looking for more information


One of my best friends is a babysitter for a four month old baby and is interested in teaching the baby some signs. However, the hearing parent, wife to a behavioral analyst, believes that doing so will slow Reecee's acquisition of spoken English. Knowing this, and knowing that I have been a part of the local Deaf community for the better part of three years, my friend turned to me looking for information one the truth or falsehood of this belief. I'm still very much a newbie to Deaf culture, though I am happy to have finally obtained a conversational level of fluency in ASL. Therefore, I now turn to the community here in search of research articles on the benefits of acquiring what is popularly referred to as "Baby Sign Language".

PS: I know I have been inactive on the forums here for quite a while, I am about to post an explanation on the introduce yourself category. Check there :)


Well-Known Member
You would have to research it for proof. However, I understand that toddlers learning sign language actually helps them learn English faster.


New Member
I have to make a PubMed research, but it has been proved.

It's the same for PECS and autistic children : both for the deafness and for the autism spectrum disorder, we enhance what does the child have to make him communicate. Instead of using voice (they can't use it for different reasons), we use the visual to make them communicate.
Spoken language is like a foreign language to them (autistic children are often visual thinkers, so showing is more meaningful for them than telling), so we need to use a tool which makes them communicate.

And even if the child doesn't speak spoken English, the priority is making him communicate what he needs, what he wants, if he's in pain, happy etc....
Telling that he has to learn spoken English without leaving any alternative mean to communicate is criminal for someone who is a mother, moreover the wife of a behavior analyst : if the person has no mean to make her understand, no wonder she'll scream, cry.... as she has no other means to make herself understand.

That lady (the wife of a behavior analyst) should better not taking care of disabled children, and I have no hope at all she'll acquire how to do it.
Don't say about being the child's mother, she is a potentially criminal mother while acting like that. I am convinced that if she doesn't change her tactic, she may potentially murder her child, as she will be fed up with his screams, cry etc....
I hope that time will prove me that I am wrong about this mother, that she will truly prove she can love and care this child. But frankly, I am never keen on about giving a second chance in such a situation, they never deserve a second chance.

Otherwise, wife of behavior analyst or not, a foster family will make a better job than those parents.


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Premium Member
Check out this site: educating deaf children, I've linked directly to the signed language section. There are similar questions to yours asked by parents and educators and answered by some of the most respected experts and researchers in deaf ed.

They say there is no evidence that learning to sign interferes with learning to speak. Research points to early sign language either supporting spoken language or having no effect, while it generally leads to better social-emotional functioning and early academic achievement. There's no similar research available on deaf kids and bimodal bilingual exposure, but hearing children raised in bilingual environments show cognitive advantages as early as seven months -- before they begin using those languages.


New Member
You would have to research it for proof. However, I understand that toddlers learning sign language actually helps them learn English faster.

You are correct. Sign allows a child to communicate at an advanced level earlier. Those skills are transferred to the spoken language they learn.