Between the heavens and the sea is
       The Hilltop Works
FAQ about Infant Sign Language
Q: Does signing with babies delay their speech development?
A: Research shows that babies who sign tend to have stronger verbal language skills and also begin speaking at an earlier age than babies who do not sign.  One theory is  that the pathways responsible for language rest upon the same neuropathways for motor coordination.  Each area of learning enhancing  the other together provides the skills needed for speaking earlier.  Also using input visually, audibly and kinesthetically (physically doing the sign) reinforces learing and language acquisition.  I also believe that the additional attention and time invested in language and communication with your baby provides an atmosphere where earlier communication is possible.

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Q: Can we introduce signing in an inclusive setting?
A: The use of sign within an inclusive setting or class can be the common thread that  facilitates effective communication.  Signing is now becoming more frequently used to enhance verbal development with autistic, down syndrome, deaf and language delayed children.  Signing is also a tool that can burst through other language barriers that can be found in bilingual environments as well.

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Q: Why is The Hilltop Works program based on American Sign Language?
A: Since the birth of ASL it has evolved to become the accepted sign language in North America.  It is the third most used language in the USA.  ASL structure pattern is also compatible with the nature of language development in infants.  One sign can communicate an entire phrase or concept, just as young children can use a one word sentence.

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Q: What is the optimal age for introducing signs to our baby?
As early as two months of age research and experience show sufficient recall, particularly with repeated demonstration, for babies to recognize gestures and associate a concept.  Our program advocates the use of basic one handed signs when babies are able to initiate focused eye contact and begin to positively respond to their environment, usually occurring between two an three months of age.  I strongly recommend beginning to learn and model sign early, some choose to start during pregnancy. At approcimately six-eight months of age your baby will learn more, faster.  It is  NEVER TOO EARLY OR TOO  LATE TO START!

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Q: How long will it take for our baby to produce signs?
A: When babies begin to produce signs depends on several factors:  the age of the child, how interested is the child in communicating, how much the child needs to communicate, and how consistently are the signs used by parents or caregivers during daily activities.  Some children begin demonstrating signs after several days, some after several weeks, and yes some after several months.  But consistency and patience are the keys to success.  

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Wooden boat building and restoration:

The Hilltop Works is a family run boat shop.  Patrick Sebrey provides a haven for wooden boats from creation to restoration.
Infant and Children Sign Language Instruction:

All Day Workshops are geared to the parents, caregivers, and educators of preverbal children.  Research shows babies that sign have higher IQs, larger vocabularies, and increased self esteem.  ONE DAY can change your baby’s life FOREVER!
Wellness:  A State of Balance

Leann Sebrey RN is our Wellness Consultant and has been a nurse for 25 years.
Addressing health issues with an integrative approach, effective and comprehensive teaching and healing is offered.

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