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November 20, 2002

Baby Signs

From: Pryor Daily Times, OK
Nov. 19, 2002

Babies speak with hands before talking

Kristy Troyer
Staff Writer

"Ooo. Uhh. Uhh."
Ever wonder what a baby is trying to tell you? Do you want to talk with a baby, before they say their first words?

Baby Signs helps you do just that.
"I was aggravated with Sammy," said Tiffany Smith, a Salina mother of two "I wanted to know what he wanted. I wanted to know why he's crying, what 'ah ah' meant."
Tiffany and her husband Brandon, 21-year-old students at Rogers State University, learned about Baby Signs through a magazine article.
"I teach Sunday School and I saw the magazine at church and picked it up," Tiffany said. Sammy was 3 at the time and had started to talk. Tiffany and Brandon were again frustrated with not knowing what their younger child, Phoebe, wanted.
"I thought he (Sammy) would be too old," Tiffany said because he was already talking. But she was wrong. Brandon's father purchased a book recommended in the magazine article. Sammy, now 3, quickly learned how to communicate with his hands in addition to verbal communication, he had already accomplished. "Repetition was the key. He helped teach her," Tiffany said.
Tiffany and Brandon find the program has helped them communicate with their two young children.
"It's just wonderful to be able to communicate with her (Phoebe) when she is unable to talk yet," Tiffany said.
"She's not just screaming for something," Brandon said. With the signs they are able to know what Phoebe wants.
Neither knew sign language before beginning the program.
"We learned a lot with them," Brandon said. Tiffany said the books and video were very helpful and made the learning process easy. She said she found a package of two tear-proof board books by Linda Acredolo, PhD. and Susan Goodwyn, PhD. and a video by visiting on the Internet.
The two professionals, who are also moms, Acredolo and Goodwyn, began to notice in the early 80s that young babies were using simple gestures to stand for words they couldn't yet say spontaneously, according the They questioned what would happen if parents could help in the process. Two decades of research, much of which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, followed, the Web site said. Thus came Baby Signs.

See the Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002 edition of The Daily Times for photos and game story.

©The Daily Times 2002