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Signing is brilliant

(23 Posts)
HuffwardlyRouge Tue 28-Jul-09 13:20:54

My 15 month old can't really talk yet.

We've done the most basic signing with him and it is SO useful.

(We didn't bother with the weekly classes and endless homework that we subjected pfb dd to blush).

I'm in the middle of something and he can tug on the back of my skirt and sign for water, he gets a drink and I cary on without any guessing of what he wants.

He can tell me he's hungry, thirsty, wants milkies, needs a new nappy, is tired, or has seen a cat (that last one is particularly useful grin).

And he's starting to ask where things are as well. It's fun.

For anyone with a young baby I really really recommend it.

Hulla Tue 28-Jul-09 15:44:05

Yay! That's great news!

We've been going to the classes (pfb! grin) and I'm really enjoying them (dd just likes staring at other babies).

Have you been very consistent at signing at home? I am a bit hit and miss and dh won't consider it at the moment.

Did it take long for him to sign back to you?I think dd understands milk now but she is too small to sign it I think.

HuffwardlyRouge Tue 28-Jul-09 16:22:33

Not particularly consistent I don't think. Dh doesn't know any of the signs, so it's only me and dd (his 3-yr-old big sis) who signs for him.

With my dd she was learning new signs every week from about 5 months old, and learned to talk before she could sign particularly well. I have absolutely no doubt that it was the signing that helped her to talk early. You could see her make the connection that her signing = mummy doing what she wanted, therefore 2-way communication must be possible! It was wonderful to watch.

With ds, as I say, we've not done any classes. We've also not bothered teaching him colours and animals and food signs and everything. We've really just stuck to hungry and thirsty and milkies and the things he really might need to tell me, and he's picked them all up really quickly. It was already quite late when I remembered about signing, so he's not been subjected to them from a particularly young age. Having said that, it comes quite naturally to me now having done it for so long with dd, so perhaps I am more consistant that I realise.

My friend's little girl is 14 months and signs for everything. It's so cool! Her mum is VERY consistent (pfb grin).

doggiesayswoof Tue 28-Jul-09 16:37:26

I'd like to try this with my 14 mo DS. What resources would you recommend, Huffwardly? I think DD would enjoy it too (she's nearly 5)

DS can't really talk yet either, he copies the inflections of words but everything he "says" sounds v similar so he's not really understandable yet.

TurtleAnn Tue 28-Jul-09 18:13:02

I do this for a living. It is brilliant and I am thrilled you are having so much success.

Try 'Makaton Charity' for resources
Waterstones stock their books

I love 'Makaton sign for babies' & Sing and Sign song book

BertieBotts Tue 28-Jul-09 18:17:57

I started doing some basic signs on and off with DS (9.5mo) from 6 months ish and we are signed up for sing and sign in September (he will be 11mo) - I'm sure he's able to copy some now, he is waving and clapping and shaking hands and even identifying parts of my face correctly (though that last one might be fluke...) I think he has signed "drink" a couple of times but not sure. Either way I am hoping it comes in useful I probably won't bother much with all the animals, colours etc - I just signed up to the class for the social side mainly and so we can learn some other signs as well just for fun really I don't think you would need classes if you wanted to do it, a book would be enough. In fact, I've got a really good Amazing Baby one but I've lost it...

Megglevache Tue 28-Jul-09 18:20:30

It's lovely that you are so happy with it.

I used to teach and ds was brilliant, picked things up really quickly and it was a joy to communicate with him, he went from a really cranky, nmiserable sod to adorable, placid and happy all because he could "talk" to me.

When dd was born ds and I did it from birth, not that she would learn it any quicker but just so that we would get used to doing it. She blew me away and was signing in sentences at about 14 months, in some respects though it is a curse as they know what they want and how to tell you grin I also did a bit of BSK with her and we made a deaf lady's day once inthe queue in Sainsbury's, her face lit up when dd was chatting to her grin

I have had many friends and family members who have not been supportive of it who have then been gobsmacked at how clever it is that such tiny people can communicate so effectively.

moondog Tue 28-Jul-09 18:21:09

I am hugely into signing [as a SALT] and alsi wish more people wouldo have a private baby sign business. I wish more people would use sign, particularly those who have children with SN.A lot of research to demonstrate it aids speech development,which is of course why SALTs advocate it.

Megglevache Tue 28-Jul-09 18:26:50

Funny Moondog as I'm considering doing that.

I used to work for a well known company who put me off they were idiots, not saying who though grin

I was thinking about volunteering locally to offer it as a class

moondog Tue 28-Jul-09 18:28:52

You need quality control.
I think a lot of dodgy companies out there but in case of NT kids, not too much of an issue.It's just a bit of fun.

Needs to be done properly with kids with SN.

HuffwardlyRouge Tue 28-Jul-09 18:39:06

I would love to run signing classes. I have the time, and there is definitely a gap in the market where I am. Unfortunately, we are not in the UK, and I've not managed to find a way of getting any sort of training or qualification where I am.

Doggies, as others have said, you wouldn't need to go to a class if that didn't suit you. You can get dvds with signing and songs to watch and learn together, and even a book would be helpful for just the basic, most useful signs.

To start with, just pick a couple (eg hungry and thirsty) and phase them in, then add a couple more (eg milk and nappy) a week later. Good luck!

Meggle, you are so right that it hugely benefits the child to be able to sign to you. Just this weekend we were out at a fair. Ds was whining and then signed that he was hungry. He'd had a huge breakfast and plenty of milk and a snack, and he's never normally hungry at that time of day, so if he'd just been whining at me I really wouldn't have guessed he was hungry. We could have had a washout day with a cranky child, instead he had (another!) snack, cheered up immensely and we had a great time.

Karam Tue 28-Jul-09 19:40:05

Agreed, I signed loads with DD1 and she was fab at it. Amazing when she signed things like "light" at 14 months, and we realised that she was scared of the dark, and the penny clicked that that was why she had been having disturbed nights... we left the landing light on at night, and voila! no more problems.

Unfortunately, DD2 was far too lazy to be bothered with it!

DawnAS Tue 28-Jul-09 20:29:41

I am so glad that I've found this thread and that signing is seen as a real benefit to babies.

We had our first baby 7 weeks ago and unfortunately, due to financial reasons (as in, needing to keep a roof over our heads...) I am having to go back to work full-time (well, full-time hours over 4 days a week) from 1st October.

Again, to due to money constraints, we have chosen a childminder for two days a week and then will leave our DD with my SIL for two days a week. Initially I was concerned because my SIL is profoundly deaf and has been since birth, as is her DH. However, she has brought up three children of her own. All of them are hearing but naturally sign fluently. The eldest is 21 and now works with children at a local comprehensive school, who need to use sign language as they have hearing difficulties. The others are very intelligent and sensible (really lovely) teenagers.

So, I'm hoping that our LO will gain the benefits of signing from an early age and may even be able to teach me a thing or two!! grin

wrinklytum Tue 28-Jul-09 20:32:44

Sing and sign is very good.

DD has sn,so I took her to this but it is suitable for all.

"Something special" on cbeebies is also excellent for learning basic signing.

moondog Tue 28-Jul-09 20:37:46

Yes Wrinkly, Sasha Felix isexcellent.
Dawn, what a great story and a fantasticopportunity for your child.

applestrudel Tue 28-Jul-09 22:22:38

My DS (14 months) has done two terms of Sing and Sign classes and loves it. He signs milk, drink/thirsty, eat/hungry, and bird so far - it makes me laugh going down the milk aisle in the supermarket, because he signs so vehemently, and the first thing he does most mornings is the milk sign, often followed by hungry. Would thoroughly recommend classes.

Megglevache Tue 28-Jul-09 22:42:10

I have an awful story actually so be warned signing can be a bit blush

DD really started to fly with her signing at about 12 months old and I recall a trip to IKEA where she saw a black man in the queue next to us and as loudly as she could she started to pint and sign "Monkey" complete with the noisiest oooh ooooh chimp noises I have ever heard. He was not impressed I was mortified. I still cringe at the memory- she did it for about 2 or 3 months after that too.

Hulla Wed 29-Jul-09 09:44:18

Oh Megg I'd have died of shame!

We go to Tinytalk classes. The only criticism I have so far is that we learn signs linked to songs and so far useful signs like hungry, milk, food etc haven't been covered. I've had to ask for those. I am going to buy their dvd/cd pack for home/the car.

I do love the social side of the classes, the other mums are really nice.

Megglevache Wed 29-Jul-09 12:10:36

Hulla, I know, it was more confusing as her dad is a big brown man too grin and yet she never signed that with him but from that day on she did it all the time to an assortment of black/dark strangers- I had to have little packets of raisins on tap for distraction reasons!

It's great that you like the social side of the classes, that's something i rather pushed in my classes, I used to provide the mums with coffees/teas and biscuits and leave an hour clear per class so they could unwind and let off steam.

I'd use all the primary signs at home and just keep at it that way. It's all good isn't it?

HuffwardlyRouge Wed 29-Jul-09 12:50:36

I tell you one of the most useful signs I found was the sign for "full", as in don't want any more to eat.

PixiNanny Wed 29-Jul-09 12:57:45

I really want to learn BSL so that I could work with deaf children later on, but am curious as to whether baby sign is derived from makaton or BSL? I know that they differ slightly and I'd like to know whether it'd be worth my time to learn BSL first or start with makaton? I already know quite a bit of BSL (enough to 'chat' to somebody about the weather, greetings, directions, etc) and would like to do another course before I forget it grin

So which is babysign more similar too?

BertieBotts Wed 29-Jul-09 17:37:38

Pixi it tends to vary widely. Most people will use their signs just within their family so no need for the signs to be universal. Different books, DVDs, courses etc may all use different signs, confusingly.

Generally signs are taken from BSL, ASL or Makaton. Some are also made up. Most people use a combination! Signs are chosen generally based on how easy they are for little hands to do and how easily recognisable they are if done wrong - so not using two which are too similar. It also helps to be able to do them one-handed as you will quite often need to sign while holding the baby/toddler.

HTH! grin

difficultdecision Wed 29-Jul-09 17:53:24

my OH and I can both sign at an intermediate level because of our jobs so DS (19m) has always been signed to.

Unfortunately, although he can easily follow instructions in english, german and BSL he is far too lazy to actually speak or sign himself so we are still none the wiser (or maybe we just guess too quickly)

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