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Sign language - where do I start??

(8 Posts)
osospecial Sat 08-Oct-11 15:42:39

Hi i am frustrated as my DD age 2 still only has 1 or 2 words and i am not sure what to do next. there is also a problem with her understanding as she understands very little that i say (she knows 'kiss goodnight' or 'no' but wouldnt understand if i said we are going to see daddy or going to park or can you get your shoes or what cartoon do you want to watch, do you want juice etc)
She has been referred for a ruth griffiths assesment, and speech and language therapy but the waiting list is 6 months and I want to be helping her now.
I was interested to read some posts regarding using sign language as i really want her to realise that she can communicate her needs to me and i have also read that it can help with speech.
Does anybody have any advise on where/how to start please?

signandsmile Sat 08-Oct-11 16:41:34

Hi, I know there are lots more on here with more professional experience, and hopefully they will be along soon... (my professional sign lang experience is with Deaf people, but my 'mummy' experience is with my son ASD and LD).

For us, as I am fluent anyway we started to sign whatever we were saying, (however we were speaking to him in 2 or 3 word sentences, so it was very simple) eg ds want milk? playtime finished. DS home now. etc

What was useful was;
We spoke at the same time as signing,

We recognised that reception comes before production. (So he could understand a sign before he used it back to us.) It was a few months of signing to him before he used a sign independantly without prompting, (we were in the supermarket and it was orange, i still remember grin)

Signing about stuff he was interested in/liked/used, was important. milk, bed, chocolate, mummy, daddy, car, home, etc etc.

Making it fun, giving lots of praise/rewards for responding to sign and even more for using it himself.

Teaching the people around him to use it to...

there are lots of resources around, have a look on line, especially Forest Bookshop, (or pm me if that would be useful.)

Good luck and have fun! (using sign was a life saver for us, hence the name grin)

Debs75 Sat 08-Oct-11 16:46:53

Like signandsmile said.

We started using sign alongside speech and ds(asd) picked it up without any formal teaching. DD2(3) signs quite a few things now, she has just picked it up from us and ds.

The more people who sign the better as it will become part of her normal day and not just a mummy or daddy thing.

I was taught it at adult ed and found it hard until ds picked it up. Remembering to use it often helps

osospecial Sat 08-Oct-11 18:13:06

Thanks thats great, do you know where I can get something that shows us what signs are for what please as i have have no idea? like a chart or poster with a few of the basic signs?

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Sat 08-Oct-11 18:22:31

you could try ringing the salt department and ask what system they use in your area, whether it's makaton, sign along or something else, they may well know what courses are running that you may be able to book onto as well. There's plenty of free stuff on the net that will get you going for starters, will have a look for you.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Sat 08-Oct-11 18:37:58

as sign said, forest books is a good place to buy stuff. For freebies there's cbeebies, bsl signs, a bit more bsl, a few more here and some free downloads here and you can learn a sign a day here, should be enough to get started. Chocolate is always a good one to start with grin

WilsonFrickett Sat 08-Oct-11 18:48:07

Also ask your SALT about Hanen courses as there may be one in your area. It's not sign-language but will teach you how to break your sentences right, right down and use other techniques. So for example, you say she doesn't understand 'right DS, it's time to go to the park now'. Hanen would teach you to say 'DS go park?' with lots of stress and engagement, waiting for her to respond to you, etc etc. And of course, you can do that alongside signing if that's helpful for you and her.

Good luck.

osospecial Sat 08-Oct-11 21:57:38

Thanks so much that's great smile

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