Many parents ask about the research related to signing with babies and toddlers. The latest research by Dr. Marilyn Daniels - a professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State University - finds that signing leads to success in reading, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and memory. You can read more at http://www.marilyndaniels.com/
While early literacy skills and increased intelligence are certainly important, I see these things simply as side benefits. The most important and meaningful benefit is sign language's ability to enrich the parent-child relationship. Signing increases the number of positive interactions and decreases the number of negative interactions, a formula that naturally leads to a closer relationship. All children - all people for that matter - want to be understood. Sign language makes that possible for our little sweeties, what better gift could we give them?
Teachers are always looking for additional tools to reach young students. These studies looked at the benefits and use of sign language in the classroom. Research has found young children who are able to sign and communicate their needs to teachers demonstrate less frustration in the classroom.
Daniels, M. (1997). Teacher enrichment of prekindergarten curriculum with sign language. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 12(1), 27-33.
Whaley, K. (1999). Pilot study at the A. Sophie Rogers Infant-Toddler Laboratory School at Ohio State University. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/?id=SIGNLANG.OSU