I’m a My Smart Hands instructor, doula, prenatal educator, and massage therapist. I’ve been using ASL since 1992, when I started working in a Signed environment (ASL) and have been signing with families for six years. I really love watching the parents and babies have fun and connect through the My Smart Hands classes that I lead.
One of the stories that I like to tell about using baby signs is of a time when I was taking a long walk with the five-month-old baby of a friend who was taking my class. At the 90-minute mark, I saw this little fist jut out of the carrier and make the open and closed sign for “milk”.
“Oh!” I said, “You want milk!” and I signed it back to them, making an immediate bee-line for home. We continued to hold this little one-sign conversation about milk the whole way, arriving home with no tears and no fussing; baby knew I understood their needs, and that help was on the way!
Being a part of helping parents and babies understand one another better is such a joy. I keep the classes fun, light, and playful, and the parents absorb the material quickly and easily. It’s so exciting to watch the parents and babies start to communicate with this new skill; the thrill of looking into your baby’s eyes the first time they use a sign and being able to say, “Yes! I understand!” is marvellous! And anytime the babies get restless, we just sing & sign and smiles abound! I couldn’t have a better job.