Tag: childhood development

Using sign language and music to communicate with your newborn

Playing in his crib at 10 months old, Ezekiel calmly got his mother’s attention and signed “more music.” Realizing only then that the mobile had stopped, his mom wound it up again and Ezekiel continued playing happily. A hearing child in a hearing family, he has been exposed to sign language since birth. Not only was he able to express his needs clearly without tears of frustration, he also used a two “word” phrase. This level of language is rarely present until 18 months, or more typically at two years. Music mediated sign language instruction has several central purposes. The first is to guide a child, deaf or hearing, in developing fluent language skills while promoting effective communication. The second is to support the development of language as a tool for literacy attainment. Third, it will create an effective and rewarding vehicle for self-expression and self-esteem. The fourth purpose or objective is to facilitate social interaction and age appropriate play. Additional benefits include more rhythmic speech; growth in balance, spatial reasoning and motor skills; increased IQ, auditory and perceptual awareness, attention span, memory recall, and vocabulary and improved family relationship. The first three years are the most critical years for