Reading baby

According to an blog post I found today, teaching a baby sign language can help him or her to learn to read at an very early age.

The post is about a 17 month old girl who can read, as she demonstrates on the video embedded in the post. Her parents, who are both Speech Pathologists, have taught her American Sign Language as well as English and have encouraged the development of her language skills, though they haven’t drilled her in reading. Learning sign language can also help children develop their spatial and visual abilities apparently.

Have you heard of any other similar cases?

6 thoughts on “Reading baby

  1. Gosh, there are hundreds of books on the subject, including books with a few useful signs to teach babies. It is based on the fact that babies understand before they can form words, so they can pretty soon communicate with signs such as “hungry” or “more” if you show them a few times. It is, I think, rewarding both for the mom, who does not always “understand” the complaints of a baby, and for the baby, who can participate to its own satisfaction. I have seen a study saying that the baby does not speak sooner when knowing a few signs, but there is no proof that speech is delayed either. It probably does improve some skills.

  2. My wife and I are teaching our baby boy some basic signs. The idea behind it is that they develop manual(hands) motor skills months before they can speak, so they can communicate their needs to you even if they can’t say any words yet. Our son is still too young to produce his own signs, but he definitely understands when we sign to him.

    This is the first time I’ve seen a 1-year-old read though!

  3. Here is a linguistic question that bothers me. Why is it acceptable in English to refer to a baby or child as an “it”? Does that not lead to a dangerous dehumanization, since noun gender in the English language is in almost all cases tied to biological gender?

  4. I doubt he means it dehumanizingly i would say the same thing unless i previously mentioned it was a boy or a girl. I think it’s probably because they ( and i don’t want to start any arguments) aren’t really people yet. They are humans, they are hominids, they are living breathing almost-people. Once the get a little older and can walk at least or talk they will be given a little more dignity i think.

  5. Frankly…that IS dehumanizing: after all, you use the word “almost-people.” I could use another word, one that is not in English, but it would touch off an even worse argument.

    Personally, I think it better even to speak of the higher animals (pets, other reasonably intelligent species) by gender where their gender is known–I’m not some PETA nut, but I do think it encourages proper consideration in how we treat the creatures we are responsible for, and think about our interactions with them.

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