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Signing With Babies And Children: Process of Elimination

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Process of Elimination

I think we have all experienced the process of elimination when communicating with our family and peers.

When it comes to children learning how to communicate with their words, process of elimination can become long and drawn out with tantrums in between. But with signing, the process can become not only faster but quite joyful.

Take for instance, my 18 month old. We were at a friend's house, and he came into the kitchen where both the other mom and I were standing. Wait, let's tell this story from my 18 month old's perspective:

"So, I was standing there clearly signing 'cheese' like my mom had taught me. She looked over at the other mom and kept talking about how cute I was signing 'train'. I thought for sure this was how to sign 'cheese' (put one pointer finger on top of the other and move them them back and forth).

I tried it again to no avail, so I began moving closer to the refridgerator and pointing to it. I don't know why my mom didn't get it. She then asked the other mom jokingly but seriously if there was a train in the fridge (remembering I was looking in there earlier). It was then that she put the two together. Good job mom. Under 45 seconds!"

So, yes, my son had to wait a little while, signing anxiously an approximation sign for 'cheese' that resembled train. These thoughts went through my head: was there a train toy he just played with, was there a train magnet on the fridge, was there literally a train in the fridge (yes, funny, but I thought maybe a train picture was on a container of some sort). I then realized that about 10 minutes earlier he was given string cheese and therefore wanted more. I opened the fridge, signed 'cheese' and told him good job over and over, smiling from ear to ear.

Our children learn the process of elimination too... adding more details to what they need or want and being patient in helping us learn what they need or want.

Enjoy the journey.

Written by Shawna Tran




1 comment:

SignShine said...

Shawna, your story is SO inspiring. Just so raw, so unique and so sweet, the way that your son expressed his thoughts.
You just described it so beautiful, so loving!
Don't you wish we could really hear these monologs sometimes??

Celebrating and Shining~
etel