Monday, February 16, 2009

What's the Gesture for Highfalutin?

Ah, this explains everything.

Baby's gestures reflect family's wealth
Infants with parents of high socio-economic status have bigger non-verbal repertoires, a study shows

New evidence suggests that the better a baby is at grasping the meanings of these hand gestures, the better his or her vocabulary will be by preschool age - which is itself a known predictor of future academic success.

The new study out of the University of Chicago, which appears today in the journal Science, also found that children from higher socio-economic backgrounds have a distinct advantage over those from lower-income backgrounds. They gesture more as babies and have larger vocabularies at age 4½.

So my baby girl's not a tiny mime because she's at all developmentally behind in her speech. It's actually because we are rich, demonstrative snobs.

Someone forgot to tell my checkbook. It's acting all lower-income again.

Of course this is just one study and the comments on this article bring up some good points as to why I wouldn't put too much stock in it. But it will be interesting to hear what the Early Intervention people have to say about how gestures and speech relate. They come to evaluate Anna on Thursday morning. I fully expect her to start speaking in long paragraphs on Wednesday night, just to make me look like The Parent Who Cried Wolf.


Anonymous said...

or at least let's hope that she gestures appropriately! Bet she's "right on" in oh so many ways!

Elijah Garcia said...

Gesturing a high 5 on this one! Can't stop laughing.

(Probably wondering who I am, right? Prospective adoptive father. And blog lurker. Find us @