The Definitive (Online) Guide To Signing
With Your (Hearing) Baby
Table Of Contents
Chapter 1 – Introduction To Baby Signing
How this book fits into the definitive guide to signing with your hearing baby system
How to use this book
Conventions used in this book
What exactly is sign language for babies?
Is this some kind of new-age fad thing?
History of baby sign language
What is ASL specifically?
Why should I sign to my baby?
Tantrum reduction – a benefit all onto itself!
Top reasons to teach baby sign language (summary)
Compliance testing and understanding confirmation
Can all babies do this?
Should I use ASL or make up my own signs – homesigns?
So if I teach ASL to my baby, will I have to learn a new language?
What if I have no time?
Comparing non-signers to their signing cousins
Won’t my baby be delayed in speaking?
Where’s the proof that signing helps instead of hinders language; show me the numbers
What if you come across people who object? How to fight the skeptics
Chapter 2 – The Basics Of Baby Sign Language
Not overwhelming for you and your baby
A day in the life of a signing parent
When should I start signing to my baby?
The developmental stages of baby sign language – When you can expect results
Looking for sign readiness – signs your baby is ready to start signing
Receptive language as a clue to first signs (or expressive language)
The sequence of signing in babies
How long does it take to learn a sign?
Variables In Baby Signing
A first sign? – It’s always so hard to tell at first
Allowing for creativity
Leaving signing children with non-signing caregivers
Chapter 3 – Getting Started
Getting started – Choosing 5-10 signs and get going
Which signs to start with? (Properly choosing your first signs)
Signing as a means to an end – the lazy person’s signing short list
Teaching motivating signs is important
Which signs are bad to start with? – A primer on complicated signs
Your baby’s first sign approximations – don’t expect perfection
The signing explosion – when signs are added exponentially!
The signing lull
Chapter 4 – How To Teaching Baby Sign Language
Fourteen rules to teaching baby sign language
How to make signs – the mechanics of sign language
Be consistent with your signs
Sign in full sentences – instead of signing full sentences
Sign in baby’s field of vision
Get down on baby’s level
Signing often and repeating
Sign throughout the day
Signing in context, sign in the moment
Looking for teachable moments
Getting baby’s attention
Emphasize the words you want them to sign (the key words)
Slow down your speech
Encourage any and all efforts
Getting excited as a reward
Keeping up the pace, don’t give up!
Chapter 5 – Techniques To Teach Baby Sign Language
How my son learned his first sign
Some ways to talk to your baby
Guiding them to do the sign – physical prompting
Delayed physical prompting and delayed modeling
Signing on your child’s body
Being very animated and use exaggerated facial expressions when teaching signs
Using touch to teach sign language
Catch baby wanting something
Catching “pointed gaze”
Setting up choices for your baby
Using highchairs and feeding times to teach
Enlisting your family and friends to help
Using body language to reinforce behaviors
When do I add more signs?
Chapter 6 – Techniques To Teach specific signs
Techniques To Teaching MORE
Techniques To Teaching EAT
Techniques To Teaching “MILK”
Teaching food and drink – ALL DONE/FINISHED, BANANA, APPLE, RAISIN,
PEACH, JUICE, MEAT, COOKIE, CRACKER, CEREAL, TOAST, TOMATOES, EGG, BOTTLE, DRINK, ORANGE, WATER and HOT/COLD.
Teaching Activities – BALL, BOOK, MUSIC, DANCE, PLAY, HIDE, JUMP, WALK
Techniques To Teaching Safety and Behaviours – NO TOUCH, TOUCH GENTLE, WAIT, QUIET, STOP, YES, NO, GOOD, BAD
Techniques to teaching the sign for “HURT”
Techniques to teach the sign for HELP
Teaching DIAPER CHANGE
Teaching Animal Signs
Techniques To Teaching Emotions
Techniques To Teaching Manners – PLEASE, THANK YOU, YOU’RE WELCOME, TAKE TURNS, SORRY and SHARE
Chapter 7 – Cautions and Troubleshooting
Staying the course
My baby just won’t sign, now what?
Are we even making progress?
Giving up too easily
Forcing signs or expecting too much – allow baby to absorb signs
Avoid competing with other children
Allowing for signing approximations
The same sign for everything
When signs all look the same
Your baby suddenly stops using a sign
What happens when baby flat out uses the wrong signs?
What to do when signs become confused?
Baby knows a sign, but won’t use it?
No matter what I do, my baby just won’t learn a particular sign
Setting limits to avoid spoiling
Starting with too few signs
Not being consistent
Anticipating needs inhibits signing
Not use motivating signs
It’s all about timing
What if I don’t know the sign or there isn’t one?
Will babies be confused when non-signing babies don’t respond?
What if I’m the only one signing to my baby?
Do I really need to keep signing words after my baby signs them back?
Baby makes up signs or pretends to do signs for words he doesn’t even know!
Chapter 8 – The Advanced Signer
What happens when baby starts talking?
Why signing should continue
Some of the benefits of continuing to sign into toddlerhood
Toddler signs to clarify
You and your baby’s secret signs
Other advanced signing concepts – combining signs or signed sentences
Finger spelling with your baby
Chapter 9 – Speech and Language Concerns
Chapter 10 – Questions and Answers
Will learning to sign interfere with my baby’s speech and language development?
What will my baby be able to tell me through sign?
When is a good time to begin teaching sign language to my baby?
How do baby’s catch on to signing?
Will my baby ever stop signing or will sign language keep them silent?
What’s the most important benefit to signing with my baby?
How much time will teaching baby sign language take, I’m a busy parent?
How many signs should I teach my baby?
Why do you use ASL?
What if I want to sign with BSL or another country’s official sign language?
I’m the only one signing to my baby, is this going to be a problem?
My baby is in daycare and they don’t sign, will my baby be affected?
My baby is over two years old, can he still benefit?
Is it true that signing eliminates the terrible twos?
How do I get my baby to sign faster?
My baby’s signs are mixed up. What should I do?
My baby was progressing, but recently she has stopped signing completely, it’s as if she forgot how to sign.
My spouse doesn’t think this is worthwhile. How to I convince my family to help?
My son has learned a variety of signs, but sometimes I can’t understand what my baby is signing, what should I do?