Baby Sign Language Intro Class: Virtual
The non-member rate for this workshop is $60 and the member rate is $45 for 1 Caregiver. Click here to purchase your membership today.
This Intro class is designed for parents with babies birth to 18 months and gives you clarity about the benefits of baby sign, a taste of what a series looks like, and is a great beginning to your baby sign journey.
Baby Sign Language gives babies the opportunity to communicate long before they can verbalize their wants and needs. Signing with babies provides the following benefits:
-Accelerates language acquisition
-Enhances a child's self esteem
-Deepens the bond between parent and child.
You will experience fun activities and songs that show you how easy it can be to integrate more than 30 basic signs into your everyday routine.
-Content covered in these sessions is included in the Details section below.
-Caregivers of the same child are encouraged to attend and receive a discounted registration rate.
-You are welcome to bring your baby, but it is not required.
- Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Cognitive Disabilities, Neurodiversities - This program is appropriate for parents of children that are hearing or with hearing differences, cognitive disabilities such as autism, apraxia, Down Syndrome or other neurodiversities. This program uses signs based on American Sign Language (ASL). It is not an ASL course. ASL is a rich and beautifully distinct language that has a different sentence structure and morphology than English. We encourage parents with children diagnosed as deaf to seek Deaf outreach early and to contact their local community college or state school for the Deaf or a Deaf advocacy center to learn ASL and become familiar with the unique culture of the Deaf community. Watch this video to learn more. We are in support of parents of Deaf children (PODC) who realize the importance of integrating sign language into their everyday lives as soon as possible. Learn more about the recent research regarding early language deprivation in the Deaf community in this interview with Wyatte C. Hall. Ph.D. We also recommend consulting with your pediatrician and speech therapist about any concerns you may have regarding possible speech delay or other medical issues.
When can you start learning how to sign with your baby?
Start Now. You’ll hear six to eight months old is an optimal time to start signing with your baby. After babies are six months old, they are starting to associate words with the world around them. That's language whether spoken or gestured. Their long-term memory is developmentally ready to retain the signs they see. At six months of age babies’ motor skills and hand-eye coordination are at a stage to be able to make more precise gestures. Having said this, it’s perfectly fine to start earlier than six months old. That way you will be ready with a solid signing vocabulary when your baby is six months old! Start building your baby sign language skills today.
Two reasons why we suggest parents start early on:
1. We’ve found the younger the baby is the easier it is for parents to pay attention in class. Older babies often demand more attention during class and pull the parent’s focus away.
2. Many parents are very interested in learning baby sign language however they end up going back to work when their baby is four months old at which point they don’t have the time to attend the classes.
It’s worthwhile to note that many Deaf parents sign with their babies from birth. Their babies generally sign back significantly earlier than babies in hearing families do. The only caveat is that when you start signing with a very young baby and you don't see any results, don't give up. Be patient and remember that receptive language comes before expressive language whether it's signed or verbal.
When does a baby start to sign back to you?
If you start signing regularly to babies when they're under seven months of age you can reasonably expect them to sign back when they’re between eight and ten months old. It really depends on how often you sign with them and it also depends on your baby’s personal agenda. Yes, every baby has their own agenda and, much like their first step or the day they are potty trained, they ultimately are the ones that decide when they are ready to start signing.
Are babies required to attend class?
Babies are welcome. However, babies are not required to to attend class. If your baby is napping or cranky, it is perfectly fine to come without your baby because we are teaching you, the parents, American sign language. At this stage of the game, the babies are just along for the ride. We call these classes "playgroups" not because the babies are playing; It's you, the grown-ups that are playing, having fun growing your vocabulary and sign language skills, using the signs with interactive games and songs. If anyone has a really active toddler on the move it is fine to attend sans child so that you can focus on the ASL lesson plans. That being said, we can handle active toddlers.
Here is a link to Bill's FAQ page.
Bill White received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychobiology from University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the director of Happy Baby Signs' Baby Sign Language program and a baby sign language instructor. Bill is passionate about the benefits of signing with babies and is the proud father of two hearing sons who both sign.