Hello, and welcome to Little Hands and Me Parenting Network!

My name is Tanya, and I would like to share some of my experience and background with you.

For the majority of my career I have worked with families in Saskatchewan and Alberta. I provided family support related to parent-child interaction and child development. I believe that children need to feel safe, secure and love to grow and experience a world full of learning and exploring!

A few of my credentials:

  • Certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator
  • Certified My Smart Hands Instructor
  • Baby Wearing Educator
  • Bachelor and Diploma of Social Work- career focus in parent-child interaction and child development (University of Calgary and Mount Royal University)
  • Curriculum and Core Training with Growing Great Families and Growing Great Kids program
  • Social and Emotional Development Training
  • 1,2,3 Magic-(parenting course)
  • Effective Communication with Parents (Bow Valley College Training)
  • Mental Health First Aid- focus on Maternity Mental Health
  • Ages and Stages Questionnaire Screener

I have always been interested in culture and language. I became interested in sign language as I took Signing Exact English courses at Medicine Hat College. I became fascinated by the language and began to research the benefits of baby sign. My interest in the language became renewed when I was pregnant with my son,  Mr. E, who was born on February 10, 2012. As I researched baby sign language I took on-line ASL course to assist with my My Smart Hands certified instructor training.

My husband and I started to sign with Mr. E at 4 months of age. At 6 months of age, he became interested in what we were doing and would watch our hand movements, showing that he recognizes the sign for “milk”,  “more” and “play”. Our son, at 6.5 months old, started to sign milk! At 13 months of age Mr. E signed over 14 words and at 14 months he was signing 40 different words with 10 verbal English words. As our family continued to use ASL signs and verbal English, Mr. E’s vocabulary grew and at 20 months old had a vocabulary of over 150 words and was putting together 3-5 word sentences in both ASL and English!  As a talking toddler, Mr. E was able express his wants, needs, feelings and desires in English and/or sign, making communication very easy. By communicating  his needs during play, reading, meal times and bedtime we have reduced the amount of frustrations, whining, and tantrums. Signing with children does work!

Our family welcomed Miss K on April 30, 2015! Mr. E eagerly started to sign to Miss K. As a family we have been incorporating signing into daily life. There is such fun, joy and learning when playing and signing. K is growing, playing and exploring her world and becoming excited to communicate through ASL baby sign language!