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SIGNS OF SMART BABIES

Stephanie Mirsky of Clearwater gets nibbled by her 7-month-old daughter, Sasha, while signing "banana" during a baby sign language class Tuesday at the Clearwater East Branch Library on Drew Street. The two-part class teaches parents how to use sign language to communicate with their preverbal children. At left, youth services librarian Aileen Howard teaches the sign for "hurt" or "pain" to parents during the class.

Signing babies talk sooner, have bigger vocabularies and throw fewer tantrums, says Monta Briant, author of the book at right.

"It seems to stimulate the language centers in the brain through hearing, sight and touch. It does tremendous things for language and brain development."

Aileen Howard,youth services librarian

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