Monta Z. Briant
Baby Sign Language Basics author/ instructor
Monta is the author of the best-selling Baby Sign Language Basics series, including books, CD’s DVD’s and flash cards – all from Hay House Publishing.
I signed with both of my children from infancy, and signing enabled us to bond with each other on a level that never would have been possible otherwise. The experience was so amazing for my family that I have been compelled to share signing with other families ever since. My greatest joy is helping families to open a window into their baby’s minds and personalities. I get the biggest thrill every time a baby in my class does their first sign– it always seems like a miracle, even though I have seen it happen thousands of times now!
MA, Developmental/ Play Therapist & ASL Interpreter
Hallie Silvas-Mueller grew up in Riverside where there is one-of-two deaf schools in the state of California. Her first introduction to sign language was learning the alphabet in the 3rd grade, then later using it to finger spell through the fence and across the street to the kids at CSDR (California school for the Deaf Riverside) In undergrad, she took up ASL and interpreting, completing all levels. Upon moving to Los Angeles to complete her Masters degree, Hallie began working for a Nonprofit with families and children with Special needs utilizing a developmental approach called DIR FloorTime- As the name suggests, you get down on the floor and meet a child where he is both physically and developmentally building on his interests to move him forward intellectually and emotionally. Alongside this developmental approach, she incorporated ASL with both her infant, deaf and non-verbal clients. Hallie currently lives in San Diego with her husband and rambunctious toddler boy, Bastian.
Having just graduated with my Master of Science in Communicative Disorders from the University of Redlands this past April, I am a speech-language pathologist clinical fellow. I received my first bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara and my second through Utah State University. I have conversational level language skills in Spanish and Tagalog, but I enjoy teaching, learning, and listening more than I do talking. I strongly believe that our words are our greatest tools and I am passionate about giving even the youngest or quietest a voice to construct a sense of self, connect with the world, and communicate with others.
BA Communicative Disorders
Minor in audiology
Se habla Espanol!
I am very passionate in teaching baby sign language to parents because it’s a wonderful experience to communicate with your baby before he or she says their first word. I have used baby sign language with my two boys and have been amazed on their ability to express their needs, wants and thoughts. My background with American Sign Language (ASL) is: Two years of schooling at both Cuyamaca College and San Diego State University. I have a BA in Communicative Disorders and a minor in Audiology. I have worked as a para educator in Special Education for three years through San Diego Unified School District. I have been teaching Baby Sign Language since 2007 and have tutored students in the past. I encourage parents to take a baby sign language class, to learn different strategies in how to use baby sign language through play, singing, and music.
Linda has been with Baby Sign Language Basics™ since 2007 but is currently only able to teach our summer sessions, due to her work with San Diego Unified.
ASL Interpreter & Teacher of Deaf Children
Janelle is from Silicon Valley, and has lived throughout the country where she has studied American Sign Language, and regional ASL dialects as well as volunteered at Schools for the Deaf. She Holds a BA in Communications from DePaul University and is now persuing becoming a Registered Interpreter for the Deaf. Janelle has worked in Ophthalmology for several years assisting children and adults with vision loss as well. Janelle’s greatest passion is watching children who have no communication skills be able to express their needs and desires through Sign Language.
BS American Sign Language/ Human Services
Susan Mortland grew up in rural Minnesota and upon graduating from High School moved to Boston, MA in order to attend Northeastern University as a part of their American Sign Language program. Over the next four years Susan’s love for ASL and specifically working with Deaf children grew as she utilized her knowledge of the language and her passion for working with children in the on campus daycare as well as in various educational settings around the city of Boston. After graduating from Northeastern in 2000, Susan was accepted as a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps and joined the Deaf Education sector in Kenya. There she taught a classroom of six Deaf Kenyan children for nearly a year and collaborated with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers in establishing an HIV/AIDS education program specifically for Deaf children across the country. Since returning to the states, Susan has lived in Arizona and recently relocated to San Diego where she is very excited to be a part of Baby Garten Studio and is thrilled to be able to help facilitate early communication between parents and their children using American Sign Language.
(Susan is currently working behind the scenes as an administrative assistant, while she cares for her new baby)