MYTH: ASL is too complicated for babies.

Excerpt from SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years

Whenever I speak to my toddlers, Mendez and Quincy, I use real words so I can provide an accurate model, even though I know they are not yet able to reproduce the sounds I’m making. As children get more speaking experience, they refine their speech and become more capable of accurately pronouncing words. It is a bad idea to invent words to take the place of complex words your child can’t pronounce yet. If he can’t say the word “preschool,” you wouldn’t teach him to call it “baba” because it’s easier. You would just continue to model the correct word until he is able to say it. Similarly, there is no reason to make up your own hand signs because the ASL versions are more sophisticated. You can trust that your child’s motor skills will catch up. – Dr. Jenn

TRUTH: Babies can learn real signs the same way they learn real words.


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