****Connecting Us Through Sign Language****
Using Sign Language empowers preverbal infants with a very special opportunity to share their wants, needs, and thoughts clearly, without frustration. Imagine the peace you will feel, knowing exactly what your infant is thinking! Signing with your infant has proven to:
- Reduce frustration for your infant - and you! Allowing your infant to speak through Sign Language, you will know exactly what it is your infant wants and when. Imagine not having to guess if your infant is hungry or hurting.
- Give you a window into your infant's mind and personality. The more you learn about your infant, the stronger and deeper your bond will become.
- Enhance your infant's early language development. Studies conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development show that signing infants understand more words, have larger vocabularies, and engage in more sophisticated play than non-signing infants. By giving your infant the skills needed to communicate now, you will be giving your child the best opportunity to improve early language development.
- Increase your infant's I.Q.. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studies also showed that 100% of children 7 - 8 years of age who used "symbolic hand gestures" for early communication as infants had an I.Q. rate that was 12 points higher than infants who did not use "symbolic hand gestures." While the study, at that time, was not done specifically using American Sign Language (ASL), it is very convincing that these findings may also ring true to those infants using ASL.
All these things and more are possible when you enroll in a Visually Speaking workshop, in-home instruction or lesson. It is our goal that with practice and repetition, your infant will be able to communicate with you through Sign Language well before they can communicate with you verbally.
Our services are based on the SIGN with your BABY program by Joseph Garcia, using ASL, and are designed for parents, parents-to-be, caregivers, and professionals throughout the Seattle area.
Instructor Profile: Melissa "echo" Greenlee
As I began losing my hearing at eight years of age, I relied on Sign Language and speechreading to communicate with my peers. After many years of speech therapy, I have successfully been able to maintain excellent speech as well as master speechreading skills. In August 2000, I was implanted with a Cochlear Implant and am learning to interpret sound all over again. Now in my early thirties, I am still completely drawn to the unique visual language of ASL, and the culture surrounding it.
As a Deaf adult and member of the Seattle Deaf Community, I had witnessed time and time again the fascinating discovery of pre-verbal infants signing their wants, needs and thoughts in many of my deaf friend's "hearing" children. I've been inspired, like Joseph Garcia, to share the wonders of Sign Language and the many doors it can open for you and your hearing child.
As a teacher of Early Childhood Education, my professional experience includes teaching over 2,000 families and early childhood educators to communicate with infants using simple ASL signs, as well as teaching over 500 pre-school and school-aged children ASL as a language enrichment program. I volunteer weekly with the Hearing Speech and Deafness Center's Parent-Infant Program, where I participate in playgroups for hard-of-hearing, deaf and deaf-blind children. My personal and professional experiences have encouraged me to continue my dream- of spreading Sign Language across the globe to people in all different walks of life.
When you participate in a Visually Speaking workshop, class, or in-home instruction, not only will you leave equipped to communicate with your pre-verbal infant, but you'll also learn valuable communication skills to interact with Deaf individuals you may encounter in life. I seek to share a unique combination of a cultural and educational experience - and encourage you to join me!
If you're pressed for time, and an independent learner, this is the setting for you! Held bi-monthly for 2 hours, Visually Speaking workshops will introduce you to the benefits of signing with your infant. Adequate time will be spent learning frequently used signs and getting comfortable with this new mode of communication. You will leave this workshop with a better understanding of the benefits of signing with your infant and how to get started on your own. Participants will leave with a minimum of 50 new ASL signs to use with their infants. (Infants welcome to attend)
Cost: $ 35 per person or $ 45 per couple. A limited number of SIGN with your BABY kits and products will be available at the workshop. To assure you're not left out, e-mail or call to pre-order your kit. Kits are strongly recommended, but not required.
If you have two friends who are also interested in classes, you can host classes in your home - ideal for stay-at-home parents or caregivers who prefer to learn with their infants in a comfortable environment. Classes are held once a week for six consecutive weeks and are one hour in length. You will learn everything you need to know in communicating effectively with your infant using Sign Language. A very minimum of 100 new ASL signs will be introduced over the course of six-weeks. (Hosts are responsible for inviting two other families. Infants are welcome.)
Cost: $ 120 for one adult and one child - second adult is free. Includes the SIGN with your BABY book.
Sing and Sign Lessons
Sing and Sign lessons are recommended for the toddler and pre-school child and their families. Sing and Sign lessons are generally once a week for four consecutive weeks, and are 30 minutes in length. Curriculum is based on the Sign2Me Pick Me Up! Music CD and Activity Guide. A minimum of 50 signs will be introduced over the course of four weeks.
Cost: The cost for the entire four-week instruction varies depending on the class location. The Pick Me Up! Music CD and Activity Guide may be purchased at the first lesson.
Please see our website for dates, times and logistics.
Registration and More Information
If you would like to register for any of the above programs, please e-mail with information about yourself and which program you are interested in. We will contact you back within 72 hours.
Melissa "echo" Greenlee
11513 Palatine Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98133
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