Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby Sign Language: My personal experience

Way before Connor was born, I had read about baby sign language. It's basically the same signs the hearing-impaired learn. The reason behind teaching a baby to sign is that they can usually gain control of their hands long before they can speak and string words together. So if they can sign, it helps them communicate and express their needs and eliminates a lot of frustration for both the parent and baby. Can you imagine if you were a baby and wanted the cracker but Mummy keeps handing you the pacifier instead? Damn sien right?

So I was determined to teach Connor sign language. I bought the DVDs, the books and learnt some signs. Unfortunately Connor showed zero interest. He would only ever sign "fish" when we were in the supermarket but that was about it.

Lately however, we've seen a LOT of progress. It's like a light bulb has suddenly switched on in his brain and he realises that he can actually "talk" to me and get what he wants with these silly hand signals Mummy has been trying to teach him since he was just a few months old. While it used to take endless repetitions to teach him a sign, now all I have to do is demonstrate it a few times in the correct context, help him make the correct sign with his hands and he will use it the next time.

It's terribly funny when he's excited or agitated and wants me to respond quickly and gets all his signs mixed up in his excitement. LOL Like yesterday when the horn had fallen off his trike for the zillionth time and he was so upset. He was signing "help" furiously to me but I was slow to react and that upset him even more. So he started calling for me and like a typical male, couldn't multi-task, and mixed up his signs. LOL

I did stop teaching signs a while because it seemed to me Connor wasn't learning anything. But I'm glad I did it again because we're now seeing the results. The only problem now is I have to teach Dear Hubby the signs as well because Connor gets REALLY mad signing to clueless Daddy. LOL


  1. Haha but does this impair learning how to talk? Or slow it down? Just curious - no tyke to teach for now :P

  2. PB: Apparently when the little tyke finally learns how to speak, he'll ditch the signs since it's easier to speak than sign (for a hearing child). He's just learnt how to sign "please".... now to teach "thank you". I want my son to mind his P's and Q's!

  3. Ahh that makes sense! And yes we need some more polite children around! Gotta catch up with ya soon!