Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Lorraine Hazel, MA CCC-SLP
Baby Signs® Independent Certified Instructor
On The Grow Educator

I am excited about teaching Baby Signs® Programs here in the Coachella Valley! I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and Teacher who has loved working with children for over 25 years. I am also a mother of a 10 year old and a 19 year old. It is my desire to share with parents and care givers ways in which to enhance early speech, language and literacy skills in their very young children, and get them off to a great start. Teaching your hearing baby simple signs is a wonderful way to allow your baby to converse with you and thus develop early speech and language skills.
My personal signing story: When I was working on my graduate degree in Speech Pathology, I heard about the benefits of using sign language with language delayed children from my professors, and in my own experience, I have seen how simple signs paired with verbal language truly does enhance the acquisition of verbal skills rather than hinder it. I started using simple signs with my 8 year old when she was just two and a half months old. I began with the sign for "more" because her hands were still in little fists and I wanted to get them moving. I paired it with an activity she loved to do - trying to stand. Imagine my surprise when she started to use the sign on her own the very next day! This of course is not typical, however I think we tend to underestimate what our babies can understand and do. Sign language opened up a communication window for my daughter and I, and it was such a delightful experience that I started encouraging my friends and family members to use signs with their babies. My niece at one years old was able to tell her mom if she wanted cereal or milk and many other things through the use of signs. At 18 months she was able to speak in 3 word sentences! Her mother credits her well developed vocabulary and language skills to teaching her signs as an infant.

One thing that strongly shaped my desire to become a Speech Pathologist and work in a therapy related field was my experience working in the maternity department as a missionary kid in Africa.  Please read story here.

I know that using signs with your baby will enhance your enjoyment of this precious time with your little one just like it has done for us, and I welcome the opportunity to share with you and your baby the joy of communication!