton
Baby Signs, Inc.

Madeline said...

Thanks, Linda! We are in Roseville, so in addition to all the other amazing benefits of Baby Signs, I love supporting a local business, too.