Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Author: Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn
Rating: 4 out of 5
First sentence: Carlotta was sound asleep when her inner "mommy alarm" went off.
I knew that I was going to introduce sign language to Maya when she was a baby. Since I took four semesters of American Sign Language (ASL) in college I have some background in the language, and luckily even have my ASL dictionaries still on hand. What I didn't know was what age to start, which signs are good to introduce, and when to expect Maya to start signing back.
Authors Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn claim that signing with your baby helps them to communicate what they need, feel, and think at a much earlier age than if you rely solely on the development of verbal language. Although Maya is still too young to start signing, I happen to wholeheartedly agree with their assertions, knowing many parents who have successfully signed with their babies.
Baby Signs is not strictly ASL; the method incorporates "baby friendly" signs from ASL combined with signs that have been created by babies, parents, and the authors. Although we will be using only ASL signs with Maya since that is what I know, and I do believe that most ASL signs can be "babyfied" (in the same way that a parent knows "too-bus" to mean toothbrush). It is still a wonderful starting point for parents who want to try signing with their baby. Even if you're not planning on signing, there is a wonderful chapter of rhymes (with signs to accompany them) that would be a great addition to a parent's song and nursery rhyme repetoire!