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July 2, 2004

Sign Language May Help Babies 'Talk' To Moms, Dads

From: Kansas City, MO - Jul 2, 2004

SHAWNEE, Kan. -- Is it really possible to teach a baby to talk to you before they can even speak? A local educator believes it is possible by using sign language, KMBC's Natalie Moultrie reported.

Dr. Anne Meeker Miller created Baby Sing and Sign. As a music therapist for the Blue Valley Early Childhood Special Education Program, she realized an important connection.

"We found music is a very engaging way to help kids learn sign vocabulary that they were teaching in class," Miller said.

Miller created a program to teach babies to sign.

"It's extremely valuable. It reduces frustration at that stage where they are trying to point, trying to communicate want -- to tell you what they want," Miller said.

Melinda Young started Hannah in the program at 6 months old. Eight months later, Hannah's talking with sign language.

"She's been telling me more at the dinner table. It's a great way for her to communicate with her dad and I, instead of grunting and reaching," Young said.

Miller said that parents can use music and sign language in everyday activities. It's the fun repetition that helps babies learn this new way to communicate.

Moultrie said that Miller uses American sign language, but modifies some of it to make it easier for babies.

More Information: To learn more about Baby Sing and Sign, visit

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