Where is Tiny Handz based?
The Tiny Handz office is based in Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape) but provide training throughout South Africa, from major cities and town to remote areas (pending on the need and demand from regions). You can see our current training schedule here.
Won’t the use of signs, hinder my baby from talking?
Unfortunately, this is the biggest misconception amongst parents. As explained within the Baby Signing Section: when using signs, you will actually enhance baby’s speech because you are neurologically stimulating the homunculus (part in the brain where speech- and language development takes place) so baby will even start making sounds and saying words sooner. Many parents have seen the proof and many studies have proven this, and there are many other advantages that can also be enjoyed. Feel free to go on the internet and randomly research this on your own and you will find many proofs and many success stories 😉
How soon will my baby or special needs child start speaking once I start to use signs?
It is important to understand that each baby and each child is different. Therefore, one can not fix a specific time frame to any child’s development. Some children show progress and change within a few minutes and others take a few days or even weeks. The best is to implement it and see for yourself and use it consistently, but you can not loose anything by using signs alongside speech. Perseverance and enjoyment in the use thereof, are very important.
Is there such a thing as International Sign Language?
Unfortunately not, but there are a few signs that are very similar or even very much the same in many countries throughout the world. Language and Cultures also greatly influence the worldwide and national differences.
What is AAC?
SA Sign Language is a language on its own (like English, Setswana, Sepedi etc.) with its own rules, for example on how sentences are constructed, which is not necessarily the same as with a spoken language. But when signs are used as an AAC tool (Augmentative & Alternative Communication), the signs of Sign Language is used alongside spoken language so that when the child or individual developes spoken language from the use of signs, the verbal words will be within the spoken language format as desired.
Is the Signs taught in class ‘watered down’ to make it simpler or easier for use with children?
We teach you the sign as used within the SA Sign Language Framework. We may give suggestions here and there how to make it ‘easier’ for those who are physically and intellectually challenged, but all the signs are almost easy enough to understand and use for this not to be a problem.
Is South African Sign Language easy or difficult to learn?
Many people are under the impression that it is difficult to learn, but in fact it is REALY easy! Sign Language is a beautiful yet misunderstood language, but we can show you just how easy it is to learn, but for that to happen, you need to join one of our classes and we will happily show you just how much you can learn within a day or two!
Do you need Sign Language knowledge to attend one of the Tiny Handz Workshops?
No, you do not need to have any knowledge of any Sign Language to attend.
Does everyone in my family need to sign with my child or can just I sign with him/her?
It would be better for the child or person involved if more people would use signing for him/her to see and understand that this is a communication method that is accepted and comes natural to everyone in his/her surrounding. He/she would then also feel more encouraged to sign back and he/she would be free to use this form of communication in a variety of settings and won’t be limited to one ‘area’ (e.g. home) if he/she can also use this at school and in socializing. Just as with any child learning a spoken language is not limited to one area of speech, but is exposed to it wherever he/she goes.
Is signing a ‘natural’ thing?
Very much so, as signing is in a great deal showing gestures with hands and the face and body is involved. Even in our everyday use, we will use gestures to communicate like waving our hands, putting up the thumb to show ‘good’, shrugging our shoulders when we ‘don’t know’, a baby lifting up his/her arms to show that he/she wants to be picked up and a variety of facial expressions that we show daily whilst communicating.
Studies have shown that only 7% of our communication is brought across through speech, the rest is all body language (non-verbal communication) and tone of voice.
Do I have to speak when using Sign Language with a Hearing-impaired person?
There is nothing wrong in speaking as you use Sign Language. This can also help to differentiate between those signs that are very similar, but have different meanings.
How do professional benefit from this training?
Professionals get to use this within their practise and environments faced with those clients who struggle to communicate verbally. Also, 8 CPD points apply to their attendance.
If I have done the Basic and would like to learn more, what do I do?
You will be invited to attend one of our Intermediate Workshops in your area. As from 2015 we will also be introducing Advanced Training.
If you have any other question, please feel free to contact us with your queries.