Using signs for language skills

Jodi - posted on 12/08/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 9 months old and we recently starting using signs for certain words. Our basics so far are eat, cat, chicken (from grandpa's farm) thank you and beautiful. Has anyone else used signs? I could use suggestion for simple everyday things to use with signs and simple motions to go with them. Also, how long before they start to pick up on the signs, either understanding them or using them? Thanks for all your help!!!

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[deleted account]

My daughter is 10 months and we are also doing the same it helps to let you knw what they want even though they are still not talking. You want to make these signs everytime u are giving her milk or a cooking talking abt dad or whatever chance u have that way ur child can see learn these are the one i could remember right now and trying with my daughter Hopes this help ok!!!
rubbing ur chest with hands closed in circular motion means bath
opening and closing ur hands as if u were milking a cow means milk
touching the tips of her hand infront of her chest means more
waiving her hands in the air means all done
um...
putting the tip of her hand in her lips means eat
touching her chest means help
touching the palm of your hand in circular motion with your other hand means cookie...
touching ur chin with ur tumb while ur hand ir open over and over mean mom for dad you do the same just touch the temple on ur forehead.

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My baby boy is 5 months and I am starting to try to teach him some signs. I keep finding that I am either holding him or holding an object when I want to do the sign with both hands....or else he is not even looking at me. Does any one have any tips to overcome this?
I think teaching babies to sign is a great idea. Hopefully it will minimise the temper tantrums as he gets older and he won't be frustrated at not being able to communicate.
I found this great you tube video of a little girl doing sign language, it's gorgeous and will give you lots of ideas.

I don't think it particularly matters what sign you use for what word... as long as you do it the same every time (and any other adults who are going to join you in teaching bub too).... you could probably make some up of your own :)

Stefie - posted on 12/11/2009

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I started attempting to sign to my daughter when she was 3 months old. I admit I was not as consistent as I wish, but I did verbalize as I attempted to sign. Mostly, I did animals and simple house hold signs mentioned above. She did a few signs around 7 or 8 months by 10 months was beginning to talk (mom, dad, milk, ball, gaga (what she calls her doll), and dog). Now at 15 months she is beginning to put together sentences and says all kinds of words. My sister (a speech therapist) tested her around 13 months and she had the language development of a 24- 30 month old child. I really think that the early sign language helped her develop so well.
I really enjoyed the sign language cards.

[deleted account]

Children are supposed to start comprehending signs at around the six month range but each child is unique and so they start signing back at different rates. I've done signing with both my children and it's a GOD SEND. When my son started to talk the only way I could understand him is when he signed with it. And it also made it easier for me to help him pronounce the word correctly. My daughter is making up her own signs. :)



Here are some of the signs we use:



Eat - fingers to the mouth

More - fingers of both hands touching

water - make a "W" with your fingers and tap a cheek

milk - squeeze your hands together like your milking a cow/goat

juice - index finger pointing to the cheek (Nikole made this one up because she was signing for water but didn't want it, she wanted juice instead so she changed the sign a bit)

dog - daughter made this one up too. She pants like a dog.

bird - Using your thumb and finger move them like the beak of a bird

diaper - pat the front of their diaper

horse - daughter made this one up too. She squats a little and with her hands up front like she's holding reigns she bounces up and down



There's lots more. And you can find a lot of books out there for signing with baby. It really relieves the frustration for them and you before they can talk because they're communicating.

Missy - posted on 12/11/2009

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We started with our daughter at 4 months, she is now 6mnths and can do dirty for dirty diaper, poop, more, play, bath, hi and bye. One thing though, when she first did dirty, her first signn, I did not notice it. Their hand movements are not as coordinated as ours, so they will do the sign, but it might not be complete or look like ours. So keep an eye out for that. We just started with everyday routine things that we do with her. Now we are adding more since we can see she is picking up on it. They have baby sign dvd's and flash cards for parents to practice with and later use on their toddlers. Look on Amazon.com. That is where I got my practice stuff at for cheap. Good Luck!

Jezi - posted on 12/11/2009

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My son was behind for a long time so we had him in early intervention. One of the things we did was get the signing time dvds. It was the start of the non-stop, no stop, communication! lol

Lexi - posted on 12/11/2009

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I have a seizure disorder so when my daughter started to learn speech I taught her sign also (for when I can't talk) she is now 10 and we still use it :) It is a skill that the earlier you start them, the easier it is to pick up. I would only suggest that you use ASL so it is a useful skill not just for family. kudo's to you for your initative :)

Holly - posted on 12/10/2009

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My son is 16 months and I have been showing him signs since he was atleast 9-10 months old and alannah tran told you the right sign for more not the other lady. My grandparents were deaf so I grew up with it. My son knows milk, more, eat, thank you and dog right now. They do have a book out there I think its called Babies first signs. I took a look at it and it seemed like it would be good for people who don't know signs but would like their little ones to learn. We are gonna start mom and dad and bird now. My mom had also did this with my little brother and he did so good! Good luck and just keep showing your little one they will pick it up so fast.

[deleted account]

Thank you o much jodi i have been using them for about 1 month i would say. My daughter had noonas syndrome so she development skills are of a 7-8 month old even though she is 10 months so she can't really mimic them very well but i don't give up since i know they are going to be extremely helpful as time goes on!!! Never give up always sign...i.e when u are giving her the bottle show her the bottle and say you want milk + sign, or when u think she wants more pureed food, or a bath believe me some children can pick it up really fast some take time u just have to give on trying!!!!

Ashleigh - posted on 12/09/2009

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We have been using signs with our 20 month old son and it's wonderful!! Now that he is beginning to speak, he has an easier time trying to speak.

Alannah - posted on 12/09/2009

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HI Jodi, my daughter is now 2 years old. we didn't start sign langauge until she was about 18months, so we were a little late starting, but it meant that she picked up on it a lot sooner. We found the most useful sign with our daughter was the "more" sign, where you group the tips of your fingers and thumbs together, but keeping your fingers fairly straight, and repeatedly touch the fingertips of both hands together. she learnt this fairly quickly and used this sign to ask for more of anything...which happens a lot. now that she can talk, she still does the action with the words. Have fun signing!

Jodi - posted on 12/08/2009

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Quoting Melissa:

My daughter is 10 months and we are also doing the same it helps to let you knw what they want even though they are still not talking. You want to make these signs everytime u are giving her milk or a cooking talking abt dad or whatever chance u have that way ur child can see learn these are the one i could remember right now and trying with my daughter Hopes this help ok!!!
rubbing ur chest with hands closed in circular motion means bath
opening and closing ur hands as if u were milking a cow means milk
touching the tips of her hand infront of her chest means more
waiving her hands in the air means all done
um...
putting the tip of her hand in her lips means eat
touching her chest means help
touching the palm of your hand in circular motion with your other hand means cookie...
touching ur chin with ur tumb while ur hand ir open over and over mean mom for dad you do the same just touch the temple on ur forehead.



Thank you so much! I have a couple of questions for you. 1) When did you start using signs with your LO? And, 2) How long did it take your LO to start using them, if she even is yet?  Not that I expect my child to pick it up overnight...but is it totally unrealistic to expect her to have picked up a couple in the next month? Again, thanks SOOOOO much for the extra signs! I will definately be adding those to the signs we already have!

Jodi - posted on 12/08/2009

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I should probably mention she's not deaf. I have just read that using hand gestures and signs enhances your child's vocabulary and grasp of the language. BUT...I would LOVE to know some simple signs!

Nicolene - posted on 12/08/2009

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Hey Jodi,

I have a son of 16 years and he is 98% deaf. So i know alot of signs and the best thing to do is>>> put your childs hand on you neck and when you speak they feel the vibration of the words. I did it and there is alot of words my son can pronounce!!!



Children are sharp and they learn fast. Aspecially if you make it interesting for them!!!!



I am here to help and share my tips. Please do keep in touch???



Blessings



Nicolene

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