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Me again! Is it too late for Signing?

(20 Posts)
Frasersmum123 Fri 30-Jan-09 17:21:41

Sorry - me again!

DS is nearly 2 years and non-verbal. Have I left it too late to try and teach baby signing or sign language, or just anything so that he can communicate what he wants, as this is the main source of both of our troubles.

I dont even know where to start though, any ideas everyone?

Thanks for all your help, its so nice to know there are other people out there that have experienecd the problems we have, and have managed to get over the hurdles that seem to be everywhere just lately.

PeachyBAHonsPRSCertOnRequest Fri 30-Jan-09 17:23:03

Not at all late!

You could google tiny talk or baby sign language for that route, look at the sing & sign or tiny talk cd's or maybe look for Macaton classes?

TotalChaos Fri 30-Jan-09 17:41:35

No, never too late! Is he OK at imitating? As he needs to imitate to sign. The other big alternative method of communication is PECs -(which he wouldn't need imitation for). picture exchange system. If you look at there should be detailed info - to use it as a complete communication system is quite tricky, you are best off doing a course first. Something Special on Cbeebies uses Makaton signing. Or as peachy says the sign and sign DVDs are good (and you can buy at early learning centre or over internet).

Frasersmum123 Fri 30-Jan-09 17:46:03

I dont know how good he is at imitating tbh, I didnt think of that. It took me about three months to teach him to clap when I clap, and now he only does it if I say 'you do it' - trouble is he does it everytime I say it, whether I want him to clap or not, so maybe I am not the worlds best teacher?

TotalChaos Fri 30-Jan-09 17:52:27

ah - it could be he's got the words mixed up - that he associates "you do it" with you wanting him to clap - so assumes "you do it" as meaning "Clap!". e.g at that age DS got muddled up between sad and lamb as there was a sad lamb in teletubbies!!!

2shoes Fri 30-Jan-09 18:21:43

no your not, try getting this
it will give you loads if ideas dd loves it

madwomanintheattic Fri 30-Jan-09 18:48:31

or the makaton one underneath it... (dave benson phillips)

dd2's fave at the time. and ask your hv / slt if there are local makaton classes for parents.

we started about 18 months, but tbh she didn't make any effort for quite a while, and then suddenly did.

2shoes Fri 30-Jan-09 19:18:50

i just thought of the one I linked as she actually talks about the signs and is showing them top the parents.

madwomanintheattic Fri 30-Jan-09 19:26:20

it looks good - i've not seen it before (a bit new grin) and we were only ever 'directed' at the makaton official stuff for pr reasons lol... i think the slt was on commission, but i bought it from amazon to scupper that...

crokky Fri 30-Jan-09 19:39:22

My DS is NT, speech a little behind, but he caught sight of Something Special with Justin on CBeebies aged 2.7 ish. Later on that day, he kept saying "Tumble" so I taped some episodes of something special. He has watched it a lot now (I have lots of taped epsiodes!) and he copies the signs Justin does and it has also helped improve his speech vastly as he talks to Justin. So much so that I am not going to go to HV etc about his speech as I think the improvement is so marked. Anyway he won't watch CBeebies now, he only wants the taped episodes of something special. Justin does Makaton and he is a really good presenter. He repeats the signs and then some children do the signs as well so you see the same sign quite a lot and a toddler may copy this.

TheFirstLiffey Fri 30-Jan-09 19:47:48

I like Makaton, but my son just wouldn't take to it unfortunately.

I was frantically signing "Milk? or Juice?" and he just had his back to me, head in the fridge, helping himself.

We're doing PECs now. Not sure if he'll take to that either really.

PeachyBAHonsPRSCertOnRequest Fri 30-Jan-09 19:56:33

WE're taking the baby to tiny tal classes actually- and if you do it that way not signing wouldnt matter, still great fun tbh

stillsuchamess Fri 30-Jan-09 20:38:37

DS1 now 6yrs old is almost non verbal and I started signing with him when he was 3.

My DCs love Justin, Dave Benson Philips but my DS1's ( has Global developmental delay) current craze is watching Sasha on the sing and sign dvds. I found them irritating to start with but the singing is fun & she uses lots of signs.

Until recently he didn't imitate and for this reason I think he didn't start to use signs himself, however I have absolutely no doubt that signing has helped his understanding of what I am saying.

We have also used PECS and a 'talkboard'. It's probably against all the rules to rotate around different things, but I have to go with whatever he is motivated to use and that seems to change every few months!

Also, how is you DS's attention? it made a big difference to us when the SALT who assessed DS pointed out how underdeveloped his attention was & I was able to work on making sure I had his attention before trying to communicate, sounds simple & obvious but made a difference to us.

Phoenix4725 Sat 31-Jan-09 06:59:59

sont give up on the makaton I signed to my non verbak ds from just under 2yers old and he never even attempted to sign back , but finlly st month after 18 months of signing hes has satrted signing back grin now signs more,eat, drink , car, train , teddy, biscuit , tree,and cake and dog, though lol he has pigeon formed it due to his motor control but its there and he will use them now when he wants oh and at 31/2 hes still totaly non verbal


i found ssigning juice or milkconfused him so we went with justdrink nd eat if was hungry

Phoenix4725 Sat 31-Jan-09 07:37:45

and yes he did and does stil have problms with copying is better t home than nursery oy where ever lots of people ,noises etc

TinySocks Sat 31-Jan-09 10:29:11

Yes, yes, yes please go ahead with signing. Really worthed.

The DVDs I first used with DS are the SING & SIGN, which he loves and were the only thing he would watch for over a year. I would recommend you start with these because the key is to look at the same sign over and over again until it sticks. Also the signes used here are very simple and relevant to a child who is just starting.

Now we watch Something Special with Justin (I love him!), DS will not miss an episode of it.

My advice would be:
1- Be VERY consistant (use the sign every single time).
2- Be VERY patient (it takes time but it happens eventually, it took DS about 10 months to start copying the signs).

Problems I have found:
1- Some signs are too complex for children with motor skills problems (like my DS) and imitation/attention problems (like my DS). I therefore used an approximation if necessary.

2- It is frustrating that signs differ from one source to the next. For example: the SING&SIGN lady uses a completely different ssign for PURPLE than Justine. (countless examples like these).

MarmadukeScarlet Sat 31-Jan-09 10:37:07

Agree Pheonix, we just did drink and eat too.

I am biased (as training to be a Makaton teacher!) but would go with the Makaton based signs everytime, as Tinysocks says Sing and Sign is different.

It is very important to say the word and not just sign.

I started Makaton with my DS when he was 20mths. He is now 4.5 and I no longer sign with him routinely as his speech has developed faster than he or I can sign. I use it for situations where there is much distraction, as a secondary form of communication. (Which is causing a problem with my training as I cannot now remember some signs from lack of practice)

misscutandstick Sat 31-Jan-09 11:36:27

i agree with others, definately give it a go.

We sign with DS5 (2.8y, non-verbal) who has little understanding either, but it really does seem to help that too!

You are going to have to gie it time as the others have said, DS5 didnt sign anything at all back until a year later - even now its nothing actually useful yet (still just comments like 'tree', 'train' or 'car', rather than requesting). But we are hopeful it will happen!

Good luck!

misscutandstick Sat 31-Jan-09 11:38:40

ooh forgot to mention i do have stages 1-9 makaton if you want a copy of it, just email me: misscutandstickatyahoodotcodotuk

TooMuchTV Sat 31-Jan-09 15:08:22

dd has only three words at 2.2 but about a dozen makaton signs learnt in the last couple of months - she loves being able to communicate what she wants. speech therapist suggested not trying to learn too many at once.

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