I was on the subway the other day when I saw a former client of mine, someone who had taken Baby Fingers classes for quite some time, when her baby was 3 - 15 months old. He is jsut over 2 yrs old now.
He was crying so hard, he could hardly breathe, let alone talk to his mom, and she couldn't figure out if he was scared, hurt, or something else. Suddenly she reminded him to sign to her and he did! He signed "Friend-Stop!"
We departed the train at the same time, so I was able to say hello and marvel at their conversation. She further explained to me that they had passed the subway stop where her son's best play group friend lives and he desparately wanted to go play!!
Fortunately, he wasn't hurt, but to our babies and toddlers, when things don't go their way- and especially if they can't communicate that to you- it certainly feels like an emergency. I can still remember the relief I felt when my children were signing before they were talking-- and once they were talking, the sign still helped to clarify their speech or gave them an outlet when the speech just couldn't.