Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2018

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22 Hudson Valley Parent n January 2018 speech development or delays articulation; however according to Clay, evidence points to the contrary. The introduction of narration and repetition through signing actually promotes verbal communication. Nicole Bonelli, the director of the Infant Toddler Center at Vassar College, can attest to this. She explains, "While we don't encourage sign language drills or showing sign to children like flash cards, we have had great success teaching our youngest children basic signs." When can we start? According to Nancy Cadjan, president of, a website dedicated to helping parents By LUCIA CIVILE T eaching sign language to babies has recently exploded as a trend for new parents. A debated topic that continues to inspire dialogue between professionals and parents, the question that begs to be asked is if it's truly beneficial. We love the idea of teaching our kids a way to speak before speech, but it's a task that seems to have several myths attached to it. Cholee Clay, author at "We Have Kids," speaks to the myths, truths, and benefits behind sign language for children in her recent article. One of the most common myths attached to sign language is the idea that it hampers get started learning sign language, babies are developmentally ready for their parents to start signing to them at four months old, but won't be able to sign back until seven to nine months when they have better coordination. Babies' understanding of communication is just beginning to form in their fourth month; an ability that develops much sooner than their capacity to articulate words. This imbalance of aptitude can often be a source of frustration for little ones. Some parents find that sign language can be a solution for tantrums surrounding communication barriers. Mother of two of Walden and Could teaching your baby sign language help them learn to speak earlier? Benefits of sign language demystified Gennine Hauser says learning to sign at a young age opened the door for her three-year-old to read at a second grade level. (Continued on Page 24)

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