Has anyone taught their child sign?

Kim - posted on 02/09/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son is 13 months old and has been very frustrated lately. He squeals when he wants something, its a little annoying. I love him but we have got to get this under control. Has anyone taught their child sign language? Tips? Also if you have do you think it encourages them not to use their words?

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Rhonda - posted on 02/09/2011

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We have used the 'Signing Time' videos since Blaze was 6 months old. He loves them and in the last 2 months (he is almost 18 months now) he has started signing. It is great and he has picked up on so much. He takes pride when he signs correctly and he still will talk. I think it really helps him to not get frustrated when he can sign, 'all done', 'eat', 'please',.... etx. Good luck!

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Tanya - posted on 02/23/2011

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i taught my son basic sing words (ie eat, drink, juice, more, all done, milk and diaper). i started at about 5 months and he was finally able to start signing back at around a year. it really helped cut down on his frustration. my advice is to sign everything. whenever you speak the word, sign it. you can buy the videos ( i like signing times. they have a whole series) or you can go to websires to look up words. good luck

Melissa - posted on 02/22/2011

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We taught both our kids "please", "thank you", "milk", "eat", "more" and "hurt". Even just "please" made a huge difference. It helped us avoid the grunting or whining when they couldn't form words. We spoke while we signed to the kids, and the few other commands we taught our son still seem to work. Being able to tell him to "sit" or "stop" in church without disturbing people has been very useful. That part didn't take with our daughter.

When we taught them "please" we held their hands to help them for a bit. Then we started asking for them to say it themselves. Later we could cue them with the sign itself. Eventually we just wouldn't hand anything over without it. For milk and most of the others, we just demonstrated. Good luck!

Cindy - posted on 02/22/2011

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Hi, i often use sign with my children as I am deaf. I speak too. I only sign a few words that is common for them, like milk, cookies, eat, hungry, play, etc while talking. I say, 'do you want some 'milk'' and sign milk to my year old. Once he understands and starts using it to tell me he wants milk, I then add another word. It works very well and gives him a chance to communicate with me. I also did this with my 4 year old and it does not dis-courage use of words. My 4 year old started 'talking' verbally at a year old. He signed to me at 6 months. I highly recommend that you give this a try!

Darcy - posted on 02/21/2011

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Yes, I've taught both of my girls signs. 13 months old is a good time to start as your son will probably be eager to learn to communicate with you. I already knew ASL, so I probably did more signs then most. When they got older, we did enhance with the Signing Time DVDs (loaned from the library). Once we got caregivers on board, it made it much easier. And my second girl has decided she would rather sign then speak at 24+ months, but she does know her words and has started chatting up a storm. " )

Lindsay - posted on 02/21/2011

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my daughter started 'preschool' (daycare) when she was about a year. she started developing a decent vocabulary, but she was also taught sign. she would sign what she wanted and say the word as well. it was also a way for her to teach the family basic sign. I have continued working with her (with the help of some books) and I think it is a great thing, almost like teaching a child a second language! go for it!

Delani - posted on 02/15/2011

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I have 5 children 2 of them are deaf. We were told not to use sign because our daughter would not want to talk so we tried the oral approach... what we got was at 15months she totally stopped trying to communicate other than screaming and crying for everything, thus began the year of screaming as we called it, we were frustrated she was frustrated.... every one was frustrated... I highly recommend ASL!!! when she finally figured out that this was a way for her to communicate the crying and screaming greatly decreased and in actuality the more sign we give her the more she tries to verbally talk... she is now 6yrs old and in 1st grade. I am proud to say she is exceeding in most areas and progressing towards exceeding in the rest... She starts out her week signing her story and by day 3 she is verbally telling me the who story... she has severe to profound hearing loss. I also have a now 4yr old (can hear) and a 2 1/2yr old with profound hearing loss. The 4yr old we used sign along with verbal back up as I do with all my girls. She actually has a vocabulary of a 5 to 6yr old!!! and my 2 1/2yr old is also tries to pronounce the words as we say and sign them. I had just mentioned to my husband a couple of weeks ago wasn't it nice not to have the screaming this time around, she is able to voice her needs and wants and have them met... hope this helps... we use a whole language approach... in a nut shell don't let any one lock you into one approach only your child is growing and learning and you must learn with them and you know your child best so be ready to stand up for them and make changes that are needed to keep your happy baby/toddler... I was so happy to get mine back..

Marisa - posted on 02/15/2011

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I have to reply on this one. I taught my son sign (he is now 4 1/2.) It was WONDERFUL! He knew the basics like all done and more and drink (drink might be the most useful.) He also picked up on some animal ones. He made him fuss less and the whole family was happier. We did not teach my daughter (now 2) except for all done and more. I am trying to teach her drink. Both of my kids spoke late. So there you have it....both speak late and I taught one sign and one I didn't. :) My son really picked up language between 21/2 - 3. My daughter still only says 5 words.
Note: We loved the signing times videos. They are very calming. 2nd note: I have heard other moms who said they tought they second child to sign please prior to learning more and as they grew older they are more polite children.

Amy - posted on 02/15/2011

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yes, my 2 year old speaks better/more words/more clearly than his 4 year old cousin. I do think sign contributed to that.

Karen - posted on 02/15/2011

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We signed with my daughter a lot. We used books, videos, internet etc. She learned signs as fast as I could teach them to her when she was around 1 year. Now (she's 27 months) we use sign more in play - signing with singing, signing with reading etc. It also comes in handy to talk to her from far away, and to reiterate a new idea (patient - for example).
I'm constantly told that my daughter speaks exceptionally well for her age.

Amy - posted on 02/15/2011

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the baby einstein one was ok. Some of the signs, we sign differently, but it may be a regional thing. ??

Amanda - posted on 02/15/2011

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my son is not four...unfortunatly life interfered and i did not keep it up but when he was about six months I started teaching him to sign...only little things and I would teach him to say it along with sign it and we also have a baby einstien movie that teaches sign with the words...my son was an early talker so signing for us was just something fun for him to learn but it was pretty easy...

Ariel - posted on 02/15/2011

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I took a beginning sign class when my first was about a year old, and she learned a few signs until she learned to talk very soon after that, and we didn't really need to use signs to communicate most of the time. I'm still really glad I signed with her, and when my son was born, I learned even more signs. Talking has come a lot slower with him, and he is still difficult to understand a lot of the time (he just turned three). We use signs all the time, and it helps a lot with frustration levels for both of us. Speech has come slower with him, but I don't believe it had anything to do with our use of signs. I agree that signing will only help them communicate, but they will still pick up language, as long as you are using spoken words along with sign. Since sign is really a second language, your child will pick up on the language that is most frequently used in your house.

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Teaching a child signs is great but also be sure to accompany those signs with actual words or it could hamper his speech development as well.

Sa-Leanne - posted on 02/14/2011

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i too taught my babies basic sign, we went to a local 6 week course which was wonderful. they sign for milk and drink and nappy change, my life has been a lot simpler now they can communicate, they are 20 months now and have started to use the sign and the word. very helpful i would reccomend to anyone!!

Sarah - posted on 02/11/2011

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I taught my daughter a few basic signs. I would say the word and sign at the same time. It does take time for them to learn but it did help. She was able to tell me she was hungry and when she wanted more.

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I taught my son some basic signs:
More, Water, food, milk,
just to start with. I did NOT use any video's as it has been reccomended that children under the age of 2 not have ANY tv. You can check out books from your local library on baby signing. There are also some basic resources on the web too.
I LOVED that my son could sign - he was a much happier baby, and I was a much happier momma because he could express his needs and I could understand them.
Research has also shown that teaching your child sign doesn't delay their speech, in fact they have a better grasp of language when they do start speaking than their non signing peers.
Baby signing is no different really than teaching a child to play peek-a-boo or waving goodbye or high fiving. It is REALLY easy:
Every you time you say a word you also sign it. For example,
"Are you thirsty? Would you like milk (sign milk)"
Do it enough times and they catch on. Point to the milk, identify it, sign the word. It may take 3-4 m months before your son strts signing, this is not an instantaous thing, but it is certainly worth it.

On a side note - I have a friend who has a daughter with downs syndrom. Downs children tend ot be VERY late talkers (many not speaking at all until the age of 4 or 5. By the time her daughter was 2 years old she knew over 200 signs! She still didn't talk until she was closer to 5 - but was able to fully articulate her needs, wants and desires through sign.

Amy - posted on 02/10/2011

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We do ASL. there are some good websites. one is www.aslpro.com. and www.lifeprint.com -- you can look up any words/phrases you use daily. I say and speak the words. Signing time is pretty good for something for them to watch. I still sing and sign some of those songs to my kids. My daughter pretty much skipped her terrible twos. I don't think it discourages them from speaking unless you solely use sign and don't speak it. I would sign please and go "can you say pleeeease!"? they usually sign it and after a month repeated and signed. I am so glad I did. daughter is now 4 and when she wants something she knows her brother can't have [like gum] she can finger spell G_U_M to ask for it and we have less battles. I think it's great to teach them. It's also great for me and spouse across loud rooms at family gatherings!!

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