Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Baby Sign Hack - A Printer Friendly ASL Site

ASLdeafined, a website that helps educate students, parents and the community in sign language, is one of my clients. Naturally, I was eager to consult them about baby sign, and how early it can be taught. Their response was that you could start as early as 6 months (though, I imagine it's some time before the child actually starts to respond to what you are showing them).

Shira and I went through some of their tutorials to start to get up to speed. OK, I'm a little biased, but I thought they were really slick (and amazingly cute) videos - seriously, check out the sample here. Anyway, we were off and running learning some simple signs.

And of course, as soon as I'd step away from the computer, my mind would go blank.

Looking around, I found LifePrint's First 100 Signs - and was pleased to see how printer friendly the pages were. Going page, by page, I was able to print out a stack of about 6 signs (in some cases, only printing page 1 of the web page, or manually shrinking the page percentage). The pages include both a some still photos of the sign, as well as short description.

My plan is to spread the pages around, and try to remember to use the signs - hopefully, with use, they'll sink in.

I'm tempted to take the content from LifePrint and put together a single page cheat-sheet that has the signs, and descriptions. But I'm thinking my effort is probably better spent learning the signs.

Anybody have any tips for teaching baby sign? I assume it's just a matter of practice, practice, practice.


  1. Anonymous12:07 AM

    Don't expect little man to sign back for months, maybe not even until he's a year old. He may well understand signs before then, but not make them. My advice would not be to do more than a few signs right now, it just gets to be too much, for you and for the baby. I never tried it with Josh, but Alex and I took a class at the rec center. I focused on "milk," "more," "all done," and "eat." He did eventually use them himself after much, much repetition on my part. And I had a very proud moment when, around 16 months, he made his first compound sign by putting "more" and "milk" together. <3 Now I am working a couple of signs with Becca too. Lately she has been trying to imitate me when I sign milk. I think she's close to getting it...

  2. Jerseygirl77 -

    We've already been told to expect a big delay between when you start teaching sign and when they'll use it.

    And the same goes for limiting the signs - we're focusing on just a few of them.

    It's so cool to hear that you've had success with it - but of course, knowing the kind of parent you are, I'm not surprised in the least!