The effects of a parent implemented infant signing intervention on communication skills for young hearing children with diagnosed language delays

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ayrora Fain Barker (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Belinda Hardin

Abstract: Being able to communicate one’s wants and needs is an essential step in typical language development. However, children with diagnosed language delays, which constitute approximately 5–10% of children under three years, may reach this step later than typically developing children. According to Rossetti (2001), communication skills are the most highly correlated to future school performance than any other. The use of infant signing, a form of intentional symbolic gesturing, has been shown to support children’s development in multiple domains for both typically developing children and children with disabilities (e.g., DiCarlo et al., 2001; Goodwyn et al., 2000; Thompson et al., 2007). However, there is limited research showing the effects of infant signs on young hearing children’s communication skills (Vallotton, 2011c; Wijkamp, Gerritsen, Bonder, Haisma, & van der Schans, 2010). The current study examined the potential effects of an infant signing intervention program on children’s communication skills, both verbal and sign usage. The researcher conducted a single subject, multiple probe research design across three children (ages 12 to 36 months) with diagnosed language delays to study their communication skills before and after the signing intervention. A pre- and post-study child language inventory supported with qualitative data collection methods was used as well. Results suggest an increase in communication attempts via both spoken and manually signed words after a primary caregiver-implemented infant signing intervention. Implications of these results are also discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Child*, Home, Intervention, Language, Parent, Sign language
Sign language $x Study and teaching (Early childhood)
Language acquisition $x Parent participation
Nonverbal communication in children
Language disorders in children
Toddlers $x Language

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