We’re so excited to welcome Portland Early Learning Project to Birthing Stone. Baby sign language is a fantastic way to bond with baby, enable more communication, and really have fun! Keep reading to learn more about Christina from PELP
Check out upcoming dates on our calendar or register here
Random fun fact: I consider myself quite musical. I started piano lessons at 3, was always involved in singing and voice lessons and even sang with a band in highschool!
My profession is: I am a Speech/Language Pathologist by trade but now consider myself a Baby Sign Language Guru and infant/toddler language development specialist, co-owner of Portland Early Learning Project.
Where do you find passion in your work? I love connecting with mothers and fathers as they are entering parenthood. It’s my heart! I started my journey as a teacher and have always loved children, but as soon as I started teaching FAMILIES, and especially after becoming a mother myself, I realized my true love was connecting and supporting new parents. I love watching families connect and bond through shared language (sign language). I love teaching families how to observe their babies’ early non-verbal communication.
Witnessing the profound connection between parent and baby continues to amaze me even after almost 10 years of teaching these classes.
What do you want people to know about the service you offer?: How do you support new families?: I help families connect and bond with their babies through Sign Language. My classes are play-based to make them fun for the whole family. Classes offer hands on opportunities practice using signs with toys, books, songs and more so families can feel confident to carry over signing at home. One of my favorite side benefits of class is the community. It’s a safe, relaxed space to not only sign with baby but make friends!
What are some myths about your service or profession that you want people to understand?
Myth: That signing with baby is hard
Truth: Signing with baby the PELP way is fun! Families who sign are engaging deeply with baby, pointing out signs for objects around their homes, giving a new purpose to play and interaction. I encourage families to enjoy the process and when baby is ready, he will rock your world with that first sign!
Myth: That signing will delay speech
Truth: As a Speech Language Pathologist one of the first things we do with children who aren’t talking is sign with them! Very often children who signed as babies, toddlers, preschoolers actually talk early and have very prolific vocabularies thanks to all their early practice with language.
Can you share something you’ve learned from being a parent?
While it might sound cliche, I’ve truly learned that not everything is black and white. Like many families I had ideals and visions of how I would parent and I’ve learned that it’s ok to “break the rules”, give yourself some grace and HAVE fun! I’m a much happier parent letting go a little bit.
What’s your favorite place to go, or thing to do on vacation?
I enjoy doing many things with my family on vacation. In the summer we love visiting SunRiver, biking and enjoying the weather. I also really love visiting the coast. I love cozying up with a good book on blustery cold days.