New baby sign language classes offer parents another way to communicate with their little ones

Baby ASL is not new, but it is growing in popularity and now being taught at the Rochester Area Family YMCA.

Posted: Feb 27, 2019 6:29 AM
Updated: Feb 27, 2019 6:57 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – New classes being offered at the Rochester Area Family YMCA are giving parents another way to communicate with their little ones.
Baby sign language has been growing in popularity over the years and newly offered Parent/Child ASL classes at the “Y” are filling up fast. 

Prithvi Shenoy is one of the instructors and is currently teaching her 19-month-old daughter Sunny the modified gestures from American Sign Language to better understand what she wants, needs, and feels. Shenoy says it’s helped ease some frustrations, which is what many of the parents who come to her classes are hoping for.

"They want to stave off tantrums and have the kid be able to clearly ask for what they want and communicate their needs. It does stave off tantrums, it does stave off behaviors when you can understand what your child is wanting rather than if they're just screaming and throwing a tantrum," she explains.

But that’s not the only reason why it’s important to Shenoy that her daughter learns to sign.

"To be able to communicate with kids [she] might encounter in school or adults or someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. I want them to realize that this is a language you can use."

The Parent/Child ASL classes at the YMCA are 7 weeks long and for kids 6-18 months. There are still a few spaces available but the classes are filling up fast.

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