"Thank you for the wonderful gift of signing! Evelyn was five months old when we started class and as you know slept through many of the first few weeks. By the end, however, she was very engaged, especially with the rolling tennis balls!
On a daily basis we sign so many things, including "twinkle twinkle little stars","itsy bitsy spider" "papa and daddy love you " and "milk", as well as many foods and bathing words.
I am a dancer and athlete by trade, so I was very attracted to the idea of communicating with my body to my daughter, which proved to be exactly what I was hoping for."
~ KC & Evelyn, 6 months
"My staff and I had such a fabulous experience with SignShine®. SignShine's instructor met all my expectation and more. She really sparked on the staff and challenged them. I was so wonderful to be a part of and to watch my staff just flourish and growing by leaps and bounds. We learned and reviewed over 100 signs and the staff is signing with each other to retain it. It is AWESOME! It was truly fabulous to watch".
~ Pamela Tuszynsky, Hollywood Presbyterian Children's Center Director
"I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this class to everyone with a baby or toddler! I organized a 'private' class for 12 of my mommy friends and me, and SignShine's instructor came to our local bookstore, where we held the class. It was fantastic! We had 4 sessions, and I only wish we had had more -- there is so much to learn. The babies had fun because we sang (and signed) songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider and Old MacDonald Had a Farm, as well as learning words and the alphabet. I hope to take another class soon to continue our learning! If you are on the fence about finding the time to take a SignShine® class, don't be -- put this as your top priority this year!"
~ Kerry S & Mason, 10 months
"My daughter and I started taking classes with SignShine® when she was 6 months old. At first I thought that she might be too young to understand the signs, but within two classes she was signing "milk" and a few classes later she was signing "more". Our teacher, Manette, made it very easy to remember the signs with all the songs we sang in class as well with the toys we used. Brooklyn is now 8 months and she knows several signs..."milk", " more", "night", "happy", "noise", "daddy" and "i want". My wife and I are so surprised every time we see her using her signs. She has now become vocal and she says the words "daddy", "mommy", "night", and "ball". I have SignShine® to thank for our daughter's early communication!"
~ Santiago & Brooklyn, 8 months
"I started attending the Free SignShine® Library Story Times when my son, Luca, was just 7 months old. I was surprised to learn how intuitive and logical most signs are. This, combined with the great books and songs in the class, made them easy for me to remember. I was able to go home and immediately start practicing with him. To my surprise, within weeks he was already signing "more". At 8 months old, my baby was able to communicate with me using actual words! Since then, I've been continually amazed at not only how quickly he picks up signs but also how much he enjoys it. He now has a vocabulary of over 40 signs. Thank you, SignShine®!"
~ Heidi & Luca, 16 months
"Since Simon and Emmy were born, we've been signing with them, using flash cards and Baby Signing Time DVDs. However, the major part of their communication development is due to us being a part of your classes. The last one was especially superb and we so loved the teacher Manette! She was not only engaging and personable but also provided us with many tools and easy to understand assignments. It's been very beneficial to have the guidance from a professional and also have interaction with other kids and parents . And besides that, we all look forward to seeing everyone and the children LOVE IT!"
~ Pamela Yager, a mom to a 14 months old twin boys
"We recently had Etel Leit from SignShine® give a presentation about Baby Sign Language at our branch. What a phenomenal program! My only regret was that I didn't get any pictures... the battery on my camera died.
Etel had a very relaxed and easy charm.
The kids loved her songs, and the program flowed very nicely... simple words learned in one song were repeated in the next. Baby Signing Time, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, You Are My Sunshine, Brown Bear, Brown Bear and plenty of other children's favorites were shared.
Although a lot of the show was directed towards entertaining kids, it was very educational for parents too. I also liked that the signs were genuine American Sign Language signs. I usually have a good-sized crowd for storytimes at the branch, but this was really a full house. I'd love to have Etel back at our library, she was great!"
~ Madigan McGillicuddy, Children Librarian
Brentwood Library Click here to read about SignShine® in her blog
"I started taking signing classes at Signshine when my son, Nathaniel, was six months old. As soon as we started the class I started using some basic signs with him, and my husband started signing the alphabet as well as many other signs. After about a month we finally had our first sign – Nathaniel signed "milk" while he was nursing! We were so excited that he'd finally started to sign! His second sign, "fan", came a month later. Once he had two signs we were sure he was ready to start signing everything, but nothing else happened. We started another session of Signshine, and still had no new signs. After five months of signing his only signs were "milk" and "fan" we thought we were done and he just wasn't going to do any more. Then one day when he was eleven months old we were making lunch and he signed "cheese"! "Cheese" was quickly followed by "book" (which initially looked a lot like his sign for cheese) and then he was off and running… he added "eat", "dog", and "more/again" within weeks. From that point on he's kept adding new signs rapidly. He's now fifteen months old and uses more than 20 signs regularly, including "EXIT" which he "spells" every time we pass an exit sign!"
~ Gillian & Nathaiel, 14 months
"Mrs. Leit is a wonderful Sign Language Instructor with a passion for children communication and a wealth of knowledge of several languages and there origins.
She is a delight around children and makes all adults comfortable with learning in creative ways for communicating with their kids. I throughly recommend her classes to all!"
~ Sheri & Raine, 18 months
"Manette from SignShine® was a big hit at the Wilmington Branch of LAPL! The kids quickly learned how to sign colors, animals and the alphabet. She was patient and enthusiastic with a group ranging from 3 - 10 year olds. I would highly recommend her and SignShine®."
"I am a Children's Librarian, and I've scheduled Baby Sign Shine at our library several times. I can't emphasize enough how wonderful the program is, our parents absolutely love it. The program adds an interactive element to the traditional storytime and makes reading and storytelling more fun and exciting."
~ Karla Valdez, Children Librarian
Echo Park Library
"What a terrific program that you presented to our 2nd grade scout den at our last meeting. We learned how to sign everything we ate for lunch (and even more fun as we learned it as a song!), plus animals, please and thank yous, even how to be excused for the restroom. You are a very talented teacher, able to engage a group of spirited little boys and parents too. Thank you for your very enlightening presentation, and if you could see me now, I'm touching my right hand to my chin and extending it to you in a great big "signed" THANKS....for bringing your gift to the world through bright and clear!! "
~ Lin Chayes, Den 17 Leader: Cub Scout troop
"I took your class with my baby Rachel when she was 6 1/2 months old. At 9 months she was signing "where is daddy?" and since never stopped. She is now two and still signs daily! Signing has become part of our lives and has been for me one of the most important experiences as a mother. "
Rachel became a fast learner and fell in love with the other Rachel from Signing Time. Since it was the first time for me signing with a baby I decided to do it all the time, for everything and anything. If I knew the sign I would use it, if I didn't I would often go on one of the ASL dictionaries on-line. It has been a great experience for me to learn. My son who was 6 at time and my husband were learning as well, not mentioning our friends and family. How wonderful, Rachel was the one teaching her Grandmother ASL!
I realized that the more I signed to her the more she would sign back...it all went so fast. I also realized that signing a lot with my daughter meant I would be talking to her more, singing to her more and I truly think it developed something special between us.
From very early on she understood there was a way she could tell me things. And she would. Before she could speak she would for example sign "swing" to me at random times to share her thought. It became a window into her little mind and that is priceless. Also, when she didn't know the sign for something she would naturally make one up.
Signing helps us now with other concepts important to a two-year-old like taking turns, sharing, potty training and washing hands. She has even started teaching signing to her baby friend Yael.
Etel my dear, I cannot thank you enough and I am forever grateful for your passion and enthusiasm for signing with babies that you share. We just moved to Paris this summer and I needed to share this with you (it has been on top of my list for a while now)".
~ Anna & Rachel 2y (Paris, France)
"Signshine was such a great experience on so many levels. It was a great bonding experience with my son, as well as other mommies, babies, and Etel. The class was a happy, friendly environment where my son could be himself and not shy away as he does in his other classes. Etel is an amazing teacher. She is so encouraging, informative, and thoughtful. I feel like a better parent enhancing my son's growth and development, while promoting a positive social community through Signshine. This class is beyond just signing. Etel creates a learning experience to tier an outstanding model for learning. Etel also identifies, respects, and acknowledges that all children learn differently. She is present and sensitive to all individual learning styles and cultures. The first time Ryan signed was priceless. When I gave him what he wanted, he looked so empowered and proud of himself. I love that his needs are being met and through signing is that possible. I can't get him to stop signing now. I promote Signshine and signing to my friends and amaze myself how much information I took away with just a few classes. We can't wait until classes start again. Thank you so much Etel!"
~ Jennie & Ryan, 14 months
"Etel is a compassionate and patient teacher who thoroughly enjoys her work helping young children learn sign language. She has used my high school students as interns in her program. They have gained tremendously from working with her. Lauren Leavitt,College Counselor Westmark School"
~ Lauren Leavitt, Educational Resource Consultant
"Etel and sign shine are fantastic for children. Our daughter loved going to the classes and learned a great deal in the multiple classes we took from Etel. She is hands on and great with children of all abilities."
~ Laurie & Violet 2/12
"Etel is a consummate professional. She is diligent, sees the big picture without loosing sight of details. She is one of those "legendary" teachers that come along once in a lifetime."
~ Anothony Harris, CEO Power Studio
"Etel is a warm and engaging teacher/tutor, with top notch skills reflecting her strong academic background and wealth of experience in the field. She is a multi-talented and dedicated professional."
~ Elaine Diamond, Adult Educator
"What and incredible journey Etel has taken us through! I feel closer to my son and I enjoyed watching how captivated he was throughout every class! This is my first child- and I was nervous and didn't know what to expect or what a class with a baby would be like. Thank you for shining your Shine Sign on us and for allowing my son and I this special new bond to share. I can't wait for the next class to start!"
~ Lauren Leavitt, Educational Resource Consultant
"Just wanted to forward proof of your awesome teaching of American Sign Language to my son and to me.
Jaxon Julius signed "I love you" -- on his own, and correctly! -- to me for the first time yesterday!!! I've been signing it to him ever since I started signing with you in September 2007, and numerous times he waved his first and some random fingers attempting to sign it in response to me signing it, but leaving the Starbuck's drive-through and having a fun afternoon he signed "I love you" to me and let me take his picture doing it!
He and I sign with his 4 month old sister Georgie. I'm so proud of him.
Thank you for inspiring us with ASL".
~ Jennifer & Jaxon 2 ½
"Orah is now 4 and she loved signing with her signing friend and is now signing with her new baby sister Yael (9 months).
Yael is so responsive to the signing we sign daily with her and know that she will sign shortly she is already clapping and love to do that and looks at my hands when I talk to her.
It is great to hear that you are writing a book and if you ever come to London please remember you have fans and friends that would love to see you".
~ Jennifer & Orah 4y, Yael 4m (London)
"Sofia and I have had a wonderful experience in our beginning sign language class. During class we enjoyed playing with the other moms and children, watching everybody sign, and singing along to the fun songs. Sofia loves all the new songs we've learned and we sign and sing at home.
We started out without any knowledge or experience with sign language, and Sofia is now signing more, eat, nurse, water, bath and all done. It's so exciting! She lights up whenever we sign to her because she thinks of it as a fun game.
She continues her signing "babble" with her hands whenever she hears words that she recognizes from class spider, light, apple, mother, father, banana, and more, so I know that she will articulate more of her signing vocabulary soon.
Etel is a perfect teacher: kind, fun, energetic, knowledgeable, and a genuine person.
Thank you for everything!"
~ Laurel & Sofia, 13 months
"I enjoyed your class so much. You are an amazing teacher. The way you explain things makes it easy to remember."
~ Devochka L.
"I enjoyed your class so much. You are an amazing teacher. The way you explain things makes it easy to remember."
~ Devochka L.
"Etel is a wonderfully creative teacher. She brings so many elements into class and makes learning fun."
~ Stephanie K.
"Ava, Maribel and I love your class. It is the first 'mommy and me' class that we have taken and Ava really is learning a great deal. In addition to learning how to sign, Ava is also learning how to interact with other babies. We started at 9 months and she is now starting to recognize the signs as a form of communication, as she looks at my chest when I make the 'milk' sign. Soon, I am sure, she will be able to do some of the signs herself. Thank you for creating such a warm, fun environment to learn!"
~ Andrea and Ava, 9 months.
"My 13 month old daughter and I took sign classes and absolutely loved it. The classes were very informative, fun and increased communication with my daughter. Clarissa loved the classes and began signing after a few lessons. Etel is an energetic teacher and is creative in her teaching methods. I would highly recommend this class to any parent!"
~ Kristin Clarissa, 13 months
"There are a lot of classes out there, but what makes all the difference in the world is the teacher!!! If you don't have a good teacher, you won't learn anything and, just as important, it won't be fun. Etel, Signshine's founder and president, really knows how to connect with her students -- both parents and babies alike. She has a ton of energy, creative ideas, and a fabulous way of communicating that really makes you feel like you, too, can do it! She inspires and motivates, and always with a smile. I know it's hard to believe that one person can have all these great traits, but trust me - just take one of Etel's classes and you will see what I am talking about. And, of course, if that's not enough, teaching babies and tots to sign before they can speak is an amazing tool that is both helpful and gratifying to both parents and babies alike! SignShine® has great classes/workshops, and Etel is a great teacher!"
~ Lisa K.
"Orrin's vocabulary in sign has absolutely soared! Where he was only signing for milk, up, more, and eat, he is now pointing out birds, dogs, fish and lights (his favorite), telling us what exactly he wants to eat, and actively asking for more signs when he wants to tell me something. The class has been extremely helpful for us in offering support for our choice to utilize sign as well as encouraging us to go beyond just the basics. Etel has proven to be an extremely calm and effective teacher (for the babies as well as the parents)."
~ Errin and Orrin, 13 months
"We started signing with our son at five and a half months and he signed back at ten and a half months. It was a long time in the middle and sometimes I got impatient...but oh my god! I cannot say enough about the joy that signing has brought to our parenting. It is all we talk about. The amount of times that signing has added peace and fun and clarity to our lives are innumerable. Now at 15 months, Jake has 86 signs and is adding them every day. To have missed signing would have been to miss getting to know my child as I have. I just can't imagine what it would be like if the few words he can speak were my only window into his thoughts and feelings."
~ Juliet and Jake, 15 months
"Thank you for continuing a wonderful resource for parents. I am a child care regulation attorney and became interested in baby sign language five years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter. We started off at 5 months, and by 8 months she knew over 30 signs. By 12 months it was over 60. She had her first epileptic seizures four days after her first birthday.
On the way to the doctors, she woke and signed for "'more goldfish (crackers).' I knew then my life would never be the same, but seeing my child sign let me know immediately that the seizure had not affected her intellect. She's grown just fine since then, and taught her baby sister to sign just as well. Thank you for providing a valuable service. (We've been seizure free for two years.)"
~ Kristin S., a mom to 4½ year old.
"I have taken 4 classes with Etel and SignShine® with my daughter. It was one of the best things I did for our family. When Bela was 7 months we started the classes, and I thought she would never sign back, but consistency is the key and then when she started to sign back at about 13 months, she wouldn't stop. My daughter is now 2 1/2 and knows over 50 words. She speaks now, but it is great to be able to use the signs to talk silently across the room or through a window or just use the beautiful hand movements with songs. Since she is a toddler who likes to have tantrums now and then, we get through them more smoothly using the feelings signs. Now I am teaching her to speak Portuguese, and using the signs have been a great bridge to learning the language as well.
I also have a one year old, Alex, who learned much quicker and is now signing about 6 signs consistently. It is so great to see the look in their eyes when they see that you understand what they want. It is an amazing gift to share with any child and I hope you choose to embark on this special journey with them."
~ Kathy, Isabel and Alex, 2 ½ years old and 13 months
"Etel is a joy to learn from. Her boundless enthusiasm makes me want to go home every day and do nothing but sign! And her love for signing with kids is backed up with SO much research and clinical information that shows the benefit. What could be better?"
~ Laura and Myah, 14 months.
"You could not find a better guide through the world of signing with your child. Etel is an enthusiastic and loving guide and I can not say enough about how much signing has helped my relationship with my children. I can't imagine raising toddlers without it!"
~ Juliet and Alex, 14 months
"Etel is an extraordinarily gifted teacher, and Sign Shine is a wonderful curriculum. The unique combination of music, signing, toys, and loving attention helps kids to blossom. Children and adults of all ages learn and have fun in these classes."
~ Debra and Emmett, 19 months.
"I took Etel's class when my son was 5 months. By 6 months, he started signing MILK, wow. My son was fascinated by the class, looking at everybody signing at the same time. He really liked Etel. She has such a wonderful energy and is very caring toward little ones. I think that the songs were really the best part of the class, singing and signing at the same time - what a sensory delight for babies!"
~ Magda Azouz and Madani, 5 months
"You are a beautiful person, full of love and life. You love to teach and I love to learn from you. You have the power to put people in a good mood, especially me. Thank you Mrs. Leit!"
~ Jake M., age 10
"Luci is signing up a storm!!! It's wonderful! She's starting to ask for things that she wants, milk, food (her favorite), cheese, crackers, water and fruit. She's up to 25 signs! And what a hit she is at a party! But the best is being able to communicate with my daughter! She's always pointing out all the beautiful things around us that I take for granted and have stopped noticing. Now we're able to enjoy the world around us together. That was probably the best $400 we've spent on her so far."
~ Natali, Steve and Luci, 18 months
"Etel is a fantastic teacher and very passionate about teaching sign language to babies. We started when my daughter was 7 months old. She is now 13 months old and signs to us all the time. In addition, I really believe the signing helped her learn to speak early. She has over 30 words in her vocabulary now and she also knows or recognizes the sign for most of these words as well. SignShine® has allowed us to communicate more than we could have ever imagined with our 1 year old."
~ Dena and Emily, 12 months
"We are in the midst of a very frustrating time with my 14 month old son, and without a doubt signing has made life a whole lot less frustrating for all of us. My son is now signing to let us know when he wants to "eat," if he wants "water" or "milk," that he wants "more," when he is "all done" and he even signs "please" (which kills me every time!). Etel has a true passion for what she does and it comes through in every class. My only regret is that we did not start signing with Etel and our new friends sooner."
~ Wendy and Jake, 14 months
"I just wanted to rave about Etel, who owns BabySignShine®. I had heard such great things about her class, so I enrolled with my 11 month-old in the current Level 1 session, and I can say that everything I heard is true. She's incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about signing, and we are learning a lot (and having fun). My son is consistently signing useful words (milk, more, eat, dog, all done), and seems to be adding more all the time. I highly recommend her class!"
~ Ally and Dylan, 12 months
"Thank you for being so wonderful and for offering such an amazing service to families and nannies. The nannies last night really enjoyed your class and I really feel that the children in their care are going to benefit from it."
~ Lara Fogelman - Director
Nurture & Nanny, LLC
"My baby and I attended a SignShine® workshop when he was around 8-9 months old. I dutifully practiced the signs with him, even though he was so little. Then one day when he was about 11 months old, he signed to me the word for "milk!" Wow, communicating with an infant who is pre-verbal is an extraordinary moment, an authentic connection. Etel is a fabulous teacher, warm, compassionate, and energetic. I HIGHLY recommend her classes and workshops!"
~ Nadya and Mingus, 16 month
"My son Sebastian started group "signing" classes at a local store when he was 14 months old. I was intrigued with the idea of giving my son a way to communicate before he had the ability to speak, but I was unprepared for how much fun the classes were. They became (and still are) the highlight of his week! We now study privately and he is 23 months old. Very soon after he started, he began "signing" the word "more"...letting us know when he wanted more formula, another hug, or a continuation of whatever silly game his father and I were in the midst of to make him laugh. His first spoken words were still many months away, but I will always think of those "mores" as our first "conversations".