Friday, January 7, 2011

Sign of the times

When the boys were about 6 months old, I wanted us to use sign language to communicate with them so I bought dvds and books to help. I had Tang learn the signs so that she could incorporate them into her day with them.

They would look at us make the signs and then go about their business. It just didn't seem like anything was sinking in. Then when they were about 17 months, they started signing milk. Sam used sign more then Dean. We tried to continue with simple words like car, bird, dog, cat, eat and more. Every once in a while, I would catch them signing bird if they saw a bird. But it just seemed that everything Sam signed was milk. We would say cat, Sam would sign milk. They knew "more" down pretty well too. More snack. More color. More outside.

I hoped that by communicating with sign, it has helped them develop speech more quickly. Now that their speech is advancing, the signs are not used as much. Sam does the occasional milk sign but they have moved on. Dean and Sam tell me what they want by stretching out their arm in front of them and grunting and whining until I walk them all through the house, touching and grabbing things and still never fully understanding what it is they want. So much for stress free communications with my toddlers.

This is Sam signing "cat"

I would recommend teaching kids sign early on. Constant visual stimulation with signs will help babies pick it up faster. We were not consistent with sign usage and I believe if we had used it in conjunction with conversation, pointing to objects and signing the word, they would have picked it up earlier and used more words. Kids are naturally whiny and when they get frustrated because they cannot communicate their needs for us to understand, it is frustrating all around.

I used Baby Signs because the graphics kept the boys interested. Here are other resources for learning about signing to your babies

Baby Signing Time


Smart baby sign language