Michelle Anthony, M.A., Ph.D., and Reyna Lindert, Ph.D.
We met while pursuing our doctorates in Developmental Psychology at the University
of California at Berkeley. When our first children were babies, we searched the
available infant / toddler sign language resources to find one that we wanted to use with
our own families. However, we realized that none of the books or materials gave
parents - including us - the tools we needed to easily integrate signing into
our hectic and varied life with our babies.
And so, Signing Smart was born! Backed up by more than 25 combined years of expertise
in early language development, and building from our experiences as early childhood
teachers, parent educators, Ph.D.s in Developmental Psychology, certified ASL
users, and - most importantly - mothers, we developed the Signing Smart program
and co-founded Wide-Eyed Learning, LLC. Wide-Eyed Learning's mission is to help
parents and professionals facilitate development in young hearing children and
to promote healthy families from the very start. Signing Smart is but one component
of this endeavor - one that blends our passion for young children and our expertise
in children's linguistic and cognitive development.
Our goal in creating Signing Smart has been to do more than simply teach parents and caregivers a handful of useful signs. Rather, we have sought to help enrich what parents are already doing with their babies, using signing as the medium. Signing Smart meets the needs of parents and other caregivers who are looking for ways not only to stimulate development and learning in young children, but also to help foster communication and intimacy between parents / caregivers and children. All of our Signing Smart materials are developed with real-time parenting in mind, and they are designed to allow Signing Smart to be something that enriches what parents and caregivers are already doing, as opposed to something that takes over family life. Our research-proven programming has been used to facilitate early communication and long-term learning in thousands of typical and developmentally-delayed children.
As mothers who continue to use Signing Smart methods with our own young children, our goal continues to be to help other families, as well as educators in childcare or preschool settings, experience the magic of enhanced communication and facilitated learning.