Archive for the ‘Questions from Russia’ Category

Baby Sign Language Basics Working with “The Russians”!

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I have some news that is long overdue. I am now “working with The Russians!

No, no– sorry to disappoint you, but I have not become an international secret agent!

However, from April- September 2013, I have been contracted by Danone/ Nutricia,  Russian counterpart of the makers of the Dannon Yogurt you buy here in the USA, to serve as a Baby Sign Language Expert on their new parenting website, Razvitie-Pro.ru. For 6-months, I am posting my Baby Sign Language Basics™ video lessons on the site, answering questions from website visitors, and doing interviews with Russian media. I’m also have the very good fortune to be traveling to Moscow in September to perform a Master Class and meet with media!

In addition to yogurt products, Danone/ Nutricia, Russia, also make other nutritional products, such as baby formula, nutritional drinks (similar to our Pediasure and Ensure products here in the US), and medical nutrition products.

And, coincidentally, my book has also recently been published in Russian by two different publishers. At least one of these must be pirated, but what can you do. I might have to show up on these unscrupulous publisher’s doorsteps while I’m in town. It is cool to see that my book has made it all the way to Russia, though, pirated or not.

Baby Sign Language Basics Russian Edition www.babysignlanguage.netBaby Sign Language Basics Russian Edition www.babysignlanguage.net

Is it for sure that the baby is going to learn how to talk?

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

This question submitted from a parent in Russia via http://www.razvitie-pro.ru/методики/Baby-Sign-Language as part of the partnership between Monta Z. Briant and Danone/ Nutricia,Russia, makers of Dannon Yogurt.

 

Question: Is it for sure that the baby is going to learn how to talk?

Dear Parent,

Signing won’t inhibit your baby’s language development any more than crawling will inhibit his learning to walk. As a matter of fact, research shows that babies who sign generally talk sooner and build vocabulary more quickly than their non-signing peers. In their 8-year study, Drs. Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn at University of California Davis, found that by age 24 months, the signing babies in the study had 50 more spoken words than the non-signing babies, and by age 36 months, children who signed as babies were talking at the 47-month age level, putting them nearly a year ahead of their non-signing peers.

Think of it this way: Babies learn to recognize the spoken words before they can say them. Once a baby is able to look at a bird and sign BIRD with her hand, she is hearing that word “bird” inside her head, in her thoughts. So, babies are able to learn words, and use them in the correct context, by replacing them with a sign, long before they are able to speak. Once they are physically able to speak, many of them already have quite an extensive vocabulary, ready and waiting to be spoken!

Once your baby is physically developed enough to walk, he’ll no longer crawl, as walking is a much more efficient means of getting from point A to point B. The same is true of signing and talking—once your baby can say a word clearly enough to make his meaning understood, he’ll stop using the sign for that word. Once a child’s vocal apparatus are sufficiently developed, plain talking is a lot easier (and you can even do it with your hands full!).

How often should I show signs?

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

This question submitted from a parent in Russia via http://www.razvitie-pro.ru/методики/Baby-Sign-Language as part of the partnership between Monta Z. Briant and Danone/ Nutricia,Russia, makers of Dannon Yogurt.

Questions: How often should I show signs?

As for how often to sign, you should try to use the sign for each concept you are trying to teach as often as you can remember to, or as often as is practical. You do not have to sign every time you say the word, but the more you sign, the faster your baby will make the connection between concept and gesture.

Many parents find it hard to remember to sign. It helps to attach signs to routines you do regularly, such as the diaper change or feeding.

Try putting some pictures or toys that represent things you want to remember to sign near the feeding and changing areas, so that you will remember to use those signs every time you feed or change. After you have done signs for feeding and changing, you can have fun with your baby by pointing to the pictures or handing them a small toy and signing about them. Maybe for a couple of weeks you might have animal toys or pictures there, and then maybe you will change them to pictures of grandparents, brothers and sisters, and cousins. Keep changing the toys and pictures every once in a while, and your baby will also have something fun to focus on and be less fussy. You can use pictures torn from magazines, printed from your computer, or use flash cards with pictures on them.

What if I can’t sign during the change the diaper? Any advice?

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

This question submitted from a parent in Russia via http://www.razvitie-pro.ru/методики/Baby-Sign-Language as part of the partnership between Monta Z. Briant and Danone/ Nutricia,Russia, makers of Dannon Yogurt.

 

Questions: What if I can’t sign during the change the diaper? Any advice?

Dear Mom

Yes, you are correct, it is not always possible to sign every time you change a diaper or nurse, for example, if your baby is crying or squirming too much.

Before you start a diaper change, I recommend that you try to make eye contact with your baby and sign CHANGE, as you say “time for a diaper change”.

Then go ahead and change the diaper. If baby is calm and not too wiggly, you might sign change again once or twice as you talk to your baby during the change.

When  you are finished, sign ALL DONE/ FINISHED, before picking baby up.

For older babies, I recommend signing CHANGE before you even take them to the changing area, or make up a little diaper change song to sing to them.

Babies and toddlers often squirm and fight during a change, because they have a hard time transitioning from whatever activity they were engaged in before to getting their diaper change. Of course us parents can’t understand why they’d rather have a wet or dirty diaper, but to babies, a diaper change is an unexpected interruption and they aren’t happy about it.

Try making a little song something like this:

Baby has a poopy/ wet/ dirty diaper

Baby has a poopy/ wet/ dirty diaper

Baby has a poopy/ wet/ dirty diaper

And we’re going to change it now!

 

Baby only saying “Mummy” at 24 months

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

This question submitted from a parent in Russia via http://www.razvitie-pro.ru/методики/Baby-Sign-Language as part of the partnership between Monta Z. Briant and Danone/ Nutricia,Russia, makers of Dannon Yogurt.

Question: My baby is 24 months old and he still can only say “mummy”, that’s all..

 

Dear Mummy,

Thank you for submitting your question to me.

While there is a lot of variation from one child to another when it comes to speech development, there is a basic timeline that can help parents and doctors to decide if a child may need extra help. If your child is 24 months old, and can only say “Mama” he would definitely be considered delayed in his speech.

Sometimes children, especially boys, can be late talkers, and sometimes there is no cause that can be found and the child just starts speaking in complete sentences on day. However, you should most definitely have him checked by his doctor, just to rule out any potential problem. Problems can include physical things,  such as chronic ear infections or problems with tongue or roof of mouth, or there may be learning disability or developmental delay involved. Your child’s doctor will be able to refer your son for the proper treatment or therapy.

In the meantime, please do use Sign Language with your son as you speak certain words, as having some signs will help him to learn faster and be much less frustrated. Sign Language is routinely used by Speech-Language Therapists here in the USA for this purpose.

And, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no correlation between late speech and intelligence. As a matter of fact, Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 3 years old and was not fluent until age 9! He was apparently quite an eccentric fellow– but he was famously intelligent!

Below is an example of average toddler speech and language development:

 

15 Months:

  • Communicates mainly using gestures and sounds.

 

  • Has a 4-6 word vocabulary (“bye-bye,”      “dada,” “mama”).

 

  • Plays in a solitary manner with a variety of toys      like cars, stuffed animals, books, blocks and dolls.

 

18 Months:

  • Has a vocabulary of 10-20 words.

 

  • Begins to use two words together (“mommy      shoe” meaning “mommy’s shoe”).

 

  • Produces more than 5 consonant sounds, like m, w,      n, p, and b.

 

  • Points to some body parts when asked.

 

  • Follows simple commands (“Give me the      ball”).

 

  • Pretend play beginning.

24 Months:

  • Expressive vocabulary of 150-300 words.

 

  • Uses short incomplete sentences.

 

  • Uses many different consonant sounds in the      beginning of words.

 

  • Puts many actions together during play like      stirring, pouring, scooping, and feeding a doll.

 

  • Points to pictures in a book when named and listens      to simple stories.

 

  • Learns a few new words each week.

 

  • Understands simple questions (“Where’s your      blanket?”).

 

  • Uses pronouns: I and it.