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About Joseph Garcia, Ed.D.

Dr. Joseph Garcia, the Grandfather of Baby Sign Language, is one of the world’s leading experts in the baby sign language revolution. In his highly acclaimed books Toddler Talk (1994) and SIGN with your BABY (1999), Dr. Garcia explores the miracle of how young babies are able to communicate with their parents using signing, sometimes before 6 months of age.  Dr. Joseph Garcia’s Complete Guide to Baby Sign Language, © 2016 is the culmination of his experiences as a teacher and researcher. He’s worked with more than 5,000 babies and their families through community, hospital and national education programs. The exciting new approach in his Baby Sign Language in 14 Days program will help parents and caregivers find it easy to learn and use more signs than they thought possible (while still having fun).

He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest. His partner Dara, who was and is his editor, writing instructor, and process guide, continues to support him. He enjoys living near his adult children, who also support his work.

Dr. Joseph Garcia, the Grandfather of Baby Sign Language, is one of the world’s leading experts in the baby sign language revolution. In his highly acclaimed books Toddler Talk (1994) and SIGN with your BABY (1999), Dr. Garcia explores the miracle of how young babies are able to communicate with their parents using signing, sometimes before 6 months of age.  Dr. Joseph Garcia’s Complete Guide to Baby Sign Language, © 2016 is the culmination of his experiences as a teacher and researcher. He’s worked with more than 5,000 babies and their families through community, hospital and national education programs. The exciting new approach in his Baby Sign Language in 14 Days program will help parents and caregivers find it easy to learn and use more signs than they thought possible (while still having fun).

He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest. His partner Dara, who was and is his editor, writing instructor, and process guide, continues to support him and correct him. He enjoys living near his adult children, who also support him and continue to correct him.

My Journey In Communication

My son Stratton’s birth was my motivation to learn everything I could about the most effective ways to enrich his development.

His brother Damian was born 21 months later, and my investment in communication paid off in a big way. Stratton signed with Damian, and his influence was significant. His guidance gave a huge boost to Damian’s communication skills. During their first years of cultural imprinting, my sons learned to navigate life by using their signs to control their environment. That communication made a lasting impression on the way they engaged with everything. It made the difference between being led and leading. It’s my belief that signing with my infant children had a significant developmental impact that is evident today in their amazing adult lives.

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We adopted baby Alaina and we all signed with her. Here is Alaina signing “EAT” just before a snack.

My son Stratton’s birth was my motivation to learn everything I could about the most effective ways to enrich his development.

His brother Damian was born 21 months later, and my investment in communication paid off in a big way. Stratton signed with Damian, and his influence was significant. His guidance gave a huge boost to Damian’s communication skills. During their first years of cultural imprinting, my sons learned to navigate life by using their signs to control their environment. That communication made a lasting impression on the way they engaged with everything. It made the difference between being led and leading. It’s my belief that signing with my infant children had a significant developmental impact that is evident today in their amazing adult lives.

We adopted baby Alaina and we all signed with her. Here is Alaina signing “EAT” just before a snack.

I actually began my communication exploration with animals. That exploration took me to places I never imagined I would ever go. I was once given two very ill Alaskan Malamutes. I nursed them back to health and bred one, with the following result.

 Then these lovely little creatures turned into the following:

  The growth progression for one of my furry “kids” was like this:

Kwark pointing CMYK

I moved to rural Alaska and built this cabin for my family and dogs.

Kwark small

  Having this second family allowed me to do lots of the following:

I would harness a 3-dog team, follow the creek bed for a quarter mile and then turn right onto the Iditarod trail. Take that to 9 Mile Hill, around the lake, and back home to switch teams and do it again…Northern Lights blasting away, moose running in the distance–living the dream!

Having conversations with these wonderful friends was a transformational experience.

I was teaching American Sign Language at Central Washington University when I became friends with Dar, Tatu, and Moja. 

These “animal talk” experiences led me to research human communication. Stratton’s birth in 1985 was my motivation to focus on  exploring the value sign language would have with babies long before they utter their first spoken word. The rest is history.  

View this Historical Video Compilation
to Learn More

Available Learning Resources

See more of Dr. Joseph's Videos on YouTube

See more of Dr. Joseph's Videos on YouTube