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D. An Unexplored Role in Day Care

Narrator:This is Science Today. A psychologist studying the effects of simple gesturing between babies and adults has found this early form of communication, which she calls 'Baby Signs' can boost the child's I.Q. and self-esteem in the elementary school years. Although baby signs were initially used for parent-child interaction, Linda Acredolo, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis has found these signs are increasingly being used in day-care settings.

Acredolo: What the caregivers find is that it reduces frustration for the children, but it also binds the caregivers and the children closer together. So each is more observant of the other.

Narrator: Acredolo is particularly excited about the use of baby signs in multi-lingual day care centers, of which there are growing numbers.

Acredolo: What the baby signs can do is provide a common denominator, so that they can get their needs met and there is a kind of way to translate among all these different languages. We feel that it has a great role to play - sort of an unexplored role to play - in these daycare settings.

Narrator: The main goal, Shafer says, is to prevent the serious complications which may occur if these STDs go untreated. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.