I have two children, I taught both of them to sign as babies. By the time they were 8 months old, they could use simple signs such as ‘milk’, ‘more’, ‘eat’ and ‘finished’. It made my life so much easier – I instantly knew what they wanted. It made their lives so much happier – they didn’t need to scream or point to get my attention. The level of understanding we had was far better than that of any of my friends with similar aged children.

Signing is a skill for life.  We still sign to each other on occasion. I can prompt my children to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ without saying a word – everyone thinks they are so polite! When they are in the garden, I can tap on the window and sign ‘dinner’, ‘daddy’s home’ etc. I don’t need to shout or say a word. Teaching my children simple signs has given us a calmer and more peaceful home.

Before I started to teach sign language, I had been working for an International Company delivering training courses – the travel was not family friendly. In 2008, I re-trained to teach sign language. It was an easy decision, I wanted everyone to experience the joy of knowing what a child wants without the tantrums – yours or theirs!

Carolyn O’Neil founder of The Babysign Teacher & Learn 2 Sign