I enjoy working with children of all ages, but the Early intervention population is my passion! There’s something so special about seeing a child connect with his/her family for the first time, whether it be with eye contact, a smile, a vocalization, a signed word or a verbal word. All mothers can attest to the joy they’ve felt the first time their child reached out to them with “momma.” Personally, connecting with my own child is the most special thing in the world to me, and he’s almost 11 years old 😊
It’s such a blessing to help others to experience that same joy! Would you believe that families will often attest, as I’m walking through the door of their homes, that their son and daughter has been asking for me, saying “BawBaw” (or some approximation of Barbara)? Oftentimes, my name is the first clear “word” other than “momma” or “dadda” that the child has uttered. You can’t tell me that isn’t emotionally motivating!
The research supports using sign language with the pediatric population. I coach my early intervention families, my preschool families and my fellow professionals on this fact on a daily basis. The majority of our children are now visual learners, so it makes sense that by providing a gesture, such as a signed word, we can actually stimulate spoken language. Sign language can be that bridge between unspoken and spoken language. It often alleviates frustrations and behaviors, and I witness firsthand just how powerful that can be to the families I support.
Although I am still learning ASL formally, I use sign language daily with children and families. My personal knowledge of sign language comes from years of experience in the field, from informal webinars, from fellow professionals, from online searches and from families I support. I’m eager to share my knowledge with you as I coach you through signing with your child and I greatly look forward to helping you to build that communication bond with your child or the children you support
Did you know that research shows preverbal infants can communicate through baby sign language before they start learning to verbalize their needs?
Some of the benefits of baby sign language:
• Early communication
• Reduced frustration
• Early language use
• Brain development
• Closer bond
• Boosts self-confidence
Each week you will learn themed signs such as everyday signs, food, animals, bedtime in a fun and educational way. Our classes are full of fun and energy and are filled will music, games, books and more!
These classes run in either 4-,8- or 10-week sessions. The 4-week sessions are run in 2 parts.In our classes, you will learn over 100 signs to use with your child. Classes are 45 minutes long and are created for parents/caregivers and babies. In a playful, educational and language-rich environment, caregivers and children will build their American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary through instruction, interactive games and songs. What will you be gaining from each class?
Some of the ASL vocabulary covered for this age group includes:
All of our classes include a full-colour MSH® curriculum book with a CD of the songs we teach. The books have pictures of the signs learned along with descriptions for easy reference long after the class is over!
These classes are designed for graduates of the My Smart Hands® Level I class or for infants with basic ASL comprehension. Level II classes run in either 4-, 8- or 10-week sessions. In level II, you will learn over 120 signs to use with your child. Classes are 45 minutes in length. We will review signs learned in My Smart Hands® Level I and continue to build our signing vocabulary.
Weekly themes covered in more depth in Level II classes include:
All of our classes include a full-colour MSH® curriculum book. The books have pictures of the signs learned along with descriptions for easy reference long after the class is over!
The Level III classes are designed specifically for preschoolers aged 3 to 5. The instructor teaches directly to the children, and parents and caregivers act as “teachers’ aides” during the class, helping the children with in-class songs and activities.
Children do NOT need to have taken Levels I and II to join this class; however, children who have gone through the first two Levels will be slightly ahead of children who haven’t taken them. These classes run in 8-week sessions. You will learn over 100 signs, as well as sing songs and read books not learned in Level I or II. Classes are 30-45 minutes in length.
Weekly themes covered in class include:
These workshops are geared towards busy parents who are unable to take a full 8-week class. You can still learn how to enrich your child’s language development by increasing vocabulary and building self-confidence through the use of American Sign Language (ASL). You will learn recommended first signs and easy techniques for successfully integrating signs into everyday life.
This workshop is an introduction to the benefits of using ASL with your child. Children are not only auditory learners, they also learn visually and kinesthetically (through touch and experience). Using sign language with your child encompasses all learning styles. Your child will hear you when you say the word, then they will see you make the sign and will also experience and feel the word as they learn to sign.
Over 100 signs will be introduced. Fee includes a full-colour MSH® curriculum book.
These workshops are designed to give teachers the tools to incorporate American Sign Language (ASL) into their current school curriculum. As educators, we know that there are different types of learning styles in the classroom, including auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Using sign language in your program encompasses all learning styles.
The students will hear you when you say the word, then they will see you make the sign and will experience and feel the word as they learn to sign. These workshops are designed to suit the specific needs of the school, including adherence to curriculum guidelines and availability of resources. Teachers will learn about the research supporting the use of sign language in the classroom, and they will be provided with vocabulary specific to classroom use.
If you miss a class, space permitting, you can attend a session in another scheduled class. Please note that the make up class may be offered at a different location and time than your regular class. Please contact me if you have any questions. If you miss the entire session, an entire make up course is unavailable. You can only make up the 1-2 classes you missed.
A class may be cancelled or postponed due to low enrollment, illness, location or other circumstance. Full refunds will be provided to all participants accordingly.
Class registrations are non-refundable. If you would like to switch to another class before the session has begun, please contact your coordinator to discuss your options in your area. The fee to switch classes is $15 and it is only possible when space is available in another class.
If your child has a fever, rash, vomiting, pink eye, or other signs that your child may be contagious, please do not bring them to class. The child should be seen by a physician to determine if he/she is contagious.