Is it okay if my child uses the wrong signs for things?

Your baby might make a sign language mistake as they are learning and experimenting. Heather Ellington shares the most important tips for what to do in this situation and how to continue teaching your baby, even when they make small mistakes.
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Is it okay if my child uses the wrong signs for things?

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Sometimes your baby will use a sign that is incorrect but you know what they want to say. So for example, your baby might have been taught more, the sign for more, but what they do is the sign approximation or the not quite right version of that sign. So they might say more, more, like that. And it is okay. They are still getting used to using their hands and learning the new signs. So what you can do is continue modeling the right form or the adult form of the sign and keep signing more and say this is the sign for more. And it is okay to gently correct them or move their hands in a gentle way to make them use the right sign. But they will get it eventually.

Your baby might make a sign language mistake as they are learning and experimenting. Heather Ellington shares the most important tips for what to do in this situation and how to continue teaching your baby, even when they make small mistakes.

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Heather Ellington

Baby Sign Language Instructor

Heather graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Special Education in 2007 and is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Communicative Disorders and Sciences at California State University, Northridge. Heather began learning ASL in college, and has volunteered for an inclusion class for Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Multiple Disabilities at the elementary school level, where she also worked as an interpreter. Heather marvels at the way sign language has helped children, babies, and parents get their needs met effectively and in a fun way, while promoting literacy, speech, and language development.

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