Gallaudet University Press

3:11 Monday, November 26, 2001

Is my baby really signing?

“In Falls Church, one-year-old Gabriel Corradino's mother, Tegan Corradino, has been signing to him since birth,” writes Sarah Glazer in her article Is It a Sign?, Washington Post, March 13, 2001. “Gabriel has no hearing problem -- and neither do his parents. Instead, the signing is meant to let him express his wants and needs sooner than he could through speech. The other day, she says, Gabriel made the ASL sign for cheese in the grocery store, following it up with “please,” a circular movement on his chest. ‘If we didn't have a way for him to tell me that, he would have gotten frustrated, and I would have gotten frustrated because I wouldn't have known what he wanted,’ she says. ‘For me, signing really helps with this age.’”

Experts confirm these benefits. “Joseph Garcia, an early childhood education researcher and educator in Bellingham, WA, and University of California-Davis psychologists Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn advocate teaching signing as a way to learn babies' needs and wants,” writes Glazer, “whether food, play or a diaper change, before they start to speak, typically during their second year.”

Kim Votry and Curt Waller's Baby's First Signs and More Baby's First Signs can help parents provide their infants with the means to articulate fundamental desires. These brightly colored, durable board books are sure to grab a youngster's attention when he or she is taught such basic signs as “milk,” “mother,” “hurt,” “eat,” and “rain.” View several illustrations from Baby's First Signs and More Baby's First Signs and order Baby's First Signs and More Baby's First Signs, each at your exclusive subscriber rate of 20% off the regular price.

Ragged Edge e-magazine highlighted editor Christopher Krentz's A Mighty Change: An Anthology of Deaf American Writing, 1816-1864 in a recent issue. “For those interested in examining the gradual shift of attitude toward Deaf people, A Mighty Change makes an intriguing historical overview,” writes Raymond Luczak. “In his introduction, Christopher Krentz, an English and ASL instructor at the University of Virginia, provides a good background, enabling us to ascertain the period and context in which these pieces by deaf writers were composed. It is all the more remarkable to encounter how some of these deaf writers explain their own version of heaven: A place where their hearing would be restored, thereby redeeming them. Today, for much of the deaf community, this concept is pure anathema; they would rather that the world sign, not speak.” He concludes: A Mighty Change is a solid addition to our understanding of a complex and changing community.” Read the full review along with Chapter Six: Adele M. Jewel (1834 - ?) and order A Mighty Change.

The Fall 2001 issue of Sign Language Studies (SLS) features a special section containing papers that arose from a conference, sponsored by the European Science Foundation, on signed language phonology, writes editor David F. Armstrong, also the author of Original Signs. The papers are concerned particularly with the relationship between phonology and the study of poetry. It is perhaps a sign of the growing maturity of the field of signed language studies that issues of poetics are now being discussed (see, for example, Christopher Krentz's review on this topic in SLS, vol. 1, no.3). Like all languages, signed languages have uses that go beyond the utilitarian into areas that are generally termed artistic, or poetic, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to present these articles.Vol. 2, No.1 features several articles on phonology and poetry as they relate to European Sign Language, as well as a review of Alison Callaway's Deaf Children in China. Read the complete contents of 2:1 and subscribe to Sign Language Studies today.

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