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Does anyone else sign with their kids?? - Page 3

post #41 of 47

We love ASL!

I, too, began signing with my kids as infants. With DD I didn't intend to *teach* her, just expose her to my Deaf friends and not make accomodations for her. (I'm a *retired* interpreter, I've been signing myself since age 10, professionally interpreting since 16) At 18 mos, she came to me with a closed mouth and gestured for me to sign to her without speaking She is now pretty fluent at 6. DS was *taught* to sign, as he was soooo frustrated with not being able to speak but had a strong drive to communicate. We started with nurse (I used the baby sign for water), drink, eat, more, all-done, all-gone, cracker, mom, dad, help me (which is actually a fist planted on an open palm and directed to oneself ~ the help described above sounds like the sign for happy??) ... I can't think of the others right now, but it has blossomed to smooth communication with Deaf people and a great way for me to communicate with them in high stress situations without raising my voice
I'll try to describe some of the signs requested:
Mom: "5" hand, thumb on chin
Grandma: move "mom" sign outward
Girl: rub thumb of closed hand down jawline
Dad: "5" hand, thumb on forehead
Grandpa: move "dad" sign outward
Boy: "puppet hand" like you're grabbing the bill of a baseball cap on forehead
(female signs on lower part of face, male on upper)

Happy: open palms on chest in an upward movement (big smile)
Sad: open hands drawn down the face (sad face)
Scared: open hands on chest, shaking inwards (scared face)
Excited: "5" hand with middle fingers pointing inward to chest and hands alternating up, fingers tapping chest (excited face)

The baby signs are examples of how children modify ASL, we should, as adults, model the appropriate ASL sign (if you're teaching this as a language, not necessarily if you're aiding communication temporarily) and the children will modify the sign to their ability ~ they don't have to be perfect! My friend's daughter began signing my children's names (I fingerspell them instead of assigning a name sign) by just wiggling her fingers and pointing, now she gets a few letters in there, as her ability to form them has increased: Hannah now looks like H (wiggle wiggle) N (wiggle wiggle) H, and Hayden is H (wiggle) Y (wiggle) N; before long she'll get all the letters in to duplicate the whole handshape of the word
Heres a great animated dictionary http://www.bconnex.net/~randys/index1.html edited to fix this link
post #42 of 47
Hi Wildflower,

hahamommy has some great explanations. The thumb-on-chin "Mama" sign is one a lot of little babies seem to make naturally. I always have ASL radar going, and I can't tell you how many times I've seen a little baby saying "Mama", then said something about it to the parent, ("Oh, you sign with your baby!") and got a "huh??" reaction. They're usually tickled when I tell them what the baby is "saying," though.

So it's a bit tricky to know when dd started signing, as she was doing the "Mama" sign very early (2 months? 3 months?) but only seemed to have some intention behind it later. Same as a ma-ma-ma-ma babbling baby.

In terms of using emotion signs, she usually does so in retrospect, talking about something that happened. However, being able to talk about it seems to really help her process it. She'll say that she cried, for example, and then explain why she cried. Then big hugs and she seems to feel much better.

hahamommy, yeah, it's great to be able to communicate "secretly" in public situations, too.
post #43 of 47
I began signing to my dd when she turned 7 months old. She signed back at 10 months and never looked back. She turned 18 months yesterday and has about 15 signs she uses consistently and the rest is a combo of speech and sign. We use ASL. My parents were very surprised at how well she is able to communicate her desires and observations. I think signing is an invaluable tool in helping children through the rough period where they want things but cannot express what it is they want. Fewer tantrums. Happier kids. I love it. Plus my DD can easily communicate with hearing impaired people now too. We can communicate silently when we wish to so she can ask to nurse without embarrasment and I can tell her "no" without making a huge scene. We used the Garcia book and The Complete Idiot's Guide to ASL.

post #44 of 47
I'm starting to sign with my nearly-9-month-old. A few questions for you veteran signers:

I've read Baby Signs and SIgn WIth Your Baby, but it doesn't explain:

1. Is there a difference between "all gone" and "all done?" If there is, I know "all gone," but don't know "all done."

2. What is the sign for "nurse?" I can only find the one for "drink."

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
post #45 of 47
I'll do my best to describe the signs:
All done: arms up palms toward body and fling hands outward (ASL sign "finish"); for kids, just arms up and hands waving
All gone: we do flat hand palm up, 2nd hand moves from wrist to fingertips closing, ending in a fist (ASL sign "used up")~ variation: flat hand out from mouth and puff on palm (like *poof* all gone)

We used the baby sign for water to sign nurse: index finger tapping lips ~ the sign for breastfeeding is just as obvious as saying it, nullifying the privacy aspect There are as many signs for this as there are made up words

Oh, I forgot to include crabby (one of our favorite signs) in my list of emotions: "5" hand, palm in front of nose, all five fingers "scratching" into face, as in how your face scrunches when you make the "mad face"

Facial expressions are really important, be sure your face matches your signs, kids will figure it out easily, even if they don't know the exact signs. i.e. question face always has eyebrows raised (it's considered ASL *punctuation*)

We also use ASL numbers for counting, you can begin this easily enough by using two fingers and thumb for three (the only difference 1-5), six is pinky on thumb all the way to nine being index finger on thumb and 10 is just the thumb. (the standard three is either 6 or W ~ my kids correct people regularly )
post #46 of 47

sign for nursing?

I asked this on another thread, but thought I'd ask here as well ...

What sign do you use for nursing? The one suggested for "milk" in BABY SIGNS is like milking a cow, which kind of puts me off as a sign for breastmilk. Any other suggestions?

Edited: Oops, I just saw that someone else had just addressed this above -- but, still, any other suggestions would be welcome. Thanks!
post #47 of 47
For nursing we use this:

hold hand in front of you like you are going to shake someone's hand (hand open, flat, palm facing left or right not up and down, thumb pointing up at the sky). Then curl up your fingers like you are gripping something but keep your thumb pointing up. reapeat opening and closing the fingers

IT's a bit like the milking gesture but I never think of it that way.
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