Non Verbal Communication

Replace Crying With Communication

Non verbal communication is an important part of drama and baby sign language is just one example of this.

We sometimes use Baby Sign Language in our Emotional Expression and Communication Classes as it is a lovely way to begin communicating with your baby before they can verbalise their wants and needs. We choose the signs very carefully so they reinforce and enhance communication (and that’s why you won’t see them in every single session) .

Teaching a baby to communicate using gestures can be exciting and fun. It's a lovely opportunity to watch your baby think and learn.

The process might encourage you to pay closer attention to your baby's attempts to communicate. It might help you appreciate the challenges your baby faces when trying to decipher language.

Learning sign language can give parents a confidence boost, too, especially first-time parents. It can create a framework for how you go about your daily routines and help you feel like you’re guiding communication.

Some Benefits of Baby Sign Language:

  • Have a better understanding of your baby’s needs and wants

  • Reduce frustrations

  • Can assist language development

  • Can aid children with speech and language delays

  • Providing both visual and auditory information stimulates the brain in multiple ways

  • Can help children in a bilingual household

Top Tips For Baby Sign Language:

  • Signing is about enhancing, not replacing language

  • Start with a few meaningful signs. Signs such as eat, milk, mum, stop, mine and all gone facilitate functional communication. Choose signs that are important, meaningful and useful to your child. These include signs that express everyday needs

  • Focus on nouns(dog, bird, shoe), social words (no, stop, more, again) and action words (go, up, down, eat, help)

  • Use the signs in context - just like you would teach words

  • Vocalise when signing and as they get older encourage them to vocalise with the sign too. We want to use signs to support speech and language development, not as a substitute for speech

  • Follow your baby’s lead - many babies will invent their own signs or versions of the sign you are teaching them. If yours does this, always use their version of the sign as this is more meaningful to them

  • Most people don’t realise that a lot of signs are common sense. You probably already use lots of signs daily without even realising!

  • Sign language is a great tool to encourage early development of language skills, it’s not a substitute for professional help. If you suspect your child may have a speech or language delay or hearing loss, talk to your child’s doctor

Getting Started With Signing:

Communicating with your baby begins from the moment they are born. You can start to sign the meaning along with what you are saying at any time.

However, most children between the ages of 9-18 months start to use a combination of gestures and sounds to communicate. This is a good time to start signing with your baby.

You don't need to go on special baby signing courses to learn how to use gestures or signing with your little one. and it's important to focus teaching them key signs that are relevant to your life.

Common Baby Signs:

  • Milk

  • Hungry

  • Drink

  • More

  • All done

  • Play

  • Sleep

  • Mummy

  • Daddy

  • Yes

  • No

  • Help

  • Please

  • Thank you

  • Sorry

  • Bath

  • Book

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