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Sign Language
DDK2005 posted:
Just curious who used sign language with their toddlers and if it seemed to work. I dropped the bowl on this one as I bought the book but never did more then 'more' with her. Now that she's caught on & using it properly all the time with me, Im thinking I need to introduce more signs to her.

So for those mom's who used it, which words did you use & which seemed to take? I'm starting now with 'milk' or 'drink'....hopefully its not too late!!!
MontanaMama2009 responded:
It's never too late for sign language.

I used it with No. 2. I swear, that girl wouldn't say words until she was nearly 2-1/2 years of age. her older sister did ALL of the talking for her.

Actually, once dd2 learned to communicate using sl, she was a happier kid for it!

I remember doing the basics like "food," "drink," "more," "thank you," Please," and the like.
wongangela responded:
We tried teaching signs to our son early (like 7 or 8 months) but he just didn't get it. All of a sudden, between 12-14 months, he started "getting" it. We've only had the need to teach him a handful of signs, but it really does seem to help in the communication area. He hears three different languages during the day (English, Chinese, and Japanese), so we really needed something to help us all communicate.

He's 17 months old now and knows "please", "hungry", "thirsty", and "thank you". Just the important signs ;) He is also able to understand the signs in the different languages.

I think it does help cut down on the tantrums, so I would give it a try if your DD seems to be ready for it!

Good luck!
HannahTMI responded:
It's definitely not too late. We started signing with both of the boys around 8 months. They both started signing back around 12 months. DS1, who just turned 3, knows probably 20 or so signs. He still learns new ones. He likes to look through our signing book and pick out new ones to learn. DS2 signs milk and more so far, and we are working on bath, drink, eat, and all done.
mamatobe08 responded:
We started when DS was like 6 months, but he didn't start singing back until probably 12 months. We only used the ones needed to express needs--eat, more, milk, potty. I think that's all...We figured that this way if he NEEDS something and gets grouchy, we can say "Tell us what you want" and he will stop fussing and think about it and do the sign. The things he wants that we don't use signs for, he will point or try to make it known another way.

I plan to do it the same way with baby #2. I don't exactly agree with people who say their children didn't speak as early so they didn't like SL--IMO signing is their language and they're communicating, so what does it matter how they do that? However, I don't want my kids to become so dependent on the signs that everything has a sign--if they want to use the other words, they will have to learn to speak them! :) As long as I know the major needs, I'm good with pointing for everything else for now.
jlynnpaine replied to mamatobe08's response:
We started signing with DD around 4 months and she started signing back a little around 9 months. She has really taken off with her signs in the last month so around 10 1/2 months. She signs "more", "please", "eat", "milk", "change", "bath", "all done", and "bread". She also waves hi and bye and points to anything else that she wants. I definitely don't think it has hindered her speech at all as she says so many words already and understands EVERYTHING we say to her. It's not too late at all. Just start using the signs consistantly and I'm sure your LO will pick up on them quickly.
StarryGrrl responded:
We started try to teach some basic signs to DS when he was about a year old. He learned drink, eat, more and bath pretty quickly, but didn't learn anymore than those for a few months. Around 18 months old, he started showing a much bigger intrest in signing and picked up lots more signs. He knows light, quiet, book, please, thank you, moon, stars, bubbles, love, toothbrush, sleep, water and milk now too.

I don't think you are too late at all to start doing signs with your LO. I believe that it really helps them communicate needs and wants when they normally might not be able to. My LO seems to really enjoy it too, which helps.

We take our LO to see a developmental specialist once a year and she said that teaching signs to babies is great for them and does not hinder speech in anyway.

If your LO likes to be read to there are some great signing books on that teach signs to children and my DS loves them! He has learned quite a few of his signs from those books. Here is a link to one of them:

I hope that helps. =)
earleyml1012 responded:
DD's daycare is teaching her and actually FINALLY sent home a handout with all the signs on them for us. She's been doing "more" and "all done" for a few months now but they told us yesterday that she starting doing "thank you" and "please". I don't really try to get her to do them b/c she's pretty good at using words to tell us what she wants. Sometimes she's whinny and we tell her to use her words and she actually does! I know the signing is helpful when they can't use words to express themselves but DD knows all the words so we're encouraging that instead.
DDK2005 responded:
Thanks Ladies for all your input. I read to Ava all the time & never thought of showing her the book (which I know realize was silly) - so I'll be doing that tonight. She mimics everything I do - so I'm positive this will help and she wil catch on quickly. Its amazing to see her grow so fast & learn so much!!! My SIL did sign with my nephew & there was never an issue with speech delay - if anything you can't get him to stop talking - LOL!! I think it depends on the child (like so many other things)....THANKS AGAIN!!!
ad1978 replied to DDK2005's response:
I haven't tried it yet, and don't know the signs myself, but am curious and will probably buy a book.

anyway, when I casually mentione this to my grandma a couple months ago, she didn't like it at all,but couldn't quite spit out why. I think she's never heard of this and thinks that somehow SL means there is something wrong with LO. haha. I won't bother arguing with grandma over these things...she's just very old-fashioned and came here from another country, and also has way too much time on her hands so she over-analyzes EVERYTHING. lol
mamatobe08 replied to ad1978's response:
That's an interesting point too. I think that maybe the older generations see a kid doing sign language in public and think there must be "something wrong" so they look at them weird. I have gotten strange looks in public from older people when I make Charlie "tell" me what he wants, but if they're close enough I'll usually give them a quick explanation.

My grandma is usually like that but she actually thought it was great when I told her that we were signing. My cousins are older and have lots of kids, but none of them did it. My grandma sees me interacting with Charlie better than most little ones(well, before he was a year old) and she was amazed by it. So maybe just do it and let her see for herself lol. :)
DDK2005 replied to ad1978's response:
Hey, Yeah I just bought a book at BRU or somewhere like that. I do 'more', thank you', 'milk', 'come' & 'sleep'. So far she only knows more as I just introduced the others. Oh yeah & 'book' too - that she knows. My Gma was reluctant too until she saw how my nephew interacted with it. I find it good luck I'll let you know how it goes!

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