Teaching my 1 1/2 year old sign language….did you do it ? ?

Well i have a 1 yr 7 month old daughter she is learning to talk the little talk and pull the tantrum with it as well. I can only imagine if she is going to have the terrible 2s…lol.. i hear some get it and some dont..But i am waiting very patiently for it to arrive. In any case i hear that teaching your toddler…

Yes I did do it (to some extent) and yes it did work (to some extent). I actually started with my children at a much younger age (with my son, about 12 months, my daughter at 9 months), which may have produced better results, but it is difficult to tell. My son was having lots of problems with his ears (ear infections, fluid behind the ear drums) which caused him to have some speech delays. We did not teach him sign language because of this, we taught it because we wanted to, but it really helped with the situation. He made the connection at a really early age that actions and symbols stood for something. He was able to communicate his needs immediately once we began teaching him some signs. He got tubes in his ears at around 16 months, and once he could hear normally, he began speaking in full sentences. He started learning his alphabet shortly before age two – a skill that requires a child to understand that a symbol respresents something, which he already had. Phonics came before the age of three, and he learned to read before kindergarten, and not just words, full books. I cannot help but believe teaching him sign language contributed.

For my daughter, she’s just now 16 months, so we have not observed the full benefits, but she was just tickled with herself when she could express her needs and wants at such an early age. She has been saying a few words here and there for the past two months, but she still uses some of her signs exclusively.

As for resources to learn the different signs, they are all over the place, and you should be able to find them without spending any money – internet, local library, childcare centers, even TV. The TV show Blues Clues uses A LOT of signs, you just have to know that is what they are doing because they don’t teach them, Steve and Joe just use them when appropriate. Sometimes you can even find educational videos on your Pay Per View channel on your TV.

As for teaching the signs, start with just one or two signs, and use them everytime you say the word. Use signs/words for familiar routines such as eating, sleeping, and diaper changes. With both my children, we started with eat, drink, more, and all done. Later on, we added help and show me. We tried brother, mom, and dad, but those did not take, probably because there is not “action” involved for the connections to be made. Just use the signs consistently, and and your daughter will catch on.

Good luck.

kids do not need to read at 3 1/2. Let it come naturally/wait until he is in school for the professionals to coach him. For prereading skills, you could work on rhyming and recognizing/reading logos, like Coke. Teach him what sounds the letters make….there is that leap frog thing that goes on the fridge and does all the sounds. Computer games. Read to him a lot, go to the library. When he asks questions, find the answers in books even if you know the answer. Watch the TV shows about reading and see how he picks it up. Do not make it a structured reading time that this is what we have to do sort of thing…..just keep it fun and lighthearted, if he doesn’t want to do it, then don’t worry about it. They kind of start reading on their own when they are ready as long as you provide the background.

Relatives have been very unsupportive to put it mildly, and some have been downright hostile. The pay is pathetic, the students are ungrateful, and you’ll never receive any support from the school administration. Benefits are a joke. These are just some of the statements that have been thrown at me.

My daughter was taught sign language at daycare and I recall one particular night….I was so exhausted, overwhelmed etc…I had already changed, fed and bathed her…what the heck did this child want?!!! She kept doing something with her hands….finally I caught on …she was signing!!!! I couldn’t believe it!! But because I was a “non-believer” I filed the sign language sheet given to me by the daycare….I went searching for it ….she was signing “more”….she wanted more pasta!! I was so surprised and happy. Encourage both words and sign….good luck!!!

No I do not think that would really help out with anything.
But hey, I don’t have a kid, what do I know?
I would have her start on an instrument, so when she gets older she can be a great piano/guitar/bass player!! All of my best friends started at that age, and they are amazing! My friend started at that age and he is the 4th best voilinist in state, and he can play guitar too.
My best friend started at that age, and I have never seen a better drummer/pianist.

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