Sign Language

Heather and I have two kids: Lindsay who will be three in January, and Emery who turned one in August.  Around a year of age, we taught both of them a few bits of sign language for when they had the mental capacity to communicate, but not the vocal control to do it aurally.  Nothing much: "more", "please", "thank you", "all done", and a few others.  However, worth it's weight in gold, let me tell you.

Lindsay still uses it, and has become infatuated with Signing Time with Alex and Lia (forgive misspellings if there are any), which is a series of videos made by a hearing gal that had a deaf daughter (Lia).  Her vocabulary has grown quite a bit, perhaps 40-50 signs, and while not at all essential since she can speak well, has provided welcome reinforcement for saying please and thank you, along with helped Emery pick up some of those same habits, even before he can talk.

5 responses to “Sign Language”

  1. Brian Rinaldi

    We did the same with our first child. He (and we) fell in love with Signing Time as well. Just had a second and plan on doing the same with him. I think that it helped immensely and helped him prevent the frustration that children that age get tying to communicate.

  2. Nat Papovich

    Heh, we tried teaching our daughter ASL (my wife and I were both fluent a couple years back, but have rusted up a bit). But every time she learned a sign, she would say the word too, which kinda defeated the purpose. She's picking it back up now, which is kinda funny since she's two and a half and asks, "Papa, what's the sign for dinosaur?"

  3. Kevin Hoyt

    Hey there,

    I'd echo Brian's remarks – Signing Time was a big success for us on so many levels!

    I remember sitting at a restaurant and seeing other kids my daughters age grab, reach and scream for things they wanted, but for which they just couldn't ask. My daughter would look strangely at the other infant, turn quietly to us and sign "more drink please", only to return her gaze to the entertainment at the other table.

    She's getting to talking more and more these days, but she still loves her Signing Time. The audio CD's are great for tunes you know she'll love on longer drives. They are great opportunities for practice as well. Just make sure you watch where you're driving, and keeping your hands on the wheel (smile).


  4. Shaji

    I would say sign language is beautiful language so CF language. :-)

    I am happy that you guys teach your kids basic sign language and it would boost them more efficient ways to communicate because others understand them more quickly. My wife and I are deaf and we have been taught my daughter basic signs since she was 6 months old. She is 3 years old and we do not teach her any new signs anymore. She watches us to signs each other and understand everything what we signs. Now she invent her own “signs” to get her meaning. I have been told by many people that speaking with her is much like speaking with an adult.

    Thank you for posting. :-)

  5. Phil

    We did this with our son as well. When we ran out of "baby signs" to teach him my wife started learning ASL. She kept studying, got really interested in it and continued on to an ASL interpreter program. She graduated this year and is working as an interpreter. She used our son as a study partner along the way and now he knows ASL as well. He has several deaf friends and is often mistaken for a deaf child because he signs so well.