Grandpas are pretty awesome. My dad would do just about anything for Noah. One thing that is important to him is to learn how to communicate with Noah as he gets older and is learning to talk. There is a lot of research showing the effectiveness of sign language in children born with down syndrome, so our entire family is in the process of learning a new language – sign language!
He was insistant on bringing home the Baby Signing Time videos during our library storytime visit so he could catch up. We have one of the videos at home and have been trying to figure this stuff out. (Fun Fact: Rick “randomly” took a year of American Sign Language while earning his undergraduate degree. Pretty neat to see how God had this planned out all along.)
We sat back and watched the videos with his grandpa and Noah started signing away…just kidding. Noah is not quite into TV so he just enjoyed sitting with Grandpa. Incorporating signing into our daily life is HARD. Grandpa was always reminding us to sign when we offered him milk. I wish he had come home with us as we don’t do too hot on our own.
Baby Sign Language: To Do, Or Not To Do? That Is The Question.
I am not going to lie, but as a pediatrician I am torn on the idea of baby signing.
There are three theories, one that it will slow speech progression as there is no need to learn your words since you have a sign for them, and the others being that there is no delay to it helps advance speech development.
If I had a typical developing child, I would not have bothered with sign language. The studies cannot state clear conclusions on the benfit or harm of sign language for a typical child yet. However there are promising studies for children born with Down syndrome. You are likely familiar that children with Down syndrome can learn language slowly, however a nice scientist named Miller showed that when sign was added there was no difference in aquired language between typical children and those with Down syndrome. Language being either a sign or a word. Pretty awesome conclusion. That information encourages me to try sign language…if I could just remember to actually do it!
We want others to be able to communicate with Noah as well and that fact that his grandparents are already learning sign means the world to us.
One of the reasons that the studies are not giving clear conclusions for typical children is that it is hard to determine if other factors are impacting speech development. Things like parent-child interaction including simply singing or reading bedtime stories can improve speech. The studies are finding it hard to control for these conditions and determine that sign is the real reason these children have advanced speech development.
Langauge is definately an individualized learning experience and I am fairy certain that you will be able to figure things out to help your child.
Hanging Out In Downtown Aspen
We spent the day singing, signing, and playing in downtown Aspen. I can’t wait until Noah can strap on some skies (or a snowboard!) and have some real fun.
One of Rick’s favorite lunch items is a BLT and Boogie’s Burgers in downtown Aspen makes some of the best!
I wanted one (or two) of everything.
Ok,so maybe there was one thing in the store I didn’t want to try.
As you can see after finding Noah a cute hat, he was ready to go home.
And…it’s time to go!
And by the time we got home it wasn’t long before Noah was sound asleep, looking as cute as ever.
What are your thoughts on Baby Sign Language? For those of you who have tried it, what has been your (and your child’s) experience?