PRLog - Sep. 12, 2012 - JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Teaching American Sign Language (ASL) to a hearing baby was once viewed as a fad, but parents now realize it is a valuable tool for communication with their children. Studies show that hearing children who use ASL tend to read sooner, and to have larger vocabularies and higher IQ scores.
Mother and toddler signing "tree" together
Some parents fear that using sign language with their children will delay speech development, but in fact the opposite is true. Typically, 12 month old children are only beginning to communicate and have a spoken vocabulary of no more than ten words. However, because children develop control of their hands earlier than control of their voices, they can sign much earlier in life. This early communication allows more time for vocabulary building and some signing babies have a signed vocabulary of more than 20 words by the age of one year. Using sign language reduces babies’ frustration, accelerates verbal development and strengthens cognitive skills.
The benefits of using ASL with hearing children do not end after the development of spoken language. Sign language provides a hands-on aspect to learning and continues to benefit students even after entering the classroom. “Sign language is typically thought of as supplementing literacy activities, but I have also used it when working with students having difficulty in math and language arts,” says Daryl “Ms. Daryl” Everett, certified My Smart Hands instructor.
If you’d like to learn even more, you can attend the Florida Parenting Conference on October 21st in Orlando, Florida. Everett will be a presenting an interactive session on the topic. More information on the conference can be found at http://www.floridaparentingconference.com
In Jacksonville, Everett is teaching parents and children to sign. "I am very excited to offer sign language and the My Smart Hands curriculum to First Coast families," she said. “My passion for sign language and children led me to pursue a Master’s degree in Special Education. I am thrilled to use my training and classroom experience to help youngsters.”
Courses range from a class for babies and toddlers to ASL courses for students too young to take them in school. Ms. Daryl also offers child educator workshops designed to show teachers and child care providers how to use sign language with the children in their care.
For more information about signing with children, visit http://www.babysignlanguagejax.com or contact Ms. Daryl by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 904-237-4526.
My Smart Hands is an international company with over 120 instructors who teach parents and caregivers how to communicate with their children through American Sign Language. The company has recently received the Parent Tested, Parent Approved Award. For more information about My Smart Hands, or to see videos of signing children, visit http://www.mysmarthands.com.