About Joseph Garcia, Ed.D.
Dr. Joseph Garcia is a pioneer and one of the world’s leading experts in the baby sign language revolution. In his highly acclaimed books Toddler Talk (1994) and SIGN with your BABY (1999), Dr. Garcia explores the miracle of how young babies are able to communicate with their parents using signing, sometimes before 6 months of age. Dr. Garcia also authored a baby signing guide for the UK published in 2005 by Match Media Ltd.
Dr. Joseph Garcia’s Complete Guide to Baby Sign Language, © 2016 is the culmination of his experiences as a teacher and researcher. He’s worked with more than 5,000 babies and their families through community, hospital and national education programs. His exciting new approach will help parents and caregivers find it easy to learn and use more signs than they thought possible (while still having fun).
The following paragraphs are from Dr. Joseph Garcia as he reflected on his new book, Dr. Joseph Garcia’s Complete Guide to Baby Sign Language.
Since publishing SIGN with your BABY, I’ve been deeply involved in communication research and expanding caregiver knowledge of baby signing. My personal focus remains on creating the most effective and practical signing methods for parents and babies. The fundamentals of my original method still apply because they apply to all language acquisition. However, my studies, observations, and firsthand experiences over the past twenty-six years have provided me with a wealth of additional insights that inspired me to write this book.
I call this book Dr. Joseph Garcia’s Complete Guide to Baby Sign Language because it not only reveals the theory behind signing with babies, but it also clearly demonstrates how to incorporate the signs into your everyday activities. It is grounded in what I term the “topic-learning” method that assists you in using a relatively large number of signs based on daily routines.
My program can teach you — in a fun and low stress way — how to learn and use a small or a large number of signs with your baby. Investing a great deal of time is not necessary; just a few signs can make a world of difference. Your child will be able to discover and use these signs through consistent daily exposure.
The methods I’ve developed are tried and tested, and they work well. Parents and their children are learning and using more signs than they thought possible. The benefits of being able to communicate with your baby can make a significant positive difference in your lives. My Dr. Joseph Garcia’s Complete Guide to Baby Sign Language replaces frustration with communication.
My Journey In Communication
I actually began my communication exploration with animals. That exploration took me to places I never imagined I would ever go. I was once given two very ill Alaskan Malamutes. I nursed them back to health and bred one with the following result.
Then these lovely little creatures turned into the following:
The growth progression for each of my “kids” was like this:
So, I moved to rural Alaska, built the following home and dog runs.
Having this second family allowed me to do lots of the following:
And of course, after learning how to communicate with my canine family members, I was able to do some of this:
I would harness a team in the yard, follow the creek bed for a quarter mile and then turn right onto the Iditarod trail. Take that to 9 Mile Hill, around the lake, and back home to switch teams and do it again…Northern Lights blasting away, moose running in the distance; living the dream!
Then, I was teaching American Sign Language at Central Washington University when I became friends with Dar, Tatu, and Moja. Having conversations with these wonderful friends was a transformational experience.
So, these communication experiences led me into research on human communication. The birth of my son Stratton in 1985 was the motivator that focused my research and exploration into using sign language with babies long before they utter their first spoken word. The rest is history.
Benefits of Baby Sign Language
- Enhances communication.
- Reduces frustration and tantrums.
- Provides a whole new insight into your baby’s world.
- Strengthens the bond between you and your baby.
- Increases your baby’s confidence.
- Accelerates your baby’s language development.
- Fuels your baby’s intellectual development.
- Helps parents accurately respond to their baby’s needs.
Advantages of Using Standardized Signs (ASL)
- Signs are available through internet sign dictionaries.
- Signing is a recognized second language that you and your child can use throughout life.
- Signs are easy to learn and easy to understand.
- Standardized signs, if forgotten, are readily available.
- Signs don’t interfere with speech.