Friday, May 19, 2006

First Conversation!

WOW! Can I tell you I am so amazed! My little one that I care for and I had our very first conversation the other day and it was AMAZING! She is only a little over a year old (BA"H)! How is that, you ask? Well, I'll tell ya'... Sign language! Yes, you read that correctly, sign language! For a while now I have been teaching her different signs for this word and that and she has picked them up all so well. Her mommy was quite pleased and it has made it so easy because she has been able to express thoughts for some time now. Words like 'more', 'eat', and 'no' were very easy for her to learn. She also knows 'please' and 'sleep'. Well, our first conversation went something like this.

Philly: lays baby for nap and strokes her head and signs “Baby sleep”.

Baby: signs "No, up"

Philly: signs "No, baby sleep now"

Baby: signs "No baby no sleep please up"

Philly: laughs and signs "Baby sleep please"

Baby: proceeds to sign most emphatically "PLEASE UP!"

OK, to me this was the coolest! She was able to put a sentence together and express a full thought! We actually dialogued and had a conversation!

You should know that this has in no way stunted her verbally because she repeats everything that she hears! She often speaks and signs at the same time, depending on what suits her. The other day she was signing as she was falling asleep, 'talking' in her sleep if you will.

I had used sign language with my own children also, but not until they were older. I just was looking for a way to talk to my children without speaking or worse yelling. It was just so nice to be able to sign across the room "Are you OK?" and my children respond, "No, I need to use the restroom!" No hollering, no embarrassment, just simple communication.

This is also effective with little ones since you do not want to be constantly be saying “no”. You just sign it.

Some good books to check out and start out with are Teaching Your Tot to Sign and Signing Made Easy.

Children really pick up the signs very easily and it is a nice way for you both to learn a second language.

There are also a ton of websites out there. Just Google "baby sign language" and have fun!

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