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Baby sign language breaks barriers

Yuki Worsch-Smith with nine-month-old Isabel Pettet.
Yuki Worsch-Smith with nine-month-old Isabel Pettet. Brett Wortman

IMAGINE your baby being able to tell you when he was hungry or thirsty before he could talk.

It may be easier than you think.

Parents in the United States have been successfully exploring the concept of baby sign language for 20 years and now Sunshine Coast families can get a taste of what it is all about.

Caloundra resident Yuki Worsch-Smith became Queensland’s only Australian Baby Hands franchise in October.

Ms Worsch-Smith will present a free Baby Sign Language workshop at the Caloundra Library at 10am today.

The workshop will explore what basic sign language is, the benefits of it and how to introduce it into everyday life.

“We will also teach the most basic signs – mum, dad, eat, drink, more and milk, so parents can take that away with them and give it a go,” Ms Worsch-Smith said.

Ms Worsch-Smith said frustration caused by communication barriers between parents and their pre-vocal children could be broken down by introducing Auslan, Australia’s official language for the deaf community, into daily routines.

The signs learnt follow the baby’s basic speech development. If parents continue with the courses, the words become more complicated until they can communicate entire sentences in sign language.

“If they can sign, they don’t get lazy and that is a myth I want to dispel,” Ms Worsch-Smith said.


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