What are you reading? Janean Jones

READER: Janean Jones just finished reading "Baby Signing: How to Talk with Your Baby in American Sign Language" by Andrea Fixell and Ted Stafford to learn a new way to communicate with her daughter, Mellis. "A lot of people think it's bad to teach babies sign language because it will discourage talking, but that is a common misconception. It won't hinder talking at all." (Pioneer photo/Emily Grove-Davis)

READER: Janean Jones just finished reading “Baby Signing: How to Talk with Your Baby in American Sign Language” by Andrea Fixell and Ted Stafford to learn a new way to communicate with her daughter, Mellis. “A lot of people think it’s bad to teach babies sign language because it will discourage talking, but that is a common misconception. It won’t hinder talking at all.” (Pioneer photo/Emily Grove-Davis)

BIG RAPIDS — Janean Jones, of White Cloud, likes reading books that are relevant to the things she experiences in her life.

Jones recently finished reading “Baby Signing: How to Talk with Your Baby in American Sign Language” by Andrea Fixell and Ted Stafford.

As she enjoyed an afternoon at Hemlock Park with her nine-month-old daughter, Mellis, Jones chatted with the Pioneer about what the book taught her.

PIONEER: Why did you decide to read about baby sign language?

JONES: Well, I’m part of WIC and my lactation consultant told me it would help communicate with my daughter. Babies have the motor skills at a young age to be able to communicate with sign language, but they don’t have the language development quite yet. This also is supposed to help curb temper tantrums because they are able to communicate what they want.

What would you say you learned from reading the book?

JONES: One thing I learned was the importance of looking at learning sign language from your baby’s point of view. The things they are interested in are the things you need to learn how to sign, so you can show them. You really have to make sure the things they are looking at are the same things you are looking at. If you do the sign for cat, but they are looking at a dog they’re going to be confused.

Is this the type of book you usually read?

JONES: I mainly read books once the subject becomes relevant to my life. Like when I was pregnant, I read pregnancy books. I like books that have to do with the things I’m going through at the time.

Why do you think it’s important to read books like that?

JONES: I feel like it just helps you be prepared for things that will come up. If you know about them, you’ll miss out on less opportunities.

Have you tried using the sign language so far?

JONES: Yes. They say at eight months is when they can start doing the signs and she was starting right around then. She can do the signs for milk, cat and dog right now. That’s about it so far. We’ve introduced others, but she hasn’t started using those yet.

Would you recommend this book to others?

JONES: I would definitely recommend this to other parents. It’s great to have a way to communicate better with your baby.

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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