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*Intelligence throughout life has a very large language component.  So if you get a jump-start on language and that continues, it’s natural it would show a gain,” said Dr. Linda Acredolo, co-author of Baby Signs:  How to Talk With Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk To You with Dr. Susan Goodwyn.  “In addition, babies who sign are differentiating and learning things earlier.  And there’s a confidence element: perhaps by using signs, children become comfortable asking questions earlier”, she said.

*We tell parents as walking is more efficient than crawling,  talking is more efficient than signing.  When a child is ready to talk, he or she will,” said Michele Sanderson, Program Director of the signing program at A. Sophie Rogers’ Laboratory School at Ohio State University.

*Signing can have long-term positive effects on children’s intelligence.  One study found that 19 8-year-olds who learned signing as babies had an average IQ score of 114, while a sample of 24 children who never learned signs averaged 102.  (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution July 3, 2001)

*Take advantage of your child’s optimal “Windows of Opportunity”:

By the age of two, a child’s brain contains twice as many synapses and consumes twice as much energy as the brain of a normal adult.  The number of synapses in one layer of the visual cortex rises from around 2,500 per neurons at birth to as many as 18,000 about six months later.  And while these microscopic connections between nerve fibers continue to form throughout life, they reach their highest average densities (15,000 synapses per neuron) at around the age of two and remain at that level until the age of 10 or 11.  (TIME, February 3, 1997)

*Children who learn sign language may have more brain capacity later, learn to speak sooner, and do better on future IQ tests.  (The Daily Oklahoman, March 1999)

*11-month-olds who learned sign language out scored non-signing peers in language abilities, standard IQ tests and vocabulary comprehension tests after second grade.  (The Daily Oklahoman, March 1999)

*An answer to the comment, “If he learns to sign, he’s not going to talk”:

Research has shown that babies who learn to communicate with sign language are quicker to speak than their non-signing peers.  Signing creates a more verbal environment, because babies initiate conversation about subjects that interest them, and their parents more consciously repeat words.  Earlier exposure to successful communication actually drives babies to want to speak sooner.   (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 3, 2001)

*Hearing babies speak their first word, on the average, when they’re 13 months old and speak two- or three- word sentences by the time they’re 20 months old.  In contrast, some babies can start signing words such as “more” and “milk” at 8 months and can build vocabularies of dozens of signs within months.  (The Blade - Toledo, Ohio, September 9, 2001)

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Eileen Ladino     Phone: 703-823-5747     E-Mail: classes@tinyfingers.com     

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