Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Baby signing

Aaron asked about baby signing, and so I'll put a few links here in case anyone else stops by looking for information.

I don't know ASL (American Sign Language) YET, nor do I know anyone personally who speaks it. The signs that I know I've picked up from a few books and DVDs. We started learning them and using them with the girls long before we knew our daughter Elisabeth might have hearing and speech problems. Babies can make gestures and signs before they physically are able to pronounce understandable words, so teaching them to sign early lets you communicate with them before they are able to speak. The current thought is that it enhances their language ability and vocabulary (as we have definitely seen with Catherine), rather than detracting from it as some people fear. We started with teaching "more" (fingertips of two hands together) when we were spoon-feeding them very early on, and as soon as they could clap it became their sign for "more", and we just went from there.

The best resources we have used so far are:

Baby Signs, a book by Linda Acredolo, Susan Goodwyn, and Douglas Abrams. Gives a basic introduction and tips on how to start, as well as several pages of basic signs babies can learn first.

When I've had to look up a new sign, I've made a lot of use of the ASL browser by Michigan State University. A great resource.




The Signing Time DVDs. We have six of these so far, along with two of their music CDs, and some signing flash cards. Elisabeth ADORES these DVDs and asks for them by sign ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME. In the photo from this morning, that's one of them that Catherine is holding and another one playing on the TV. We played the music CDs on our vacation trip. They're happy, fun, educational, and I can't get the girls away from them.

Note: No, I don't drill my 2-year-old with signing flash cards! I put them in a little photo-album "book" for her own special little book, along with some photos of familiar things around the house, and she treasures it and carries it around. We use it for reading and naming and pointing practice. House or mouse?

11 comments:

Sarah Lukas said...

That's some really cool stuff-

Iron Benny said...

Wow, that is really amazing. It is really neat how our natal instincts work. We learn something new every day. Thanks for the congrats and most of all, thanks for the vote of luck for Nytro. I will pass it along to her. The surgery is on Friday. Take care Nancy.

Fe-lady said...

I am a speech and language pathologist and I can't say enough about sign and it's use to reinforce learning vocabulary and concepts. Most kids pick it up very quickly and enjoy doing so! Have fun teaching your girls! :-)

Fe-lady said...

I am reading your posts backwards and just realized that your daughter may have a hearing loss and speech delay. Do you have a speech pathologist? She will qualify for public school services when she is three so I would start looking into that. There are also some wonderful electronic speaking devices that actually help get kids talking (they are very motivating to use, and if she is getting frustrated these will help her communicate what she wants to tell you!). Your local hospital should be able to give you all this information. And I apologize if you already have it...it's just that I get "into" my therapy mode when I hear of a little one who may need some assistance. I love working with the preschool poplulation! Good luck and let me know if I can be of any further assistance! :-)

nancytoby said...

Thanks very much for your interest! I'm definitely open to any/all advice! Elisabeth is just 2.5 and we have her in a county program from which she gets speech therapy once every 2 weeks, and OT once per week. I think we'll have to increase the frequency of speech therapy soon, particularly when we get a real diagnosis.

Comm's said...

Mighty Mo has been learning and signing since he was a few months old. It has made a HUGE difference in his ability to communicate. Baby sign is fairly different from ASL and even he has developed short hand for the baby stuff. As he now learns to communicate with words, he is also 2.5, he speaks and signs, or just signs.

Lynne said...

I LOVED signing with my girls, and I was so sad when they finally stopped and just used their words. They still remember the sign for MORE, but thats about it.... It made life a lot less stressful when they could actually tell you what they needed vs. crying until you figured it out!

ENJOY Enjoy! It goes by in a flash!

mipper said...

you know me and i speak ASL. not as fluent as i used to be. i have no one to practice with anymore (went to a high school with several deaf people). so, now you know someone who actually signs. ;)

natan05 said...

Do you have as much difficulty as me in finding information via a blog search? I just cannot get to the real information I am lookin for. Fortunately, I was lucky to come across your post and really enjoyed reading it.

--Thanks,
F-250 Camper Shells

Auxiliaryaids-BKx said...

Hello there, you have a nice blog. Here's a site that tells us more about Travel Trailer if you have the chance browse throught it.

superclosetnerd said...

Getting ideas on color schemes and layout for my site. Got some good ideas here, thanks. My site if interested - marble fireplace