sign and abc Aylmer Press produces fun videos and DVDs to teach kids sign language (see our reviews section). With so many benefits, sign language can become an important and helpful supplement to your child's learning. Check out our videos, and find out more from the benefits section of our web site. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.


An Open Letter to Parents, Educators, Childcare Providers and Librarians from Steve Kokette of Aylmer Press

I ask that you not show my DVDs or videos, or any television, to children under two. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), based on research, recommends kids under two watch no TV. Research has shown television can have many negative impacts on the young. Recent research from Cornell University suggests some of the increase in Autism since the 1980s might be attributed to too many kids watching too much TV at too young an age.

My Sign and ABCs DVD has a warning on the cover that states: Please do not show this DVD, or any television, to children younger than two. Based on research, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends parents "discourage television viewing for children younger than two years, and encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development." For more information on AAP suggestions for young people and television viewing, please read the article in Pediatrics journal here.

As far as I know, it is the first video or DVD to have such a warning. I added the warning to help alleviate my guilt. All three of my videos have received fan letters, which I usually enjoy getting. However, those that say kids under two enjoyed my work have always made me feel uncomfortable.

It isn't surprising some of the fan letters are about kids under two viewing my work, because one organization, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, claims on its web site that only 9% of parents know the AAP recommends children under two watch no TV. (The Campaign is working at the federal level to make such warnings mandatory on kids' DVDs.) So if you buy the Sign and ABCs DVD, and want to help educate parents about this problem, donate the DVD to a public library that doesn't own a copy when you get done with the DVD, so others will have the chance to notice the warning, and perhaps visit the AAP's web site. Because the DVD also has a great quote from the Chicago Tribune on the front, and a wonderful quote from the Los Angeles Times on the back, it may circulate very well, which librarians would enjoy. (My videos don't have the cover warning, which is currently on the Sign and ABCs DVD only.)

There are many producers marketing DVDs and videos at kids under two. Perhaps the most popular series, Baby Einstein, is using Einstein's name to dumb down today's kids, at least if you believe the AAP. And it's distributed by Disney, so it might be said two kindly grandfather figures - Disney and Einstein - are being used to dumb down today's kids. Even Sesame Street has made at least a couple DVDs for kids under two, which means federal tax dollars were used to make DVDs when the AAP claims children that age shouldn't be watching TV.

Finally, if you need more convincing about sign's benefits for hearing kids, even if they never use it with the deaf, the Benefits section of this site has 15 articles, four of which I wrote, about the subject.

Steve Kokette
November 23, 2006

456 KB PDF

Click here to download this sign in high quality PDF format (2 to a page), copyright free so you can print and distribute as many as you would like in your community. We only ask that you preserve the contact information for Aylmer Press on any copies you make. Thank you!, the website of Joanne Cantor, Phd. of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has information on the effects of violent and frightening images and advice on how to help families cope with the impact of TV, movies and other media.

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