Yes. Absolutely. While I might be getting ahead of myself, I do think that all babies can use sign language. For while there will always be some minor exceptions, the overwhelming majority of babies will have no problem at all picking up baby sign language. In fact, many speech pathologists will at times recommend toddlers pick up baby sign language in order to facilitate language development. So while more children suffer from speech concerns, far fewer still will be unable to sign. In other words, those babies that can’t sign, also will have issues related to speech too. In a lot of instances, signing can help a baby by providing them with an outlet as their spoken vocabulary catches up.
While some babies, less than 10% will suffer a speech delay, even less than this will be unable to sign. Yes, some babies will take longer to sign back, but just as many will sign back even quicker than average. Since every baby is different, you and I will never really know when a baby is ready to sign back until you give it a shot.
I always say that you really need to stay focused and diligent when you take up signing because it does sometimes take longer than you might think. Some babies can take 8 weeks, some might even take 8 months! It really depends on your baby. What is known for sure is that no baby will sign back until they are ready. You can ramp up your efforts, blame your instructor (wink), or call witchcraft, but all babies are on their own time-line and there’s nothing you can do to speed that up. All you can hope for is your interest and your baby’s ability to coincide. That is when success will occur. So while you can’t push your baby beyond their abilities, you can wait patiently in the wings prepared to pounce when baby is receptive. There are many clues to uncovering your baby’s signing receptivity – the online course covers many of the clues you might see when your baby is ready, set, go!