Is it worth starting baby signing again?

(15 Posts)
timealone Mon 16-Nov-15 20:35:57

DS is 15 months and has no words yet, though he babbles and talks a lot of nonsense. We did baby signing from about 8-11 months - he enjoyed the classes but never signed anything back. We stopped after the first term as I wasn't sure he had learnt anything plus I was going back to work.

I haven't kept up the signing as well as I should at home, but there is the occasional thing I've done and recently he has started signing nappy change and milk.

I don't know whether it's worth starting the classes again. He didn't wave/clap/point until about 13-14 months, so it seems communication isn't his priority. I would just like to be able to communicate with him better as he has been getting frustrated and starting throwing things recently. Any ideas?

I am a big fan of baby signing and have done it with all 3 DC. The first time we went to classes but since then I've just done it myself and made up a few signs along the way! It takes commitment though to use the signs every time you say a word and patience to wait for them to sign it back. I've also found that there's times when DD (10.5 months) will seem to regress a bit with words or signs and then leap forward again. So maybe your DS is just learning something else rather than not being interested. If it were me I'd continue signing but not necessarily go back to the classes, although if he enjoys them there's no harm smile

timealone Mon 16-Nov-15 22:03:26

Thanks, I wondered if the classes might help with getting him interested, but realistically I'd rather not spend the money. I feel really stupid for not continuing with the signing at home now. He is probably wondering what is going on at the moment as I've been signing tons this week compared to normal!

Ferguson Mon 16-Nov-15 22:19:19

If you can find many of the 'signs' on-line, or in an inexpensive book, I don't think there is much to be gained from classes, other than the 'social' aspect. Or possibly you could rope-in a few local mums, and do it from home?

My DW ran a toddler group when DS was little, but a you probably know, very young children usually don't engage in much social contact, and just used to play with the toys!

hazeyjane Mon 16-Nov-15 22:22:47

I recommend dvds (especially those by Singing Hands, Dave Benson Philips and all the Something Special ones) - lots can be learnt through songs and nursery rhymes, and you can sit and watch them and join in together.

Essaye Thu 26-Nov-15 23:39:15

Ditto Singing a Hands. They've just brought out a new Christmas DVD too. My eldest didn't sign anything during the classes, it wasn't till later that I realised he was taking it all in. We use sign all the time, but always as an augmented means of communication ie always supplementing speech not instead of. Even teach our daughter sign to increase vocab and so she can talk to her brother rainbowsaretoobeautiful.blogspot.com/2015/11/why-my-chatterbox-goes-to-sign-language.html

Miloarmadillo1 Sun 29-Nov-15 08:11:44

I've done baby signing with all three children. Went to classes for two terms with Ds1, just signed at home with DS2, DD has a neurological condition likely to lead to speech delay so I've been back to classes with her and will continue ( just signed up for a third term) I enjoy the classes and so does she, I think the repetitive structure is helpful and there is lots of sharing, tidying up, waiting your turn which is positive. I'm sure you could equally just sign at home if you can keep your motivation up. My DD has suddenly 'got it' at 18m old and is signing a lot. It has been frustrating plugging away for months with no apparent response but she has been taking it all in.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 29-Nov-15 08:14:32

Get the Dave Benson Philips Makaton video (nursery rhymes). All my kids loved it & it has all the signs you need to start with

Believeitornot Sun 29-Nov-15 08:14:35

You say that he pointed etc quite late and communicating wasn't his priority. What have they said At his 12 month review?

Miloarmadillo1 Sun 29-Nov-15 08:24:17

believeitornot nothing, I'd imagine. My DD has a condition known to cause development delay and specifically speech delay, she failed a 10 month check dismally in every area, got an 'urgent' referral to a paediatrician that took 4 months, they did nothing except refer for Portage, which when we got to the top of the 6 month waiting list we were told she's not entitled to. They won't do anything re speech delay until she is 2. You are to a large extent on your own with this stuff until there is a really big problem, due to chronic under-funding of early intervention services.
cynical, disillusioned parent of SEN child

Believeitornot Sun 29-Nov-15 22:10:21

I'm sorry to hear that Milo. I just think it is worth checking out in the op's case.

timealone Sun 24-Jan-16 20:05:22

believeitornot ironically he actually got a better than average score at communication, but this is because the questions were things like can he say mama, dada and baba (he could but didn't use them to mean anything), and does he understand his name. I did raise concern about pointing, waving etc and they called back at about 13 months to check how he was doing. I don't know how much faith I put in these reviews, eg he got a below average score on problem solving which shocked me as I think that's one of his strengths.

He is now 17 months and still no real words. However, there are two words that I know he is trying to say so that is some progress at least. Regarding signing, I have one of the Justin Fletcher DVDs, but he doesn't care for it much. So I've just been continuing the signs I know, which isn't a huge amount. The other problem is I work 4 days a week and nursery don't teach signing so it slows down the progress. But even so he can sign a couple more things now, such as more, plane, bus, but doesn't always use them. Think I will try the signing hands DVD next.

BertieBotts Sun 24-Jan-16 20:07:36

I don't think that reintroducing signs can do any harm, definitely worth a try, it's so frustrating for them when they can't communicate.

43percentburnt Sun 24-Jan-16 20:20:25

We used baby signing from birth but never went to any classes. We started with 5 or 6 key words, milk, nappy change, bath etc and as DC picked them up we added more words. we asked other people to use the main signs, older sibling, relatives etc.

Would his key worker use a few if you asked? It's not difficult and s/he may enjoy it.

Eventually ds would invent new signs which we copied and used - he wasn't very old at this point, well under 2. It doesn't matter what sign they use unless you are deliberately teaching makaton or bsl. We found It made him use his hands more to demonstrate what he wanted. By 2 we were no longer signing as he had quite a large vocabulary. (We are now teaching him the first few signs again so he can sign to the new babies!).

I think it's worth resuming and asking others to sign too, I think frequency is more important than attending classes.

Amy214 Sun 24-Jan-16 21:43:29

Yes its totally worth it, my mums profoundly deaf (granny) and we have been teaching my 2 yo for a while and now shes signing and saying the word at the same time e.g food, juice, bath, poo and sweets i also sign whilst speaking to her because its so natural for me to do so, i think its a great skill to have

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