GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) _ Some North Dakota mothers are teaching their babies sign language to help them communicate before the youngsters are able to form words.
Colleen Bodin of Grand Forks says she'd taught her daughter Maya eight ``words'' with her hands by the time the girl was 7 months old. Maya could sign words such as ``juice,'' ``milk'' and ``water.''
Grand Forks speech pathologist Emily Erwin says her daughter Anna had learned more than 20 signs by age 16 months. Erwin says it helped both mom and daughter to better understand each other, helping to head off frustration.
A study of university professors in California found that a group of second-graders who signed as infants performed better academically than members of a control group.