In a video that’s going viral, Kevin Nadrowski sings “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” with his daughter, Bayleigh.
“I was never exposed to experiencing what my daughter did,” Nadrowski told TODAY about his childhood. “I want her to know that her being deaf doesn’t mean she can’t sing or enjoy listening to songs.”
Not only is sign language useful for children with hearing loss, but its also great for hearing children to learn as well. Research suggests sign language might give a typically developing child a way to communicate several months earlier than those who only use vocal communication, according to the Mayo Clinic.
HearingLikeMe author Lucie Herridge says she started using sign language with her son Harry as soon as she found out about his hearing loss.
“Even when they are very young, a baby’s motor skills and ability to make hand gestures are far more developed than their ability to speak, which makes it really very easy for them to learn the basics of sign language,” she says. “You will be so shocked at how fast you can teach your baby sign language. They will start to copy different hand gestures, eventually realizing they can use their hands to tell you what they need! Imagine if your baby could tell you what they want via signing instead of screaming and wailing!”
“You will be so shocked at how fast you can teach your baby sign language. They will start to copy different hand gestures, eventually realizing they can use their hands to tell you what they need!”
Lucie also says that she noticed Harry picking up facial expressions, gestures and movements, which is why singing with sign language can be especially effective.
“By repeating songs with hand gestures and exaggerated lip movements, your child will become familiar with it,” she says. “This is something we really noticed with Harry and we were really surprised the first time he heard ‘Row, row, row your boat’ he started to do the actions!”
If you want to teach your baby sign language, you can attend a professional class to learn the basics, or find resources on the internet, such as YouTube, books and libraries.