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If you have a Deaf child, you not only sign to him, but whenever he is in the room or house, even if he is just a baby. WHY? It is very important for several reasons:
(1) YOU ARE DEVELOPING THE HABIT, which you will need to continue from now on.
(2) YOU ARE GAINING PRACTICE AND DEVELOPING PROFICIENCY. The more you practice, the better you will become.
(3) YOU ARE PROVIDING A LANGUAGE-RICH ENVIRONMENT for your child. Hearing babies learn from hearing the conversations around them, the radio, the TV. Their minds are busy taking in all the information that will allow them to internalize their native language. It is the same for your baby. They may not understand all they are seeing now, but it is none-the-less being absorbed and used to internalize language.
(4) YOU ARE EMPOWERING YOUR CHILD. The child must learn that signing is communication, not just a game we are playing. When he learns that it gives him a measure of power in his environment, he will become much less frustrated and cause much less frustration.
(5) YOU WILL REDUCE FRUSTRATION for both yourself and your child when your child can get his wants, needs, and ideas across without resorting to screaming and physical means.
Those undesirable habits become harder to break the longer they are practiced and reinforced. While signing to your baby, practice the same strategies we use when talking to any baby. Have you noticed how we raise our voice and exaggerate our facial expressions and body movements, all in an effort to catch and hold their attention or get a response? Do all the same things, only add your new signs. It is important that you use your voice as he can see your expressions and feel the vibration - especially when you are holding him. Coo to him, sing lullabies, hold, and love him. He needs all the same visual and physical stimulation any baby needs and thrives on.