#134 – Sign Language for Babies



Nancy Hanauer, B.A. is a pioneer in the field of American Sign Language for hearing families. Nancy was one of the first teachers creating and providing classes in North America. Her business has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines. In 2005, she was quoted in an article about infant sign language in the Life Magazine insert of the Chicago Tribune and the L.A. Times. She was named Seattle’s Best-Known Baby Sign Language Instructor by the Seattle Post Intelligencer and A Person You Should Know: “Baby Whisperer” and Infant Sign Language Communication Expert by Seattle Magazine. Nancy began her baby sign language business (formerly known as Signing With Your Baby) on a part-time basis in September of 2000. Due to the amazing response to her classes and workshops, the business quickly became a full-time venture. It took Nancy two years to teach her first 200 families, just two months to teach the next 100 families and less than five years to teach more than 1000 additional families throughout the Seattle area.

(Psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.)



  1. Chance
    Posted January 25, 2008 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    awesome show,I learned ASL as a kid but I was about 7.
    I didn’t realize that babies were capable of expressing emotions like frustration through the use of language.

  2. Susanonymous
    Posted January 27, 2008 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    What a great guest you found us in Nancy Hanauer, Dr. Dave! Her love and enthusiasm for her work are contagious. I used to babysit when in high school in the sixties, when babies were believed to have short attention spans and little potential for meaningful communication. Yet two baby girls I knew could sit on my lap for more than 30 minutes while I read to them, drew, or let them “draw.” I found this impressive! It’s so encouraging to learn that Ms. Hanauer’s techniques can reduce parent/child communication frustration, possibly contributing to long-term brain plasticity.

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