Simply put, Baby Sign Language is a form of communication which uses hand gestures. Before they have developed their speech, babies are able to express their desires through sign language.
2. Who should use Baby Sign Language?
Baby Sign Language can be used by anyone. Hearing children, hard of hearing and deaf children all benefit from using Sign Language. It has also been shown to benefit children with Autism as well as children who are learning more then one language.
3. Why should I teach my child Sign Language?
- it can reduce frustrations that arise from not being able to communicate their needs.
- it expands their vocabulary
- it can promote bonding between parent and child
- it develop's the child's curiousity for learning and language development
- it helps bridge the gap between languages for bilingual children
- it may increase the child's IQ
4. When should I teach my child Sign Language?
It's never too early or too late to start signing with your child. Many parents, especially when it is their first child, will learn sign language at the same time as their child. When you learn a sign, teach it to your child and you can both learn together. Practice by using the signs whenever possible.
Older children or siblings may also enjoy learning sign language in and for itself or to teach to their younger siblings.
5. How long will it take before my child signs back?
The sooner you teach a sign to your child, the sooner they will sign it back. Typically, your baby's fine motor skills will not be developed enough to sign back until they're around 6 months old. If you start signing to them before this, they will be able to sign back sooner then if you waited and starting to show them the sign at 6 months. The first couple of signs may take longer, but as your child learns more signs, they will start to sign back new ones faster.
6. How do I start teaching my child Sign Language?
Some parents prefer to teach one sign at a time and other's teach many signs at once. The key is consistancy. If you are new at sign language, try learning a new sign and teaching it to your child as you learn. The more you both practice together, the easier it will become to add more signs. Start with the sign for "Milk". Check out our section on the top 10 baby signs.
7. My child doesn't seem interested - should I keep trying?
Every child is different and just as they begin to speak at different times, they will also show you that they can sign at different times. Keep up with showing them the signs and they will surprise you soon enough! Keep in mind that they may not produce the sign exactly the way you do. Look for variations and consistancies in their gestures.
8. My child is already speaking - should I still use Sign Language?
Most parents teach their child sign language as a stepping stone to spoken language. If you feel your child is beginning to speak already, don't let this stop you! Sign language is also beneficial to early education. Check out our section on how Sign Language helps with ASL Numbers and ASL Alphabet. We also have many ASL eBooks that uses Sign Language to help with sight words and early reading skills.
9. What if I am raising a bilingual child?
Sign Language actually works to bridge the gap between languages and is especially useful for raising bilingual children. The visual aspect of Sign Language creates an image for the child that helps their brains to reference the different spoken languages to one image. Read more about Sign Language and Bilingualism.
10. How can I help other people who take care of my child, to use sign language with them?
Explain to them the role sign language has on your child's behavior and the importance it plays in your child's ability to express themselves. We have many printable sign language charts available that you can print and give to your child's caregiver for them to use for a quick reference.
11. Are your resources just for hearing kids or can I use them with deaf and hard of hearing children too?
All of our resources use proper American Sign Language. We have had many parents and teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children tell us that they have been using our resources too. We promote early education and that applies to hearing, deaf and hard of hearing children!
12. Where can I get more information?
You can check out our section titled "Sign Language Resources" or search our Baby Sign Language Blog for more information about Sign Language - we have referenced many online websites, books, communities etc., that you can go to to find out more.
13. How is iCANsign different from other Sign Language websites?
We understand that many parents who teach their children sign language are also interested in early education. Our website offers many ways to use what your child has learned from sign language to help them with their numbers, alphabet, early reading, education and bilingualism.
14. Does your website use proper American Sign Language?
Yes, all of our resources are in proper American Sign Language. Where there may be variations, we have explicitly stated what they are and how your child's signs may be slightly different.
15. How do I download and print a resource?
On the right hand side of the file page there is a column labled "Download". Under this heading you will find the available download formats. Choose the one you would like to download. You can save it to your computer or open it as a preview and print. For premium members we do offer "one-click" downloads where you can download a set of resources in one download file. This is available on our "Easy Download" section.
16. What do the different resource formats mean?
Black & White Double Sided Files: Black and white image on one side with the sign and tip on the other. These are seperate files and you need to load your printer accordingly.
Colored Double Sided Files: Full colored image on one side with the sign and tip on the other. These are seperate files and you need to load your printer accordingly.
Black & White One Sided Files: Black and white image with the sign and tip on the bottom of the image. These do not have a backside.
Colored One Sided Files: Full colored image with the sign and tip on the bottom of the image. These do not have a backside.
Full Colored: Full colored images that look great!
Black & White: Black and white images that are the same as the colored but in tones of black and white.
Black & White Printer Friendly: Black and white images that have been altered to save your printer's ink. These files uses as little shading as possible.
Horizontal eBook: When the width is longer then the height.
Vertical eBook: When the height is longer then the width.
17. Which resources are free?
All of our Black & White Double Sided Flash Cards are free as well as several charts, eBooks and activities. To see the full list go to "Free Sign Language Resources"
18. Where can I see samples of your Premium resources?
At the very top of the website there is a banner that says "SIGN UP NOW" or just before the end of the page, there is a "Newsletter" sign up area where you insert your email address.
20. How do I get your promotional code for the $2 discount on the Premium Membership?
To get our promotional code for $2 off our Premium Membership, you must sign up for our Free Newsletter. Once your email is verified, you will receive an email with the code. Please be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email contact list to avoid our emails being sent to your spam box.
21. How and when will I receive my free Top Ten Beginner Signs flash cards?
When you create a free or premium account with us you will receive an email with the link to your free printable chart. If you have signed up for a membership but have not received any emails from us, please check your spam box or email us and we will send you a new link.
22. What is the difference between your Free Membership and your Premium Membership?
Free or Premium Memberships
We offer Free baby sign language resources such as flashcards, eBooks, dictionaries, charts and more!
Free Membership includes:
Access to all black & white double sided flashcards Access to select charts, activities and eBooks Notification of special Member's only files that are emailed to you Your own online File Cabinet for favourite files.
If you find our free resources helpful please consider supporting iCANsign and purchasing our Premium Membership which includes:
Full Access to all flashcards, charts and eBooks Full Access to our Bilingual Baby Series Faster and Easier downloads Your own online File Cabinet for favourite files.
Get your Premium Membership Now!
23. Why do you collect my personal information when I create an account?
We collect your personal information solely for the purpose of our website. We do not ever sell or give your personal information to anyone or any company. The only time we access your personal information is if you signed up for a contest or have requested a special promotional item to be sent to you via email or direct mail.
24. How long is my membership for?
Free Memberships are valid indefinitely and you can choose to end your membership whenever you like.
Premium Memberships are valid for 1 year from your signup date. You will recieve an email notification two weeks before your membership expires.
25. How do I renew my membership?
To renew your membership, simply sign in to your account and go to "Membership" and click the "Renew Membership" button.
26. What form of payment do you accept?
We currently only accept Paypal payments. You do not need a Paypal account to pay with your credit card. Paypal accepts many forms of payments such as:
Instant transfer from your bank account (if eligible)
PayPal Credit (Bill Me Later, PayPal Extras Card, or PayPal Smart Connect)
eCheck (a delayed transfer from your bank account - may result in significantly longer time before your Premium Membership is activated)
* Please note that your Premium Membership Account will not be active until your payment is approved.
27. Is there an easier way to download all the flashcards without opening up each file?
Yes, we have a section for Premium Members to download different sets of flash cards, eBooks and resources all in one place.
28. What is "My File Cabinet" and how do I use this?
My File Cabinet is an online space where you can store all your favorite files and resources. You can also organize them into different folders for easy access. This is only available to iCANsign Members.
29. How often do you add new resources to your website?
We are currently adding new resources to the website on a weekly basis. To be notified of new resources, please sign up for our newsletter.
30. I would like a resource that isn't available on your website - how can I make a suggestion?
We are always open to new suggestions and are happy to create new resources that are requested. To make a suggestion or request please email us at asl@iCANsign.com or fill out our email contact form on our Contact iCANsign.
31. Will you be offering more languages?
We would be happy to add new languages. If there is one in particular that you would like added, please let us know. Adding languages does take time, so please be patient!
32. Can I purchase already printed resources from iCANsign?
We currently do not offer any products for sale. We do have printed products that we are offering as promotional items. If you are interested in receiving any please email us directly for more information.
We are happy to consider adding products for sale if there is a demand for it.
33. Is it possible to contact the illustrator?
Yes, Sarah Kronick, the illustrator is happy to hear from you. You can email her at email@example.com
34. I can't login to my account - what should I do?
Try refreshing your screen and clearing your computer's cache. If the problem still persists, please email or call us directly.
35. I am not receiving your emails - what should I do?
Check your spam folder and be sure to add us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to your email contact list. Then send us an email and we will send you a test email. We are more then happy to help you as it is very important to us that you receive our emails! If you do not receive our email response please call us to help troubleshoot.
36. Who do I contact if I am having technical issues?
You can call our customer service at 1-888-416-8666 or email us at email@example.com
37. I am a teacher, can I print and use your resources with my class?
Yes, we are happy to have you share our resources with your class. We would also be happy to hear about it if you do!
38. I am part of a large group of teachers/homeschoolers/daycare etc.. do you offer a discount for large volume group memberships?
For large volume group memberships please email or call us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are open to offering discounts to large groups.
39. I am a blogger, is it possible to submit a guest post on your Baby Sign Language Blog?
Yes, we are happy to accept guest blog submissions. Please contact our onsite blogger Sylina Dang at email@example.com.
We are always searching for useful tips and resources that our members would be interested in. If you would like us to review your website or resources to add to our list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org