Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'd Love to Meet You!

I’m currently in the midst of preparing for a 2-day, in-person training in Denver on June 24-25. I love these trainings! It’s my chance to share my passion for the Baby Signs® Program “up close and personal” with others who are eager to pass along the good news to families in their own communities. The attendees come from two different groups. One group includes individuals interested in starting their own home businesses by becoming Baby Signs® Independent Certified Instructors. These folks will not only have fun giving classes, but will also have the satisfaction of earning extra income. The other group are representatives from child development related organizations and agencies who want the ability to teach Baby Signs® classes to the clients they serve. We call folks in this latter group “Agency Certified Instructors.”

These trainings always leave me with good memories—and new friends—which is why I look forward to them so much. Here’s an example: One of our attendees—who I will call Joyce—was eager to become an instructor because of her experience with her grandson, Jacob. Unfortunately, Joyce lived some 1500 miles away from Jacob and had only been able to visit right after he was born. Her daughter tried to bridge the gap with a photo of Joyce on his bureau and a routine where he would kiss the photo every night while his mom said “Goodnight Grandma. We LOVE you!”

When Jacob was about 11 months old, Joyce's daughter announced she was going to begin teaching Jacob to communicate with signs. Joyce had never heard of such a thing and was more than a little dubious. (She even admitted at the training that she had been secretly worried that using signs would slow down Jacob learning to talk, an admission which led nicely during the training into my description of our research at UCD proving the opposite is true!).

All her qualms faded away, however, one night when Joyce and her daughter inaugurated their brand new Skype connection. Joyce, of course, was eager to say “Hello” to Jacob. Jacob, always glad to get in front of the computer, cooperated by climbing into his mother’s lap and turning his eyes to the screen to see what fun game was going on. But then, in something of a double-take, his eyes grew wide as he caught sight of Joyce. He then spontaneously leaned forward, kissed the screen, smiled broadly and—much to Joyce and her daughter’s delighted amazement—signed “LOVE” by crossing his hands over his heart!

Jacob and Joyce continued after that night to communicate via Skype, with Jacob using his signs to tell her about his day. But no matter what other amazing things Jacob did with his signing, nothing could top that first memorable moment. And that’s why she was at our training. Why shouldn’t every grandma experience the magic of learning that, although she may be far away, she’s far from forgotten!

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about our upcoming training, just click “Professional Trainings” on our home page. Hope to see you there!

Happy Signing! (and don’t forget to look for us on Facebook)


Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, the Baby Signs® Program

Professor Emeritus, UC Davis
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