Sunday, January 30, 2011

*insert creative title for signing here*

I always wanted to learn sign language.  When I was little, I would imagine my hearing (already at 4 just slightly impaired) would completely disappear or (being sick all the time) I would lose my voice, and need to learn sign language.  I never really talked anyway, as I was a shy child.  At some point in time I learned the alphabet.  In high school or college, I got a book and learned a little, but never very much or for very long.

Kaylan has changed that :)  When my daughter turned 1 and still did not babble anything except Ahhh, I decided we would try signing.  I looked up some words on the internet, found some great sites for individual signs, and decided to start with "milk".  At 17 months, still no words, barely any babbling, we called Birth to 3, Wisconsin's early intervention program.  She qualified for help as she was at the speech and cognitive development age of 9 months.  We knew she was smart, just not talking, but since she wasn't talking the cognitive questions weren't answered.  So I got more aggressive with signing. 

The library is a wonderful thing.  I ordered a couple different signing DVD's geared towards children.  We watched them all, and I watched Kaylan to see how she reacted.  Many of them were boring.   Baby Signing Time was not.  There was music, singing, animation, Kaylan and I were hooked.  The songs were in my head, I was consistent in remembering to sign when I was home, Kaylan started signing more words.  Soon Ben jumped on board. 

Kaylan is now 21 months and has 60+ signs.  She hasn't had another evaluation but the workers say she is right where she should be for communication, even if it isn't spoken.  She loves signing.  I love signing.  We sign all the time.  The magnadoodle is her set of flash cards.  We draw a car, she signs car.  We ask her what she wants us to draw, she signs star.  Her favorite books are ones that she can sign with.  She doesn't always sign correctly, but just as with talking, there is room for mispronunciation.  And she's sooo cute about it.

Baby (don't mind the mess, she tears it up as soon as we pick it up :)
 The end of balloon (you put fists to your lips then blow and expand)
 Please (rub hand on belly/chest in a circle) really can't say no to her when she signs please :)

We love signing.  I plan to continue even after Kaylan starts talking.  I tell everyone how much we love Signing Time, and how much it has helped our family.  Cole is learning too, though not as avidly interested in it as Kaylan and I.  But it would be nice if we had other families to sign with.  In the meantime, we'll just keep enjoying Signing Time and maybe in the spring when we are out and about we will be signing and someone will come up and sign to us.  Hopefully I'll know enough by then not to stumble and embarrass myself....



  1. Oooh she is so sweet! And I've always wanted to learn sign language too. I wish I had some Baby Signing Time DVDs, my library has none. Birth - 3 gave us a DVD too which has a little library of signs section, but not a very fun way to learn!!!

  2. You should be on the Linkcat system right? It's WI wide, so you should be... Look it up, then you can search Signing Time or for anything really. Then if anyone else in the system has it, they'll send it to your library and your library will tell you its in. You have to set all this up, but its easy! Your librarian should be able to help you :)