September 14, 2010

Sign Language

We have been teaching Brady sign language since he was about 9 months old, it took him quite a few months before he had the dexterity to actually sign, but now he is cruising right along. He knows to date how to do 32 signs! There is a complete list to the right of all the signs he knows. His most recent signs are: daddy, hot, rain, fish, potty, wind, rain, hurt/owie, cat, shoes, car, and tree. He learns them SO fast! He signed hurt/owie for a week or so before I knew what he meant (he doesn't do it exactly right, but pretty close, and as long as we both know what he means, that's what matters).
At his last doctors appointment the doctor said for his age he should be able to say about 20 words. We were floored! He barely can say ONE word! Then we explained that we are teaching him American Sign Language and Spanish along with English. He then explained that it would take him longer to be able to talk, cause three languages is a lot to take in at once, but that once he caught on to them, he would be tri-lingual! It's a lot easier to teach him English and ASL cause I can say the word in English and do the sign. It's also easier for him to sign than to talk. But with Spanish he gets confused. And it's hard for me to speak Spanish ALL the time, so that will be the last language we focus on. But I still read him lots of books in Spanish every day and speak Spanish to him about 1/4 of the time, and I say a lot of things twice in English and Spanish so he gets familiar with both.
As for words Brady can actually say, he says "ba-ball" for any kind of sport or ball. He says "uh-oh", "ooouhh, oooohh" for train or truck, and "wooaah". It's really cute.
I have learned a ton of Sign language just through watching the children's "Signing Time" videos. I'm not sure how many words I know, but quite a bit. I have a wonderful neighbor who is deaf and I get to practice a lot with her which is great for both of us cause we can communicate! I have also learned a lot from her. She is so sweet and very funny (even in ASL:)).
I highly suggest teaching your kids Sign Language cause it helps them communicate at a younger age and helps avoid tantrums cause you know what they want or why they are crying. Yeah for ASL!