History of Baby Sign LanguageApril 1, 2012 No Comments
If you google baby sign language you’re sure to get a lot of results. But what you may not realise are all of those results derive from the years of research by Dr. Linda Acredolo & Susan Goodwyn. In fact, today’s parents almost don’t give it a second thought when they incorporate baby sign language into their families lives, but in 1982 the idea of using signs with hearing babies and babies understanding them? Well that really was a very far-fetched concept.
So how did baby sign language start? It started one day organically when Linda’s twelve month old daughter Kate used the gesture of “sniffing her fingers” when she heard the word “flower” or saw a presentation of it. On that day baby sign language was discovered, and it was discovered in a natural environment within the scared relationship between Mum and daughter, with not a clipboard in sight!
However, in order for anyone to take this natural interaction seriously, research needed to be done. Luckily for parents Linda was a child development researcher, who took her daughter’s gesture to mean more than just a random movement. Dr. Linda Acedolo teamed with Dr. Susan Goodwyn to research this natural interaction and what they found was babies desperately wanted to communicate and that they understood more than what they could say. They all used intuitive, natural and simple signs to express themselves – the Baby Signs program was born.
So next time your baby does something and you just put it down to coincidence, or perhaps just a quirky thing, think about the Baby Signs story – maybe it will be the start of something great.
Dr. Linda Acredolo & Susan Goodwyn wrote the ground-breaking book, Baby Signs: How to Talk to Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk, published in 1996 which quickly became a bestseller (over 400,000 copies sold in the U.S. alone and translated into 14 foreign languages).
Below is a video of Sam out with his parents using the Baby Signs program to communicate.