Monday, September 13, 2010

Auslan used by Mums for baby talk

I had to share this article with you today, it's just such a neat way of communicating with your child as well as educating them on disability, teaching them to use another language and improving coordination. I think it's amazing that children can use signs at the age of 6 months to tell their mothers what they need. Why haven't I thought of that!!!!!

Check out the article (I have copied it from the website of the Whitehorse Leader).

Mums' way of understanding baby talk
11 Sep 2010 - Stacey Allen

TRYING to decipher their baby’s cries can be one of the most challenging tasks for new parents.

Narrowing in on what a baby wants usually involves a process of elimination as you try giving everything from milk, food and comfort to a clean nappy until they are settled.

Forest Hill mother Amanda Crossland is offering a new option for parents eager to better communicate with their babies - sign language.

Ms Crossland said she was keen to teach her son Ollie sign language and started when he was born, using the Australian Baby Hands book.

“I wanted to go to classes and there weren’t any so I started them myself,” she said.

Ms Crossland said she took out the first Australian Baby Hands franchise in the state and has been teaching Australian Sign Language (Auslan) in Mitcham and Vermont.

She said she started this year and had so far taught 70 parents in her seven-week courses, which are for both hearing and hearing impaired babies from newborns to three-year-olds.

“Babies tend to sign from six months old ... when they can grasp a toy they can start to sign back.”

Ms Crossland said Ollie, now 13 months old, had started to sign for milk from six months old and could now sign when he was hungry or wanted his teddy bear.

“It makes life so much easier when they can tell you what they want,” she said.
Ms Crossland said some people were sceptical of the benefits of signing to a hearing child, but she said it avoided a lot of frustration and could help a baby develop.

“Some people fear that signing with a baby can delay speech but it’s been found to accelerate speech,” she said.

New courses start in October and will also be held in Heidelberg.

Details: go to or phone 9517 7967.

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