We love receiving updates from families around the world who have found our classes and books helpful. It is just so thrilling to see how the gift of communication has made such a difference in their lives! Please have a look at what some of our signing families have shared below, and consider sharing your story too! We alsolove to receive your signing pictures
Rebecca- San Diego, CA
Hi Monta –
I just wanted to send you a note to say thank you for doing what you do. Parker and I really enjoyed your classes and your story times. We started taking your classes when she was about 7 months. I had been using signs at home since she was 4 months…but it wasn’t until we had so much fun at your classes that she really caught on. At about 9 months, she had 2 signs…and at 10 months she had about a dozen and wanted to know what the sign was for everything. That phase was so much fun and exciting for both of us! We are no longer in San Diego and are now living with family who haven’t seen her in months. They are so impressed that she can communicate through sign language! Actually, they are amazed. She has about 25 signs now (granted many of them are approximations because she just doesn’t have the motor skills yet…but I know what she is trying to do…so we keep practicing). At her first birthday party a couple of days ago while we were opening gifts, and a friend of mine said, “she keeps hitting her chest with both hands like a gorilla” and laughed. And I said, “oh, that’s just her sign for ‘help’…she’s asking me to help her unwrap this.” I think everyone was momentarily stunned. Throughout the day people started picking up on her signing and began asking me what they meant so that they could understand her. It was very cool.I’ve attached a picture of Parker signing ‘baby’ as we were opening her present. Someone had given her a doll I’m so glad that we bought your Songs for Little Hands set with the CD, flash cards, and book. We play at least a couple of songs a day and her little arms and hands go crazy…it’s ridiculously cute!
Rebecca & Parker
Sarah, San Diego, CA
We started baby sign language class with Monta (and bear!) when our baby was just under 6 months, and now we are in our second session. We love it! Signing offers babies an early path to communication, so less frustration and more skills to build fruitful relationships with others. The class itself provides a fun and creative environment for babies and parents to gather, learn, and play. Our baby has really blossomed in this class, thanks to Monta and her smile, the music and activities, and all the positive reinforcement from the other parents.
I have a 19 month old daughter that has mild autism and it was recently brought to my attention that sign language could help her communicate with me. I went a bought your Sign, Sing, and Play Kit, and since I have had it (three days) she has learned 5 new words! I absolutely do not mind you posting my email on your testimonials. I would love to get it out there to other mothers with autistic children. I want you to know that you have been a blessing to my family. I was almost heart-broken when I saw that you were in San Diego, because I would love to attend some of your classes. For now though your Sign, Sing, and Play kit has been extremely helpful to me.
Thank you so much. Please let me know if you have ever worked with autistic children and any suggestions you may have.
Thank you once again.
Samantha H, San Diego, CA
Ellie now signs 40 words at 15 months old. She learned 3 signs yesterday and catches on when I show her just once. It's pretty amazing to see it all come together. She signs "please" about 50 times a day; 1/4 of the time I don't know why she says "please" but she knows that's when she gets what she wants. Not bad having a polite 15 month old who says "please" and "thank you" all the time (of course, still with impatience) :-). Thanks, Monta!
Sandra J, San Diego, CA
My son and I took this class with Monta for 6 months straight, and loved it -- I can't recommend it enough!
I am a parent who takes my baby to a lot of classes and activities, both free and paid, and felt like this one was a good investment both money and time-wise because it included all of the elements I was looking for in one class -- music, playtime with other babies, the occasional story, as well as sign language. The class size is small, so we made friends but it wasn't overwhelming for my baby.
My son was 10 months old when we started and together we learned over 100 signs. Sign Language has been such a valuable tool for figuring out what he needs, and now that he is a toddler, I feel he is a lot less of a 'terrible two' than he would have been otherwise.
Each class starts with a short lesson for the parents, while the babies play with toys. The rest of the class time is taken up with fun activities, like songs, and other activities that are for the babies. Of course babies will learn most signs by us parents repeating them at home, but the activities we did in class gave me a lot of fun ideas I could use.
I have also been to Monta's free storytimes at the library, which was a fun way to continue exposing my son to signs. However, the storytime doesn't include a lesson for parents, so I recommend taking Monta's class first -- then attending storytime.
I've recently moved to the Bay Area and had a second child. I looked into the classes here and was very sad to find that the ones here don't include any of the fun activities for the babies. They just teach the parents with flash cards and posters and the babies just have to entertain themselves. So I guess I'm spoiled now.
M. P. Yelp Reveiw, San Diego, CA
Monta is absolutely phenomenal with the kids and she makes sure you leave class knowing how to incorporate the signs into your daily routine. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first about how effective it would be but I am now a firm believer that ever baby can benefit from this class. We started when my daughter was 8 months. She is now 12 months and her last class in next week. She is currently signing the following:
Bath, Change, Please, Thank You, Your Welcome, Eat, Milk, Water, Cheese, More, Clean Up, Tree, Light, Spider, Rain, Shoe, Go, Hear, Dog, Kiss, Book, Help, Daddy, What.
There may be a few that I am forgetting but I am blown away by how much she has learned so quickly. Having the line of communication with your baby and the frustration that it relieves is worth every penny.
Jen I, San Diego, CA
Wonderful class and instruction! We started class when my son was about 9 months old and took both sessions A and B. It is amazing to see how much he learned and how easy it is for him to communicate his needs. He's now 14 months and starting to say more words but the sign language has been integral to his development. He can communicate what he wants and needs using sign language even though he's just starting to learn how to talk. Monta was a wonderful instructor and always had a cheerful smile on her face. It was great for my son to play with other children his age in class and learn sign language as well. I recommend this class to all my friends with babies, it's fantastic!
Laura Hill, San Diego
I have been meaning to write about Fletcher's signing. He is 18 months old now and talks a little bit, but only says "tick-tock" with any certainty! Everything else is mostly just the first letter. I stopped counting all the signs he knows but its over 100 easily. He even knows some of the letters of the alphabet. They aren't perfect, but I know what his signs are and they are getting more precise as his dexterity improves with age. To say nothing of meaningful communication like "eat" and "change" there are a million fun things about having him sign. I love knowing what he's thinking about when I otherwise would not. For example, sitting in his car seat - he signed "swings" when we drove into a neighborhood where we once took him to some swings - months earlier!!). At the playground, he will approach a perfect stranger and sign "mommy" and then point at me - like he's saying "That's my mommy". So cute!
But what's probably the most valuable thing about having him sign in my opinion, is that he can express himself while he learns about the world, and get clarification from me. His signs show me how he is hearing/ perceiving something. Often it is way off - but I can figure outwhy he thought it based on his signs, and clear it up for him.
For example, when I sing the diaper change song to him, the word "rush" is there. He always signed "hairbrush" at that exact time. He even had his hand ready when it was coming. So it reminds me how he is processing the words. Today, he pointed at a tractor in a book and I said "tractor" and he looked puzzled and signed "cracker" very slowly...like he wasn't sure. It was priceless. So I said tractor again and he reached up and cupped his hand over my mouth (something I taught him to do to feel the difference between letters) while I said it again. Now he knows it isn't "cracker" and I knew I had to clear it up for him.
We had an accident at home a while back and Fletcher's foot got burned. He had to go to the hospital and it was very traumatic for him, but the fact he was able to sign "hurt" and ask me for things he wanted throughout the ordeal helped so much. When they wrapped up his foot he signed "paper" (for the gauze) and identified many other things in the exam room, some wrongfully (everything with a dial is a "clock") but we were "talking" the whole time, even while he was crying, he was signing. He asked for his daddy when he could not see him. I know it made a huge difference that he could communicate so many things to us during that horribly stressful time. His foot is completely healed now, but to this day when I tell him something is hot, he signs "hot" then "hurt" and then points to his foot, and then signs "careful". Seriously - he does all that!!!
I am sure you would be proud of this signing baby...people have asked me if he is deaf because he signs so much. lol. I tell them no, but if ever I am, we got it covered!!
Thank you Monta!
Christie, San Diego
Monta, Ava is now 12 months old and wanting to know what everything is! It is so exciting to be able to communicate with her as she learns the signs for the objects/ actions/ animals around us! I would like to ask you to recommend more extensive signing dictionary to help us keep up with her.
I did have this one picute of Ava when she was 9 months old, signing "MORE" while we wre playing games on the floor. Not the greatest picture of her, but you can see her signing! It's too bad I can't send a video- we made a tape before Ava and Daddy before he left for the war in Iraq. There is a precious segment of him tickling and kissing her. When he stops, she signs for "MORE". It's so cute! Now that she's a little older, she is also signing MILK, DRINK, EAT, PLEASE, HELP. TELEPHONE, HAT, BATH, SHOES and LIGHT. She understands several other signs, too. It is so exciting for us to be able to communicate with her like this. I am so glad we took your class!
Thank you so much!
Holly, Rancho Bernardo
I attended Baby Sign Language Classes with my daughter beginning when she turned six months old. This was rejuvenating for me as I met some wonderful mommies and babies who were 'like-minded' , progressive and fun! I believe I have made some life-long friends and gained a huge support system in raising my first baby. This was such a rewarding experience, I must recommend it to all mommies, daddies and babies!
It was a fabulous class for my daughter because she learned how to communicate by signing, without frustration, with her mommy, daddy and grammy. After taking these classes, she was able to sign when she wanted 'more,' when she was 'hungry' or 'thirsty,' and was even able to differentiate on some of her specific needs and wants. She enjoyed learning but mostly she absolutely loved the class activities, songs and interaction with other babies.
Monta is a very committed, creative and knowledgable teacher. She welcomes parents and children with open arms. It is a relaxing, easy-going and fun atmosphere. No one can do any wrong with our very supportive, patient and kind Monta!
Since we attended this class, she has also published additional books and tools to help you learn with your baby ASL Sign Language! If you would like more information, I recommend checking out the web site or just giving Monta a call!
Heather, San Diego
Hi Monta! My name is Heather. I took your baby sign language workshop in November, then took your Sing, Sign and Play class in March at La Mesa. I am so glad I heard about your classes. I started signing with my son when he was almost 10 months. About a month later he signed "more". Before taking the Sing, Sign and Play class he could sign about 5 or 6 signs, but soon after starting that class he started picking up every sign I taught him. I am amazed at how much this has helped both of us. He is now 15 months old and has not said anything,but signs all the time! One day he was came up to me while I was doing something and asked for help. I didn't think he had realized what he was doing until I asked him what he wanted and he went over to the drawer he wanted open and signed for help again and pulled on the drawer. He can now sign : cat, dog, more, eat, drink, help, hear, music, bird, up, down, bath, cookie, and more I can't think of at the moment. People are amazed when they hear he can sign. I want to thank you for opening up communication between me and my son.
P.S. Please feel free to share my letter. Anything to help other families to experience what ours has!
Tiffany, San Diego
I took one of your baby sign language basics classes when my son was about eight months old or so (maybe a little younger). I had been doing sign language with him since he was about 3 months old. It just didn't seem to be working and I was getting frustrated!
My mom and I took your class, and things started to happen!! I learned to try the signs he's interested in first, and not the stuff he can cry for! So, within a month he was signing "airplane," "fan," and "light." But, only those 3 for many months.
You were right, once he got that first real sign ("more"), the helpful kind, a light just went off in his head! It's like he understood the magic of communication! The week he turned one, he learned 3 signs, and has been learning them just as quickly ever since!
He is only 14 months now, so he's really only been signing for 2 months, and he knows well over 25 signs. It is so fantastic to be able to have conversations with my son, and understand exactly what he's talking about. You also mentioned studies that show their vocabulary is better sooner when they sign-- that is true as well. He knows over 40 words, and is already at the point where he will try to copy anything we ask him to say. It's fantastic!!
So, I just wanted to thank you for teaching us such a wonderful thing, which we will definitely teach to our 2nd baby as well (who is due this May!).
Keep up the great work. You make it fun and exciting, and all parents should read your book and take your classes!!
Holly C. Saint John, USVI
Dear Monta, I just had to write and tell you that Avery & I had a sort of 'signing eureka' the other day... I was signing BOAT and pointing and signing and pointing, and she looked me straight in the eyes, squealed with delight, and signed BOAT right back. I laughed, kissed her, and said "Yes, that'sright!" and then she proceeded to show me all the signs she knew-- pointing to my breast and signing MILK, pointing to the water bottle and signing WATER, pointing to a DOG and signing DOG and so on. It's as if she had this breakthrough where she realized everything has a sign to go with it. It was really, really cool. Now I'm challenged to name everything I can think of with their signs!
Just thought you'd like to know. (Avery will be 11 months next week)
Michelle, San Diego
Hi Monta, I wanted to write you so long ago but couldn't find your e-mail address. We took your class oh so long ago (when my daughter was 6 months, she's now 2 1/2 years). I just wanted to thank you for the great class and the great start we received using the sign language. My daughter was an amazing signer. It brought so much joy to our lives (and to hers too I think). We learned so much about her through the signing--- mostly how amazingly observant she was at such a young age. The signing showed us how much she really knew and understood. We were continually amazed and delighted. From that she turned into an incredible talker at a pretty early age. We now have a 6 month old son and are looking forward to when he starts signing. Thank you again!
Dear Monta, I never had the privilege of attending one of your classes, but I just wanted to thank you for writing your book on baby sign language. I just recently started getting internet in my home, so I was unable to contact you until now. It was four years ago that I picked up your book and knew instantly I would teach this to my son. What a wonderful tool this has been and what fun we have had teaching signs to our first child and now to our second. My first son, Trevor, learned about 35 signs. I almost gave up ( we started way to early and got discouraged- just what you said not to do), then out of the blue, his first sign around 10 months old- "all done." Then it was a piece of cake from there! He always had double the "vocabulary" of all the kids his age because he could speak all the words they could, Plus sign that many more! It was truely amazing. Then we had our second baby in 2006 and have really enjoyed teaching him. Trevor had stopped using all of his signs, but seemed to still remember many of them and has really helped teach our baby, Braydon. Braydon cought on even better than Trevor learning his first sign around 8 1/2 months and learned very quickly he could tell us what he wanted with his hands. We couldn't teach him fast enough! I think the sky was the limit with him (or at least my knowledge of signing)! I know it may not be much to some people, but we were able to teach him almost 50 words in sign! and about 8 of those signs were ones that he actually made up! Yes, I didn't know the sign, so seriously he made them up! When he was about 18 months old, we were looking at pictures in a book. One was a flying bat. So I was saying, "look it's a bat, can you say bat (just trying to get him to speak it because I know he has the ability to now) and I could see he was thinking about it, then tapped his butt and said "bup!" Now every time we see a bat, he signs it by tapping his butt. So often I tought him how to sign and say a word at the same time, now he thought he would do the same for me! Kids are so smart, and sign language really proves it!
I will never foget the day Trevor came up to me yelling at me to unscrew a water bottle lid. He was 15 months old and within two days we tought him "Please," "Open." That one sign alone saved us many frustrating days. "Open" was one of our most used signs for both of my boys, and seemed to be very universal for so many things! I didn't know the sign, but I made it up quick. We held our hands out, like praying hands, and opened them (I think it is actually the sign for book, maybe?)
I just wanted to make sure you knew how much your book helped us and to Thank you for writing it!! It has been such a fun experience helping my children communicate with me and my family. We have made so many great memories teaching our boys to sign. I tell everyone who will listen about the benifits of sign language! Thank you!