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Signing With Babies And Children: Recognizing the Signs of "Signing"

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recognizing the Signs of "Signing"

My daughter just turned 10 months old. She now is clapping her hands, and this has been a real indication of her beginning process of signing. Before she clapped her hands, sign language was a way of engaging with her... lots of eye communication and bonding. Now our sign language communication is evolving into a new phase. This is where it can be lots of fun... recognizing the signs of “signing.” I will give you an example with the use of “eating time.”

Expressions change when I sign:
Giving my daughter finger foods... she eats them on her own and looks up at me.
She immediately begins to smile when I sign and say, “more.”

Sign approximations after I sign:
As she is smiling, she begins to clap. Is she clapping because it’s fun, or is she trying to sign “more.”
Both could be the case, but watch for consistency in her hand movements.

Mimics signs:
After I sign all done, her hands go up in the air on the side and she immediately begins to mimic the same sign and laugh as if she is proud of herself for “signing.”

Signing the same sign for many different signs:
An example of this is if my daughter were to sign “milk” for many different types of food.

Your child is understanding that the ability to sign allows them to communicate. During this exciting time, continue to sign the appropriate signs and even add more signs . Eventually the approximation of the sign will become more clear and the continuous sign being used will evolve into many different signs.

Recognizing these little steps to your child’s abilities to sign can help encourage you to continue signing and to realize that although a process, having sign language as a means of communication is worth every “sign” of the way.

Written by Shawna Tran: and

1 comment:

SignShine said...

I love the very clear tools you always give us. This post will be shared in SignShine classes! Thank you.