Friday, January 22, 2010

Did or do you sign with your baby?

I am anxious to start signing with Kaitlyn. From what I've read children with Down syndrome tend to have delayed speech and problems with being understood. They often can comprehend what is being said and want to respond but have a difficult time expressing them self. Sign language hopefully will allow us to communicate with Katie sooner and help her be understood eliminating some of the frustration she might have when trying to express herself.

Do you sign with your child? I would love some pointer's and to hear of your experiences. Has it been helpful? What are some of the signs you started with? I am anxious to get the boys involved. Brady (5yrs) loves to sign the alphabet and I think he will love to teach his sister. I only know the basics so I have some learning to do!

I would love to hear from you!


  1. I sign with Bennett. Just basics right now like eat, drink, more, all done, play,cereal. He's 8 months now and hasn't picked any up yet but we'll keep doing them. His speech therapist just started signing with him too so hopefully he'll start to catch on. We have Baby Signing time and my girls love to watch it. They're having fun learning all the different signs.

  2. We signed with Morgan and it definitely helped her speech. I highly recommend it. Can't think of any negatives. Rent or buy the Signing Time Dvds. The first 3 really helped all of us learn them. Start with basics like: more, eat, drink, all done, bath, milk, play, sleep. She'll probably sign "more" and "eat" first. The nice thing about signing is it doesn't take a lot of signs to communicate a child's needs but it makes it possible for them to communicate their needs. It was fun to learn all the animals too so we could sign them with her book reading and she could sign them and make the sound (i.e. sign cow while saying, "moo") and let us know she was learning the animals too.

  3. We sign with Piper, too. We started with "Mom" and "Dad", because when she was really little, I thought it'd be a good concrete example to start associating the sign with a thing. Once she had those down, we started dog, which is still her favorite. We also use hungry and milk. She's starting to say more and all done, at the request of her therapist. We haven't used the Signing Time DVDs yet, mostly because I'm not a fan of her watching them and I figure we can get them when she's a little bigger. I do, though, use this website to find out the words we want to teach her: It has a baby sign section at the top. It makes it really easy to pick and choose which sign to learn next! It's already saved us some headaches-- I think she's done nursing, but she'll sign hungry and eat a ton more... It's so fun to get a glimpse of what's going on in their little heads! Good luck!

  4. Like Heather and Adrienne said, we bought a couple of the Baby Signing Times dvd's - my older kids watched and learned the signs very quickly. Brennan, at almost 2, still isn't interested in dvd's but we sign with him and I'm so happy he can communicate his wants and needs with us. We started with more, eat and drink - then added from there. Good luck and have fun!!

  5. We still sign with Gabriel but I think he does it more for fun than need. We started using ASL when Gabe was about 18 months. I started learning words from his books (mostly animals) and need related skills like "more", "milk", "cookie", "bath", etc.

    We were happy to see a sing song handout come home from his teacher. It was a photocopy of all the songs and prayer that starts the day and continues in circle time. Anyway, printed by the prayer is "We have been learning the signs for this prayer." and this is because Gabriel has been signing during it.

    There is some controversy over ASL slowing down speech but I think it is nonsense. I give great credit to ASL in allowing Gabriel to communicate and grow with us because of it. I also think it helped him to read quicker than his typical peers.

    We, too, have a few of the Signing Time DVD's and I highly recommend them. If you go to YouTube and search for Signing Time, you'll get a good idea of what to expect from the series. Gabriel adores the characters from Signing Time and he often sings different songs from the series.

    One last mention is that even though Gabriel is talking now, he has trouble with articulation, and this happens to a lot of people with Ds. By having an ongoing knowledge of ASL, what we cannot understand verbally, Gabe can sign for us. And using ASL to teach a new language (Gabe is learning French) is a good bridge because the ASL sign would be the same in both French and English.

  6. I also bought the signing time videos above. My 2 year old learned them already and loves watchig the video. Wysdom also likes watching the videos. They have fun songs and are cute. He is about 14 months and he uses the up sign all the time and we thought maybe the drink sign. We use just a few but are wanting to do more. He is trying to communicate so I think that it is a great idea for you to start. I would say go with a good source because when we started our sp gave us handouts but they had different versions and it was confusing. We stopped those and went with the Signing time video instead so it is easier to use.

  7. I must admit...I was a signing sceptic. However, at 18 months, I finally decided it was time for mommy to get off her hiney and get busy. Lily is picking it up sooooo fast it blows my mind. Lily watches all of us so closely when we use signs. Just today she started to pick up on "play". I was excited beyond belief because in my opinion it looks a lot like "all done". She was able to put up her two fingers on one of her two hands to make it look different than "all done" though.

    We are new to this, but Lily's first signs were more, all done, baby, and play. We are working on eat, drink, bird, cat, dog (she has a puzzle with those three animals), cereal, ball, and a few more that escape me right now.

    We have the Signing Time videos that others have mentioned and I find them to be very helpful. Sometimes I just Google sign language and then whatever word I need...I've had luck with this too.

    Good luck!! I'm looking forward to reading about your success!

  8. We started signing to Summer when she was only about 6 months old... around 12 months she signed back for the first time. First signs we used were drink, eat, up, ball, good morning, Summer, more, all done, and mama... She can say Dada so we didn't use that sign. Now at 18 months she signs drink, eat, more, all done, and mama, and the spider part of the itsy bitsy spider. I know we need to start learning more signs so I bought the Signing Time DVDs, and the whole family watches them because I think it is really important for the boys (6 and 3) to be able to sign to her.

    Have fun learning together and I can't wait to hear about the first time Kaitlyn says/signs something to you!

  9. I just found your blog, WOW Kaitlyn is BEAUTIFUL!!! We did not start signing with Ella until she was 18 months old (when we started speech therapy, long story) and I hate that it was not started much sooner. There is absolutly nothing negative about it. I suggest the DVD's Baby Signing Time, my kids LOVE it, it has a lot of music in it which seems to really help Ella connect with it. My son is also 5 and he knows a ton of signs just by learning them with Ella, he used to help her sign, it was so cute. Now Ella is 3 and she still signs a little but we have moved on to words/word approximations. Good luck and have fun!!!

  10. We are signing with baby A and we also signed with her big brother. He caught on and dropped it pretty quickly as he learned to speak but it was really fun while it lasted. She is 10 months old and we started with signs for milk, eat, drink, more, book at 6 months. She has done the milk sign for us but she seems to have forgotten it made up her own sign by just grabbing my chest! Funny girl. I'm hoping to see her do some more signs soon.