Nyle DiMarco, who won the 2016 Dancing with the Stars competition, gave his dancing partner, Peta Murgatroyd, a video of sign language to help her bond with her new baby. Why? Because DiMarco understands that the moment your new baby arrives, you seek for ways to connect and teach your beautiful creation.
Teaching sign language to your baby is an incredible opportunity to do that. Sign language communication with a child has proven to offer many benefits.
The deaf activist posted a video on YouTube offering Peta and her fiancé, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, congratulations on the birth of their son, Shai. DiMarco then commenced a sign language lesson with the signs, “Mom,” “Dad,” “bottle,” and “cuddle,” among others.
The video is a great example of American Sign Language (ASL) and a good resource for parents and anyone who is interested in learning ASL.
Nyle DiMarco, who is deaf, has become a celebrity after winning America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars. His passion for the Deaf Community and children who are born deaf has driven him to develop the Nyle DiMarco Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to make the world a better place for all deaf people and their families.
Key Reasons to Teach Sign Language to Your Baby
There are many good reasons to teach sign language to your baby.
- Allows for a larger range of communication and expressions
- Increases the parent-child bond
- Improves the baby’s cognitive and emotional development
- Increases the rate of verbal development
The value of teaching your infant sign language is indisputable. First and foremost, the signs provide your child with an outlet to communicate before he can do so verbally. This lowers the likelihood of frustration for the parents and and tantrums in the child.
Sign language is a bridge to the spoken word that allows your child to express his or her needs and emotions. American Sign Language interpreter Joseph Garcia conducted research that studied sign language development with infants. Babies who were regularly exposed to signs at six and seven months were able to communicate with them by their eighth or ninth month.
Bonding with your child
Beyond the communication perks, parents who teach their babies sign language find it a rewarding, bond-building opportunity. To teach signing, you must communicate with, look eye-to-eye with, and touch your child. Further, signing offers you the ability to understand one another, so you spend less time frustrated when you don’t understand each other’s needs.
If you don’t know sign language, this is your chance to learn a new skill while connecting with your baby. Pick up a few everyday words that will benefit your child, such as please, thank you, yes, and no. Perfect the basics and then learn a few more.
Sign language aids with all forms of development
A psychologist in the UK, Dr. Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon, connected the relationship between communication and emotional, social, behavioral, and cognitive development, saying that communication is at the heart of it. “The association between communicative difficulties and behavioral problems is well documented,” she says.
An intelligence booster
According to babysignlanguage.com, studies have shown that children who had long-term exposure to signing had a 12-point IQ advantage, a bigger speaking vocabulary, earlier reading skills, and better grades in school.
This was shown through an NIH-funded study comparing two sets of 11-month-old children—a group that was taught sign language and a group that was not. The signing group had more advanced talkers almost from the onset, as well as when they were evaluated when they were two, three, and eight years old.