can baby sign language delay speech?

(14 Posts)
ikeaismylocal Mon 10-Feb-14 18:17:02

I have a 14 month old ds, we live in Sweden but I speak English to him.

He has some words, pappa, mamma, wow, woof-woof and a few others. We have started using some signs with him as he seems to be wanting to commute more and more.

He understands instructions such as can you put the teddy on the table and he responds by pointing if you ask him questions such as where is the dog? He seems to understand both languages equally.

He can sign all gone, more, finished, boobie and a couple of other signs, when he signs he doesn't tend to try to say the word at the same time.

Today he signed more boobie, I'm really pleased for him that he can communicate but I'm also worried that if we teach him signs he will not push himself to communicate verbally in either English or Swedish.

Does anyone have any advice/experiencethey can share?

kelda Mon 10-Feb-14 18:19:10

I don't think so. Everything that I've read is that signing can stimulate communication, and the movements of the signs themselves can stimulate speech.

It sounds like your ds is doing very well.

Ilikesweetpeas Mon 10-Feb-14 18:21:35

In my experience it aids speech because it promotes communication between your child and yourself. I think that for 14 months your ds sounds like is is doing great! My dd signed a lot, and was speaking fluently by 2 years, again this is only my experience but I would keep signing and speaking!

Geneticsbunny Mon 10-Feb-14 18:23:04

Yep I agree with keida. Signing should encourage speech development not hinder it. At 14 months and bilingual I would think only having a few words is probably very normal or even advanced.in the uk children are supposed to have a minimum of around 20 words a age 2 so your DS is already at least half way there and he is trying to learn 2 languages!

kelda Mon 10-Feb-14 18:24:53

My ds has a severe speech disorder, and we actually use special signs to stimulate correct speech production - and it works.

He is also bilingual, despite his speech problem smile

hazeyjane Mon 10-Feb-14 18:30:37

As long as you speak when you sign, it will help not hinder.

Paintyfingers Mon 10-Feb-14 19:02:41

Our salt for DS said it is now generally thought baby signing does not hinder.

ikeaismylocal Mon 10-Feb-14 19:07:29

Thank you for the advice smile

It's good to know they only "need" to know 20 words by 2, apparently dp spoke fluently by 14 months hmm so I wasn't really sure what was normal.

Ds really loves actions, he can do the actions to songs like incy wincy but he doesn't try to sing.

I'm really pleased to hear signing doesn't delay speach.

HermioneWeasley Mon 10-Feb-14 19:08:42

It accelerates spoken language because it helps them develop their understanding of language. As other posters have said, be sure to say the word when you sign.

growltigersontheloose Mon 10-Feb-14 19:16:20

My DS loves the fact that he can be understood, his little face lights up if you say the word that he is trying to sign. I think that it was doing a few basic signs that made him realise that he could communicate, and he has come on in leaps and bounds since then.

He does a good mixture of both signs and words/sounds and it does seem that often the sign has helped him get the word. For example, with 'please' and 'more' he used the signs a few weeks before he said the words, now he uses both together. He signs some animals, makes the noise for others and uses the right word for a few.

He's 16 months btw, and we've been signing since he was 11 months.

My twins are 16 months and we also speak two languages at home. They sign quite well and know 5 words between them. I was worried that they are behind in learning to talk but after talking with other mums with babies of the same age, they seem "on track".

Communication isn't necessarily talking, signing is a fantastic way for babies to communicate with their parents.

DD is 14 months and I have been going to signing classes with her since she was 5 months old. At the weekend we wrote down the words she could sign and those she could say. She has 15 signs and 18 words. There is some crossover, but there are also words she can sign but not say and vice versa.

I certainly believe that signing has been encouraging her speech, as the first 5 words she spoke were whilst she was signing them. Like others say, as long as you say the word when you sign, you are encouraging both forms of communication.

Good luck with it!

kritur Mon 10-Feb-14 21:25:18

Quite the opposite with my daughter. We signed from about 5 months and she started speaking quite early. I got "mama" at around 8 months. At her 2 year assessment she was assessed as having language skills of nearly 4 yrs.

LIG1979 Mon 10-Feb-14 22:01:16

I find dd will start signing and saying words at the same time. It helps me to understand what she is saying and encourage her when she has a new word. I am fairly sure I would not understand all her new words without the signs to go with them and then she would get frustrated that I wasn't understanding her.

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