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Old 10-18-2008, 10:15 AM   #1
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Tips on Sign Language.

Did you sign with your lo? What age did you start? How do I get started? What if dh isn't on board?

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:29 AM   #2
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

I started early - just use them in regular conversation

I used "milk" at around 3 months, he recognized it before he could do it back.

Now we use milk, drink, eat, more, diaper/potty, cookie, and sleep. It will still work if only you do them and maybe he will eventually do it too
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

I guess another question I have is this: Do you start with just one at a time and then add on, or do you just start using several all the time? Is that too confusing? DS is 7 mos.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

I started around 7 months and DS didn't really sign back until about 14 months. He's 17 months now and signs frequently. I introduced signs for all the things DS showed an interest in (animals, people in daily life, food) and use signs for commands/requests (sit, come here, sleep, give me that, be nice, brush teeth) and questions (what, where, who). Some signs he never uses but understands (sit, come here) and others he uses frequently (more, juice, water, cat, eat).

Just try to work in the signs while you are talking. It's easier if you do it frequently, so you don't forget the signs yourself (even if the LO isn't looking). I basically introduced signs as soon as I learned them myself, picking out signs for the words/ideas I use most often (more, eat, come here, etc.) or that I think DS wants to express (cat, dog, bird, airplane, car, hurt, open).

DH doesn't sign much here either, but he tries. Once your LO starts using signs himself, he may be more convinced to try it.

ETA: I've introduced a lot of signs DS doesn't use yet, but he's surprised me sometimes by using a sign that I don't use often in correct context. He signed "be nice" a week ago, which is a sign I hadn't used more than a few times in the past month. I used to use it a lot, when he was petting the cat.

One thing you should be aware of is that children's signs are often "wrong," so you may not recognize them right away. They'll get the right movement, but hand shapes are not accurate.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:22 PM   #5
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

we started around 5 months w/dd1 and she was signing back by 9-ish months. she was talking a lot by 18 months and had given up her signs by then. i started w/ 3-ish signs and just used them as i talked - do you want milk (along w/ milk sign), here's more (w/ more sign), etc. at first everyone - dh, il's, sitter, thought i was nuts, but once she started responding they all began signing, too. we'd do a few signs for a few weeks, then add in one or two more over the next couple of weeks. we didn't do a ton of signs, but enough to cover the basic needs.
w/dd2 we're just starting at 4 months.
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:31 PM   #6
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

My situation's a little different, I guess.

They do it at my daughter's daycare (only with a parent's permission) and the infant teacher started working with my daughter when she was probably 6 months old. She started understanding shortly after and started doing the signs back when she was 11 months.

She kept track of my daughter's progress and shared it with me often. As she began to learn more signs and use them more frequently, we began learning them, too.

She does the signs for "all done," "milk," "juice" and "eat." And she understands more, but doesn't do them as often. She uses the 4 that I've mentioned a lot.

She can talk A LOT and is quite advanced verbally, so it surprised me sort of that she's so willing to sign.

This afternoon we were at the park and she was swinging on the infant swings and she was apparently done swinging 'cause she said "done," then when we didn't get her out of the swing IMMEDIATELY, she did the sign for "all done." LOL.

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Old 10-19-2008, 03:45 AM   #7
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

My youngest son is deaf, and we knew this at birth, so we started right away, but my other to were 2 and 5. They have picked it up very easily. You can start anytime. If your dh isn't on board ask him why? Young children will learn to sign before they can speak, it solves alot of frustration. here is a good website that I love
http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:07 AM   #8
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

we started signing with Sara when she was about 8 months old because the little boy I was nanny'ing was having lots of speech delays and it was recommended by his speech therapist. So they both began signing and were signing back by their first birthdays(they are 3 weeks apart). My husband at the time thought it was stupid and did not support it at all, saying that they would talk when they were ready and if they weren't deaf, why bother? But I did it anyway and when he realized what a wonderful thing sign was for her(ie, reduction of tantrums, helping us understand her before she was capable of conversation), he was TOTALLY on board. It's now 2 1/2 years later and I caught him signing with our 9 month old yesterday. He'll never admit that he thinks it's wonderful but he was sitting there teaching her "more" to ask for more food when he was giving her dinner. It was very cute. She is speech delayed and so I think he's really seeing how it can help her out and help us to understand her and give her the language she can't give us. We just start using sign and spoken word for everything we know consistently and they pick it up eventually. I think Sara's first sign was "more" at 11 months or so and Grace has yet to sign back but she gets all excited and starts smiling and waving her arms now when she sees us sign "more" or "milk"(for nursing).
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:14 AM   #9
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

We use it with our 2 and 4 yo all the time. They pick it up from watching Signing Time with me. My dd is 4 mo and I've started using it with her cause I have some concerns with her hearing.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:27 AM   #10
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Re: Tips on Sign Language.

My husband and I are deaf and we sign to our babies right from birth.. So it's best to start once they are born and keep using it. DOnt have to be a one word to practice on, just sign what u know when u give u baby. like to feed, say eat. or drink say milk or something lkke that. just sign like when you talk and ur baby will be pick it up. My 2 oldest daughters signs 7 yr old and 2 yr old, now i have a 4 month old so she will get it in no time..Smile..
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