Thursday, June 4, 2009

baby signs

Lucas signing "what?"

I just want to express how thankful I am for baby signs right now! Our current communication method is the Lucas method - an oral approach, using AVT strategies and baby signs. I use the term "baby signs" because I don't sign every word that I say, just some nouns, and probably for not even 10% of what I say. But, Lucas is still picking these signs up! And, we're able to use them to check his spoken language only comprehension. It's wonderful and comes in very handy!

It's just a good fit for us right now. Lucas is just not going to be an early talker. Maybe he was just predisposed to talking late, like some kids. Maybe it's because he never heard a word until January 9 because of the ineffectiveness of his hearing aids, and still needs time, like an almost 5-month old (his equivalent hearing age). Whatever the reason, baby signs just make sense for him. For the first time, I almost feel like I have something in common with the mother of a hearing child who chooses to use baby signs with her child to bridge that communication gap, although it's still a completely different world.

Just this week, he learned two new signs - bed and bath. Tonight, when I said "night-night" he signed "bed" and when I said "it's bath time" he signed "bath." As simple as that, I knew that he understood what I was telling him. He's starting to approximate speaking and sign at the same time too, like with "down." The baby signs may fall by the wayside in the months to come, but for now, I am happy for the world that is being opened up for him.


Shelleyrae33 said...

Baby signs are awesome! We sign 75% of the time with Troy and at 8 months my deaf little boy knows mom, dad, food, more, and all done. I love signing!

God bless Lucas and his cute little signing hands! Hope you guys have a great day!

Bright Family said...

Cute picture :o)

Knowing some sign before the CI helped Tayten tremendously and we still sign with him as much as we are able to. I really wish we had a Deaf community in our area for support!

I am excited to see how quickly Terren picks up on signing. We didn't start teaching Tayten until after he was a year old.

BTW, I've finally added you to my blog list. Hope that is okay. i need to add so many others, but it seems like so much work! For now I will just rely on gals like you (and Leah too)!

Lone Star Couple said...

Thanks for the info! I plan on doing "baby signs" with Kemper also. My sister does them with her son and he was able to communicate way before he started talking.
I was wondering what all you did to start communicating with Lucas before his CI, did you take him to any classes/therapy? We have early childhood intervention that will be coming to our house once a week, but I don't think that will be enough. He is only two months now but he is just now starting to be aware of his surroundigs so I want to take advantage of that and start as early as possible. Thanks !

Bill and Shelly said...

We used some basic signs with Allison before and after she got her CI. It was amazing, that as soon as she started really talking, she dropped the signs all by herself, we never pushed her to stop.
It will be exciting to see what Lucas does.

leah said...

Doing the "baby signs" or "keyword signing" has been beneficial to Nolan, too. Since his word for choo-choo train "gee-gee" and kitty cat "gee gee" are identical, we know which one he is saying by the sign. Of course, we're really working on the articulation at the same time, but some of Nolan's first spoken words were words that he had signs for.

There are times I am glad that Nolan was the one with hearing loss, because he seems wired for language. My older son (normal hearing) was the one who couldn't talk until he was almost three (and then only with intervention)! Go figure. He is talking, though- it just came with speech therapy and took him a little longer than other kids.

rouchi said...

I feel sign language has its limitations.The child finds it easier and so prefers it, at least this is what I have seen around me.They soon start to ignore speech. i hope the kids soon drop the signs as the world around is not aware of this form of communication and we need to depend on the langage of the masses. Prisha did and does try to sign but I completely ignore it and we work on it and give that sign a name.In case I am not able to understand it or understand that word as something else, we talk around it and learn the word for it. With this I am able to expand her language horizen and give her a chance to talk more.

Amy said...

While Ava had her hearing aids, we attended baby sign classes and taught her a few signs despite advice from the CI team not to. Why should we delay communication - it just didn't feel right. Her face would light up whenever I signed "bath" and she would excitedly sign "milk" and "more". She was so HAPPY being understood by us. Since getting her CI's we have stopped using signs as she has shown receptive language comprehension and I want that to be our main focus-getting her caught up and not relying on visuals. But I am a firm believer in going with your gut and knowing what is right for YOUR child. And you are an EXCELLENT mom!!!

tammy said...

Hi Jennifer,
I just had the "I wish Aiden was talking more" discussion with my audiologist last week. I'm going to mention it in my next post. But like you, I think Aiden's going to be a late talker too. It's so awesome though to know they're hearing by them signing back! Aiden's just started this more and it just melts my heart! Do you all choose certain signs to work on or just continuously use all "baby signs" and Lucas is just picking them up?