Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bonus Good

Sean has been making the sign for milk all evening long! He did it this morning, but I couldn't be sure if it was a fluke.

It isn't! He is nursing and signing and grinning all at the same time. He is so delighted with himself--you can really tell that he's made a connection.

The human brain is an amazing thing.


Amy said...

That's a major good! We did sign language with Sam, too. Did you do it with the other kids? Do they still sign?

You had a good day!

Monica said...

Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! That is so cool! I would love to learn more about that! References?

brendan said...

"The human brain is an amazing thing."

The human breast ain't bad either. AND there are TWO.

Rational Jenn said...

Yes, we signed with the other kids, too. I didn't learn about it until Ryan was about 10 months or so, but he figured it out quickly. Morgan did her first sign (milk) at about 6-7 months, too. Sean is 7 months, 1 week old.

Monica--I think the book I first used with Ryan is called "Sign with your Baby" or similar. Amy--what did you use? I don't even need my book anymore--might have got rid of it. But if you google "baby signs" you'll find lots of resources.

It's so amazing how early they can learn this stuff. No, he is not conceptual yet--he wouldn't be able to see another baby nursing and make the connection "milk", but he is beginning to name things. Which is the first step. He knows his name now, and I think he knows "Mama." And possibly Ryan and Morgan.

He knows these names--really, just a few months ago, he didn't even know he had hands! But even though he recognizes the sounds, he lacks the ability to use his mouth and tongue and throat to produce the sounds himself. However--he can open and close his hand--the "milk" sign, or a good approximation thereof.

I know that some people think it's not necessary--and I suppose it isn't necessary to teach the kids to sign. I look at it as, why not give them a way to communicate while they're working on that whole mouth-tongue-throat skill? We teach them to wave bye-bye--why not "milk?"

Ryan and Morgan each amassed a Sign Language vocabulary (we preferred to use real ASL signs) of about 4 dozen words by about 18-24 months. As they got better at talking (which was very early, for both of them), the signs kind of naturally went by the wayside.

I don't think they remember the signs anymore--but they both got a kick out of watching Sean, and I suspect they will love communicating with him in sign language! The next sign: Eat!

Rational Jenn said...

Brendan--Sweetie--I don't know what to say. I'm glad you're a fan!

Amy said...

We used the same book: Sign with your Baby by Joseph Garcia. We also got the Signing Time videos, which were fun and had nice music. It was good for Sam to see other kids signing.
And there is also this awesome ASL reference on the web with videos showing the signs:
It even has a subset dictionary of common signs for babies. I used that a lot.

And now, I'm going to remind myself how to do an HTML tag for a hyperlink so I don't have to include the ugly url's in comments anymore. Sorry about that

Monica said...

Awesome! I've forwarded this info to a few friends with very young babies.

Incidentally, I agree that it's probably not "necessary" but it seems like it sure as heck makes life a whole lot easier for the parent!!!!

Miranda Lake Barzey said...

I've just gotten into your blog and would love to read more about your experiences with signing with your kids. I'm in an ASL 2 class at college, and while I obviously don't have kids (or are planning to have any soon), I've become interested in early language exposure. (I've heard infants can sign as early as 6 months old! Hoe cool!)
My own dad used to speak to me in Spanish from birth till about kindergarten, and I think it's had an effect on my language abilities later in life. I pick up language and pronunciation pretty well. Have you noticed anything like that in your own kids or others?