Signing for infants

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -Sign language is generally associated with people who have severe hearing problems.

Stephanie Behunin with Signing Time Academy teaches sign language for parents and children not because they can't hear but to make it easier for young children ages 3 and younger to communicate their needs to parents and caregivers. Stephanie says even pre-1 year olds can learn signs.

"He might not start signing back until he is 6 - 12 months depending on when his body is physically able to do that. But he will be able to respond like, milk, do you want milk? The child may calm down in anticipation of that milk. He knows that it's coming."

For those of you who are parents, do you remember when your children were very small and the frustration you felt when you couldn't understand and they couldn't tell you what was wrong or what they wanted?

Stephanie says that by using and recognizing signs even the youngest children the ability to communicate.

"Before they can speak words. It's a natural thing for kids to use signs before they use their words. A child will wave bye-bye before they can say bye-bye."

Stephanie's class is not just for hearing impaired children. All children under the age of 3 can register. The regular class is taught at the Earl Bell Center on Wednesdays at 10 am.

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