Monday, May 23, 2011

The Many Benefits of Baby Sign Language

More and more parents are discovering the many benefits of baby sign language, including the simple fact that it’s fun! It is so cute watching your little one communicate with those chubby little hands! But there’s a practical side to baby sign too!

Studies show that baby sign language helps with speech development. Signing toddlers learn to speak sooner, and develop larger vocabularies than non-signing toddlers. They’ve also been shown to have higher reading levels once they learn to read. One study even suggested that baby sign language can increase a baby’s IQ!

As we know, many children with Down syndrome have speech delays. They can often understand us perfectly, but don’t yet have the ability to speak to us. This can cause enormous frustration for any child! Sign language can help alleviate this frustration, which, of course, makes life easier for everyone in the family, especially the signing child!

So, signing can make for a happier child. It can also help build a child’s confidence. Many children become more comfortable with social interactions once they learn a few signs. Signing can empower them!

Children with Down syndrome are very often visual learners, and they can take very quickly to sign language. For many children, signing seems to come naturally to them. (Of course, this is after they see their parents sign something a hundred times!) Children will naturally gesture to communicate. Sign language just helps everyone understand these gestures!

And getting started is easier than you might think. First of all, use us at We are free. Our site offers instructional videos, a sign language dictionary (based on American Sign Language), printable flash cards, and a printable wall chart. Everything is free. We are here to help. And we hope to create a community that allows parents to help one another, so ask your questions, share your tips, and offer your support!

We recommend starting slow. Depending on the age of your child when you begin, you might want to start with one to five signs. Learn these signs yourself (it’s easier than you think), and then use these signs every time you say the corresponding word. So, every time you say the word “book,” make the sign for book. It won’t take long for your child to associate your gesture with its meaning. Then, you will likely see your child imitate your gesture when you make it. And eventually, your child will use this gesture spontaneously to communicate the idea of “book”!

Just remember to always tie the spoken word to the sign. While it can be tempting to just use the sign independently, remember that speech is our end goal, so be sure to encourage vocalizations as well as signing. (Though if you’re tempted to sign “Stop!” in church, go ahead – it’s a great trick!)

This article was provided by a website featuring

digital resources including a baby sign language dictionary, baby sign

language flash cards, and baby sign language wall chart 100% free.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Guess who I met!

I went to a home school book fair on Friday that has been held in a city near me for the last 27 years.I have been homeschooling for 20 years and for many of those years I have used, Math U See, with my children.Last year I didn't go and I missed getting to meet,"Mr.Math U See",Steven Demme.When I heard Mr.Demme was going to be at the book fair again this year I made sure to attend.I was so thrilled when I found out Mr.Demme was going to be speaking at 3 different times during the day. His last talk,"Finding Hope and Redemption in the Valleys of Life," was about how his youngest son,who is blessed with an extra 21st chromosome,affected his life.Mr. Demme  has a blog called,The Family that Stays Together .
 He is such a nice man and took time to talk with me and two of my girls that were there.He  autographed a book I bought from him about how to have family devotion time and let my daughter snap the picture below.

I got to meet Mr.Demme!
And guess who else I got to meet! The beautiful Miss Carrington and her sweet mommy Shelley! I was just walking around the book fair tables looking at books and saw this woman holding a sweet little baby in a sling.I looked closer and thought,I've seen that beautiful face before! So I said," Is this Carrington?" Shelley turned to me and said,"Yes,it is!" Shelley was so nice to let me take this picture. If you don't know who Carrington is you can go to her blog Carrington's Courage and read all about this precious little sweetie.
Shelley and Miss Carrington!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ruby is Coloring

I was coloring with my 8 year old daughter Rebecca and Ruby came over and grabbed a crayon and started scribbling coloring,too. I haven't taken Ruby to OT in months but coloring was one of the things they used to try and get her to do.
Ruby had started resisting therapy and I felt like driving for 20 minutes for a crying session was not beneficial. My children and I play work daily with Ruby on skills she should be achieving. Taking a break from therapies has helped Ruby to fit into our family life and just be the baby.