Does Sign Language Really Help Babies?

What a great question! Many times we are asked here at Signing Time if learning sign language really can help kids and/or babies communicate better, read better or have higher IQs. I’m going to speak from my own experience and link to a few resources that might help you decide how you feel about these great questions.

I’m a father of 4 and have taught sign language, using Signing Time, to my two youngest daughters since they were a few months old. Ok… so let’s be real, my wife has done most of the teaching while I’m here working to help make Signing Time a great community and product. She deserves the credit.

I’ve noticed that my two youngest daughters seem to be able to talk easier, and communicate better with us as parents when compared to my older daughters who did not learn sign language or baby signs. I’d say that with my younger ones there have been less tantrums and meltdowns as well. Is it due to learning sign language with us from Signing Time? Or maybe we’re becoming better parents because we’ve had more practice 😉

Dave Munger over at Cognitive Daily has posted a nice blog on the topic. It’s definitely more scientific in the results and conclusions then my brief examples above, so I highly recommend taking a few short minutes to read his report: Can sign language really help babies get along better?

The study was conducted by a team of people lead by Rachel Thompson with very interesting results that support sign language helping babies. Below are a  few interesting tidbits from the study:

…parents and children universally seem to appreciate the ability to communicate at an earlier age than would otherwise be possible. This study demonstrates that a rigorous laboratory procedure can yield these benefits in the real world.

…so signing may actually make life easier for these children and their parents.

There was a similar post in 2005 on the Cognitive Daily blog discussing if sign language helped to learn a spoken language.

Now that you’ve heard my voice… Let’s hear yours! I’ve created a little poll to get your thoughts. Take a brief moment and let us know what you think by filling out the poll, posting a comment or both.

<a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1253040/” mce_href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1253040/”>In what way has learning Sign Language most helped your Baby or Child?</a><br /> <span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”> (<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com” mce_href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”> polls</a>)</span>