Signs and Children with Special Needs
One in ten Canadians has a speech, language or hearing problem. A child should use 200 or more words by the time they are 2-3 years old and by the age of 4 ½ their vocabulary should consist of approximately 2000 words.


These numbers appear to be large but we must consider the average person acquires 10 000 words in their lifetime. Most speech and language disorders are not diagnosed until the child is school aged. Common disorders in children are:

•Articulation Disorders (omitting, substituting, or distorting language sounds) examples include a child saying “Wabbit” instead of “Rabbit”


•Voice Problems (Clarity, Volume, Pitch)


•Stuttering (Hesitations, Syllable or word reputations and restarts)


•Language Difficulties


Other disorders such as Downs Syndrome, Autism and Apraxia of speech can cause speech and language difficulties in children.


Autism is a brain disorder which adversely affects behaviour, social skills and the ability to communicate. Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., from the Center for the Study of Autism, writes: “Many aberrant behaviors associated with autism and other developmental disabilities, such as aggression, tantrumming, self-injury, anxiety, and depression, are often attributed to an inability to communicate to others. Signed Speech may, at the very least, allow the person to communicate using signs and may stimulate verbal language skills. When teaching a person to use sign language, another possible benefit may be the facilitation of their attentiveness to social gestures of others as well as of themselves.” Teaching Autistic children sign language can provide communication in cases where the child has not been to develop oral communication.


Children affected with Downs Syndrome are slower to develop speech and language skills. Teaching Sign Language, along with verbal reinforcement, is shown to improve the communication skills of children with this disorder. Researchers are emphasizing to use to total communication (Simultaneous use of sign language and speech) to assist in the development language skills.


The benefits of using sign language in babies in not limited to those with communication and developmental disorders. Sign language in pre-verbal babies boasts great advantages including reduced frustration, increase in self-esteem, increase in IQ by 10-12 points, increase speed of spatial reasoning, introduction of language, and promotion life-long literacy. Sign Language classes can help parents and caregivers establish routines and strategies that are proven to assist in language development in all children. For more information on the benefits of Baby Sign Language and Classes please visit


Learn 2 Sign
Shawneen Lenane


Jennifer McCallum

Thank you so much for stopping by this page to get to know a bit more about me and why I started Parent Guide Inc. My business story started a way back in 2001... …after the birth of my first daughter, I realized that an "all-in-one" resource guide for parents was needed, and fast! I designed the New Parent Resource Guide to fill a gap in the community for busy parents like myself. The New Parent Resource Guide offers an A-Z of key contacts for parents, caregivers, service providers, and health care professionals.  Working with key businesses and organizations in the community, we have also compiled much-needed articles, tips, and charts to answer all your parenting questions. The latest addition to our family is the School Age Resource Guide to serve parents of children, 3 to 18 years!  This guide answers questions about: nutrition, bullying, curriculum, building self-esteem, and much more, as well as offering a full directory of local and national resources. The website offers an “all-in-one” spot for parents to connect, add their own blog, and find needed resources in their community.  It is a site that educates and entertains and if you can't find somthing just ASK me. I am here to serve YOU!  My hope is that you connect with our members, find comfort in their words, and share your own story. My goal is to see what I can do to help make life a bit easier for you.   You are why I do what I do! I can’t wait to get to know you!  Comment below to tell me about yourself – then start blogging so we can find out what makes you get up in the morning!  Check out my blog too and I am sure you will be surprised what gets me out of bed each day!!! Jennifer -  Mom and Publisher

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