My name is Rianne Maldonado and my family and I moved from Tucson, Arizona two years ago this December to beautiful Northern Idaho. My husband and I have two daughters and one son, a dog, a cat, and a hamster named Vera. In addition to being an Advanced Signing Time Instructor, I am a Certified Lactation Educator-Counselor from UCSD in sunny Southern California. As a mother, I am involved in and seriously committed to my children’s’ education, but sometimes more importantly to their need to feel safe, secure, loved, and heard. It is important to me that children feel free to express their wonderful selves and I feel as a parent it is my responsibility to give my children effective tools to do so. Teaching them to use sign language provides so many benefits from an educational standpoint, but more importantly from a communication standpoint.
In early June of 2009 my daughter, Ruby, was four months old when she and I attended a “Signing Story Time” at our local Tucson library. I had such a great time and was so fascinated, that I just couldn’t wait to learn more! I signed up for all of the private classes that day and couldn’t wait to get started. It was so much fun to learn the signs with other moms and babies, but the very best part of it all was when we started seeing results with Ruby.
Ruby was able to understand our signs very quickly and would show us that she understood. She would smile or kick her legs in response and it was truly amazing. Right around the time she turned 6 months old she signed her first sign back to us. We were in a restaurant and she pointed to her cup of water and signed “water.” The people around us probably thought we were crazy because we were just so excited! From that moment on her signing vocabulary just blossomed and not long after that her spoken vocabulary took off as well. You can see a short video of Ruby at 14 months signing “ALL DONE” and “MORE” on my website www.LittleSignsAcademy.com
Today, Ruby is three and a half years old and even though her spoken vocabulary is astounding, so much so that she is already beginning to read, she continues to sign for many reasons. She loves to sign to her 10 month old baby sister (who is now signing “MILK” for everything she loves) and to everyone she meets. She especially likes to “show off” her signing ability to her Grandpa and Grandma when they visit. There are even times when Ruby is very upset or unable to talk (such as this past August when she had her tonsils removed) and she signs. These are times that I am even more thankful and grateful for this alternative method of communicating with my daughter because to me, at the end of the day, it’s all about our relationships and communication.
I have always been fascinated by American Sign Language, but when I learned enough to communicate with my daughter I realized how truly amazing this beautiful language is. I knew I wanted to continue my education in ASL and share my knowledge with other families so I decided to become an Advanced Signing Time Certified Instructor through Signing Time Academy. I am working diligently to further my education in ASL and sincerely look forward to signing with you and your baby!