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Speech Development Blog by Tiffany Bartlett

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Why Use Sign Language to Help Your Toddler Talk

You may ask yourself, “why should I use sign language to help my toddler talk?” My answer is simple.  You can’t force your child to talk, but you can teach your child to sign.  You can show him a need for communication.  From birth, babies make their needs known.  Children will continue to make their needs or wants known, even if they can not verbally communicate them.  Unfortunately, if children can not communicate their wants and needs verbally, they can grow frustrated and act out.  They start grabbing, crying, screaming, and having tantrums, when we are unable to understand what they are trying to communicate.  Sign language is a way to reduce this frustration.  Saying to your child, “use your words” or “just tell me what you want” will not make your child talk.  However, taking your child’s  hands in yours and showing your daughter how to sign “help” when she needs help zipping up her jacket, can prevent an unwanted tantrum!

If your toddler is a late talker, you can use basic sign language to reduce frustration and increase your toddler’s ability to communicate effectively.


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