My best friend has a 2 1/2 year old daughter with Down's Syndrome. She has signed to her sense she was 6 months old. Her daughter is very bright and now knows about 60 signs and has a much smaller but growing oral vocabulary. My friend just had a disturbing conversation with another mother and I was hoping to hear some different opinions. This mother has an adult daughter with Down's Syndrome and the daughter speaks very well and very clearly. My friend commented on this and shared that she hoped her daughter could speak so clearly some day. The mother who has her doctorate in speech told my friend that the worst thing she could do is to continue to allow her daughter to sign. She said that signing is trendy right now but it allows children to be lazy and she needs to force her daughter to use her oral language if she ever wants her to be able to speak clearly. I haven't been trained in special education but from a general education background this is not consistent with what I know about language development. Do any of you have any background with signing and Down's Syndrome?