Baby Sign News-Week of Jan 12, 2014

Hello Signing Families,

This week’s e-news is full of links and info. Let me know what you think. And the Start with Sign website has its usual array of more in-depth links on research in baby sign and benefits of signing with all children at various ages and stage. Also, great product deal right now for a double DVD set that includes this clip. More info on all products at the end of this newsletter.

News & Local Happenings:

  • And, by request, it’s finally here…the SATURDAY class! Beginning in February. I will offer a class for 4 Saturdays from 10-11am. The dates are Feb 1, 8, 15 and March 1 (no class Feb 22). It will happen at our usual haunt in Holyoke. To register contact Baystate Medical at 413-794-BABY. We should also be continuing our weekday classes in February.

  • Interested in a sign class but not interested in bundling up baby to head out into the polar vortex? If you can convince a few friends to make it as far as your place, get in touch and we can arrange an in-home series.

Cool Stuff:

  • Here is a video that illustrates the challenge of teaching ASL, or any language. Language is a living thing; a moving target. Here are some of the variations across the US for the word strawberry

  • An interview with Rachel Coleman and Emilie Brown, co-creators of Signing Time, with some background on how it all came about.

  • Sign of the week: CLOUD.

  • While I feel like I should be the last person pushing a TV show (we ditched our TV when my almost-9-year-old was one), there is a program I want to mention if you don’t already know about it. “Switched at Birth” is an ABC Family show that features several deaf and hard-of-hearing characters and actors and includes scenes in ASL. It is really quite well done and more than one Deaf advocacy and signing organization has praised it. Last season they did one episode completely in ASL (with subtitles) – a TV first – which coincided with the 25thanniversary of the Deaf President Now movement at historic Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. The new season begins Monday, January 13 and I hope those of us without TV will again be able to watch it via after airings. There. That’s your pop culture notice/history lesson for the week.

Tip of the Week:

Don’t lose heart! Let’s say your baby is 10 months old and you have been signing to her for a month, two months, three months…Let’s say you haven’t seen anything that looks like a sign and you are getting impatient for her to sign back. Consider this, just as with everything else in baby’s life, she will do it in her own time. Also consider that it’s an investment, and one with relatively quick return at that! After all, you’ve been talking to your little one for 10 months and sometimes she says Dada and Uh-oh

Children will communicate when they need to and when it’s important to them. My second son, now 2, had seen me sign the word “horse” about 1,000 times in about 100 books and ignored it every time. The first time he saw a real horse, he looked up with his mouth gaping and did the sign. It was in there, he’d just never needed it before. He learned the sign for “different” when we happened to be on a subway platform in NYC and our line was under construction. Just try to tell an 18-month-old they can’t get on that train right in front of them, that they happen to be madly in love with; tell them that they have to wait for a “different” train…

Pay attention to what really makes your baby light up. Learn the sign. Then: Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. We’re all busy, frazzled and full up with “advice” from people about how to best raise our kiddos. Keep sign simple and fun. Choose one song or one book or one object, one activity, mealtime sign, family member, animal, thing out your window, nickname for your child. One. Sign it and sign it and sign it. Every time you talk about, someone in the room talks about it, you see it, you interact with it in any way. One day they will sign back. I promise.

This Week in Class:

  • As promised, we will review some of the many signs I had you swimming in during the first class. Things like HELPSTOPHURT, and HORSE.

  • Like it said in “A Hard Day” – Don’t Worry! Reviews are your friend, and you aren’t meant to remember everything! Another person who believed in Don’t Worry was Bob Marley. He sings about it in “Three Little Birds.” (Hey, I bet you know how to sign the title!) So, we’ll learn that song together.

  • The next large format picture book on the docket is a giant version of the lift-the-flap bookWhere’s Spot? by Eric Hill. And wouldn’t you know it, while searching for Spot, we find all kinds of other animals. BEARS, for example, and BIRDS and MONKEYS.

  • We will also introduce a few useful OPPOSTIES with Signing Time’s song, called, appropriately enough, “Opposites,” from Baby Signing Time Volume 4. And we will play a line game with our new signs to see if we can’t make some start to stick in our brains until the week after, when we will – yup! – review them.


I offer any of the Signing Time products (books, flashcards, DVDs etc.) at a discount and without shipping costs that apply on the ST website. There are 4 volumes in the Baby Signing Time DVD series. These come with an an audio CD included. There are about two dozen or so other DVDs in the two regular Signing Time series. I’m happy to offer you my recommendations if you’re interested. Right now I have a very good deal on a combined DVD package of the popular “Leah’s Farm” and “ABC Signs” DVDs. Feel free to email with questions.


Sign on, Kitty

Links of Interest: Essays I’ve written on the benefits of signing for hearing children at:

Start with Sign on Facebook

Come see what your child has been waiting to tell you!

Expectant parents welcome.

Older siblings welcome.

Start With Sign:

  • Uses real American Sign Language
  • Teaches vocabulary important to little minds, like food words and family members
  • Includes music, movement & stories
  • Allows children to communicate before they can speak
  • Enhances cognitive development
  • Reduces tantrums and frustration
  • And so much more!