Sing and Sign – learning to communicate with your baby

Ollie (15m) was buckled into his car seat playing with the car keys whilst Mum was busy nearby when he pressed a button on the key-fob and locked himself in the car! He then dropped the keys onto the seat next to him. The car breakdown technician was 30-45 minutes away. Using signing & speech Mum was able to communicate with baby signs through the window panel for him to get the ‘keys’ so she could drive the ‘car’. He was struggling to reach down to the keys and she used gestures to tell him to pull his car seat belt “off” his shoulder, which he did. He then managed to get to the keys and with visual prompting and speech he pressed the remote button on the keys and they were able to get the car door open. The parent says “I truly believe this 15 month old baby would not have had the level of communication or comprehension to reach that conclusion were it not for baby signing. I thought you would like to know and thank you for your contribution to that!

 

This amazing story was fed back to me in 2005 when I first launched Sing and Sign in this area. I have had many more positive stories over the years of babies signing for “pain” when teething, “hot” when placed in the bath water and “home” when returning from holiday!

 

Developed with the help of Speech and Language experts and launched in January 2001, the “Sing and Sign” programme has since taught tens of thousands of parents across the UK how to sign with their babies and encourage amazing early communication.

 

A study spanning 2 decades funded by the National Institutes of Health in the USA was devised to look at how baby signing affected children’s linguistic and intellectual development. The study compared 3 groups of 11 month olds: one group whose parents were asked to encourage baby signing (alongside speech) when interacting, one group whose parents were to focus on naming things (verbally) for their baby and one group who had no specific instruction at all. The babies underwent a language assessment at regular intervals up to the age of 3 and were followed up again at age 8. The results were compelling: the tests showed that the baby signers’ language skills were in advance of the non-signers and spoke in sentences sooner. In addition, at three years of age the baby signers were talking like children a full year ahead.

Our beautiful promotional film for our classes has recently been completed and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you! It shows the three stages of class and films parents who attend who give genuine feedback of the benefits and fun we have!  Please click on this link to view:

 

I am looking forward to seeing you at the Birthability Baby Fair on Sunday 8th May and enthusing more about baby signing!

 

Pippa Jenkins

Sing and Sign Stratford, Leamington & Warwick

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