Wednesday, July 8, 2015

7 Sensational Reasons Your Family Needs Signing Smart

There are a litany of reasons I would encourage any family to sign with their children, especially with the Signing Smart program.  Families who supplement spoken language interactions with their children using American Sign Language (ASL) signs meaningful to them are enhancing both early communication and long term learning. Below is a list of my favorite reasons for choosing to sign with little ones using the Signing Smart program.

(Want to start signing with your own child?  Check out for a workshop or play class near you!  Are you in the Northeast Ohio area? Please contact me directly so we can start your communication journey right away!)

1. Reduced Frustration and Tantrums

 - Children as young a 7 months (even younger on occasion) can express their wants and needs
 - Toddlers can clarify their speech
 - Did you know that many tantrums stem from frustration over not being understood?

2. 100% American Sign Language

 - Many infant and toddler sign language programs actually use made up gestures instead of REAL Sign Language
     - If you're going to put out the effort to learn a language, learn one that others can understand too!
     - Language facilitates language - the brain favors organized language units
 - Consistency
     - No need to try to remember all the invented gestures you've developed
     - Is your gesture for CAR different than another caregiver in your child's life?  Keep everyone on            the same page!
 - Limitless Vocabulary
     - Want to use a sign that isn't part of the program?  There's lots of places you can discover new signs
 - Expand your learning to communicate with other ASL users
     - Signing Smart gives you the perfect base to grow into learning a whole new language
     - Create connections in the brains now to facilitate bilingualism later
     - Communicate with deaf children and adults

3. Better Understand Your Child's Linguistic and Cognitive Milestones

 - What counts as a word?  How many words does your child have in his/her vocabulary?
 - When can you expect your child to start signing back and how many signs can you expect when?
 - When will your child start speaking?
 - Learn the answers to all of these and more!
 - Signing Smart was developed by two mothers who happen to be developmental psychologists, Dr. Michelle Anthony and Dr. Reyna Lindert

4. Enhanced feeling of Empowerment for Your Child

 - Children can initiate conversation
 - Children can share what they wonder about, remember, and find interesting
 - Children can let you know when they're hurt, sick, or what they like or dislike

5. Research-Proven Strategies Make Signing Fun, Easy, and Successful

 - Anyone can learn to sign with their child because Signing Smart gives you the tools and strategies to make it happen
 - Any child can learn to sign - many signs, especially early ones, use natural movements and hand shapes for baby

6. Open a Window into Your Child's Mind

 - Get to know their likes and dislikes
 - Even though the muscles needed for speech aren't fully developed until well after 1 year, babies are ready to communicate long before that!

7. Advanced Linguistic and Cognitive Abilities

 - Learning is triggered via multiple senses
 - Research has shown children who sign have stronger linguistic abilities and higher IQs through the elementary years

What are your favorite reasons for signing with your little one?  Comment below!


  1. I am going to share with my daughter to teach her kids. they knew a little signing when they were infants but I don't think she is still using it. Great ideas.

    1. Thank you for visiting and passing the info along! There are lots of great reasons to keep signing with kids throughout their childhoods! Please feel free to share my website ( as well. If she's in Northeast Ohio - or close by, I'd love to help her along her communication journey!

  2. I am trying to teach my 10mo old basic signing "more, please, all done". It is so beneficial and helps eliminate alot of frustration. I also started watching the show Switched at Birth on Netflix. Have you seen it? It's a great show and the main character is deaf so there is signing (I figure I'm educating myself while binge watching :) )

    1. There are SO many great reasons to sign with little ones...fewer tantrums is definitely one of the best! (I always tell people that fewer tantrums for them means fewer tantrums for us!) I'm not sure what area you call home, but I'd love to help you find a Singing Smart class if I's a really fun way to bond with your little one and learn something beneficial at the same time!

      Of course binge watching a fun show like Switched at Birth is a fun way too. I always love to have a great reason to justify all that screen time!

  3. I wish I had done Sign Language when my kids were younger but they are picking it up because some of their TV shows teach the kids how to sign so we are all learning now! Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday this week. Hope to see you link up again this Sunday :)

    1. It's never too late to learn about a new language and culture! There's lots of great reasons to start signing even after kids start talking! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. My children learnt to sign at school in Brisbane Australia and that was 20 years ago. I'm not sure if they remember but it certainly gave them a broader understanding of life. Great post #thursdaysharefeat

    1. There's so many great reasons to learn to sign - at any age - perspective is definitely one of them! More and more schools here in the States are starting to figure that out, thankfully! I hope my boys will be able to take American Sign Language as their foreign language credits once they're old enough. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I love this blog; I'm actually, assuming it is okay with you, going to post this link somewhere so I won't loose it later. I'm also going to figure out how to make sign work for my legally-blind son... talk about oxymoronic! But, I totally believe in it! THANK YOU for sharing your blog with us (The Blogging Group) and keeping me motivated!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Please share away :)

      Thank you, as well, for wanting to offer your family a gift as precious as early communication! It's not as contradictory as it first sounds to try signing with someone who is legally blind. Depending on your preferences, and his needs, I encourage you to look at close signing (basically just signing within his field of vision) and/or tactical signing which are both approaches used with individuals who are Deaf-Blind. Unfortunately, there are no Signing Smart programs in your area, but I'm more than happy to help you choose the right resources for your family and work with you virtually! While the Signing Smart program does not address accommodations like tactile signing directly, my interpreting background would help me help your family find the right fit.

      I'm so lucky to have met you and the other members of the blogging group. As a very green blogger, you all have been quite an inspiration to what I'd like my blog to become! So, thank YOU too!

  6. Signing has so many benefits for kids! Especially reducing frustration. Thanks for sharing at the Manic Mondays blog hop!

    1. I always tell the families I work with that reduced frustration and tantrums for our little ones means reduced frustration and tantrums for us - that is a benefit that tops the list, for sure! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. My children are grown but one of them enjoys teaching sign language to the children in her life. Thanks for sharing with us at the Merry Monday party.

    1. I'm so happy to hear how many people benefit from signing with their little ones! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Great post, thank you for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

  9. I've been intrigued by sign language since I was a child. We used baby signs with both of our boys, and it defintely made things easier. I wish we'd continued it as they grew. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday, and can't wait to see what you link up this week!

    1. There's lots of great reasons to sign with older kids too! I encourage you to re-visit the language even now that your children are older! Thanks for stopping by!