Often times your baby’s sign doesn’t really look like the sign that you’re signing. Due to your child’s developing dexterity and fine motor skills, she cannot quite grasp the exact formation. While your baby tries to mimic your sign, the sign may look different. You may ask yourself,” does my baby really signing or just playing with his fingers?”
For example, the sign for MORE is to bring all five fingertips from one hand to the five fingertips of the other hand and tap them together. Many children will approximate the sign into one fingertip onto the palm of the other hand.
See pictures: all children sign MORE.
Approximation is signing! It is almost like saying dada for daddy at first. Please, do not manipulate her hands to form the right sign. Keep demonstrating the correct formation, encouraging your child to sign, and the right hand shape will come with time. This is one of the reasons that it is important to sign ASL so everyone will sign the same way without modifying the sign by their needs.
By accepting your child’s approximations, and encouraging her to keep signing, you will reduce her level of frustration. Consistency is the key. If you use the ASL version repeatedly, your child will eventually follow your lead and sign that version.
Let the Sign Shine!
Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner http://www.signshine.com/