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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Baby Sign Language

You may have been hearing a lot lately about teaching your Baby Sign Language. Speaking from experience I highly recommend it. When our son David was a year old he started having ear infections. This went on for several months. Every time he had an infection with fluid in his ears he wasn't hearing clearly, like what it would sound like if you were underwater, anyway without hearing clear speech he couldn't imitate speech and make his needs known. We could see he was frustrated. After he had tubes put in his ears, the infections stopped. With other diagnosis' of developmental delays being made, he started O.T., P.T. and Speech Therapy. He took to it like a duck to water. What a blessing. I'm pretty sure "more" was the first sign he learned. What kid doesn't want more of something? There were maybe a dozen or so signs he, and we learned, as well as supporting family. In time he had to make an initial sound with a sign to get what he wanted and then eventually say the word.

Here's one article I found that I thought was pretty good:
UCB Parents Advice about Babies: Baby Sign Language

Michigan State University Communications Technology Lab has an American Sign Language Browser here: MSU Sign Language Browser. It's a good place to find a signs. You don't need a lot to start. Of course if you do a search of "Baby Sign Language" you'll find all sorts of information.

I think it might be a good idea for sign language to be offered in schools as a "Foreign Language" option and in speaking to my friend Carol she said it is starting to be offered in some schools. Perhaps that's because she lives in upstate NY not far from Rochester, which has the highest per capita population of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the United States. The Rochester Institute of Technology is an the ideal place to begin your study of sign language because there are numerous educational and social resources for this in this community. To learn more about their program click here: Rochester Institute of Technology

Carol emailed me the link to excellent article that just appeared (Monday, April 11, 2005) on the Finger Lake Times Online - Geneva, NY. It is: All signs point to understanding: Visual clues help kids communicate before they can talk. Click here for the article: Finger Lake Times Online


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