Toddler Signing! Just a couple of words so far, but a lot of help!
by Alicia Rogers
(Colorado Springs, CO)
Since my son was born I wanted to learn how to do some signing (baby sign language) so I could teach him. I've heard for years the benefits of teaching babies sign language to help them communicate before they could speak. Toddler Sign Language Books
However, life happens and by the time he was one I hadn't really taught him much of anything except 'eat', which I used only occasionally.
One afternoon I was doing work on my laptop when he came up to me and out of nowhere did the sign for 'eat'! I was so surprised! My little guy had only seen that sign a few times, but here he was using it all by himself!
Since then we've been slowly trying to add more words to his signing vocabulary. So far we have 'eat' and 'all done' down, and though it's only two words it has helped so much.
No longer does he get extremely upset when he's hungry. He just signs 'eat' and he gets something to eat! And the number of times he has thrown his plate or bowl onto to the floor when he's full is dropping since he can sign when he's full.
This is especially helpful since he's almost two and still has (the typical) limited verbal skills.
I hope as we learn more signs for him to use; that any frustration he feels (trying to tell us something) will lessen even more.
Note from the editor:
Alicia, thank you for sharing such a wonderful and inspiring story!
And you are so right - even learning 2 or 3 signs really helps tremendously! And as you have found out - it's never too late to start teaching your baby or toddler signs.
We have lots of helpful infant and toddler signs at our free baby sign language dictionary (click here) for you and your little darling to use.
You may also feel free to request new signs, which will be placed on this site as soon as we can get them up!
Please keep at it!
Bilingual Signing Books and DVDs
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