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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 22 month old DD doesn't talk very much. She probably has ten or less words that she uses consistently...honestly, she mostly just says "mama" and "more" and gestures and says "uh" when she wants something.<br><br>
My son was also a late talker (athough not quite this late), and at age 4 is an amazing communicator. So, my DH and other wonderful well meaning family members tell me that I am worried for nothing...but I am worried. We are going on vacation in a few weeks, and after we return home, I am thinking that I will have her evaluated (unless she really turns around b/t now and then).<br><br>
With my son, we did some signing, and it seemed to serve us well. I didn't sign w/ my DD from an early age, and now I wish I had. I have the book Baby Signs, and I would really like to start using signs with her now, to reduce our frustration in communication, for her and for me. Does anyone have experience in starting baby signs with an almost 2 yr old? At this point, is it a bad idea, i.e. will learning signs make her even less likely to speak?<br><br>
Sorry to go on and on, I am kind of discouraged about this today. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I'd call now for the evaluation. Let them know you are going on vacation and give them the dates, but there is typically a waiting list, and the sooner you call the sooner they will be able to test her.<br><br>
Signing will absolutely not keep her from talking. Research (and personal experience) show that signs actually help children who are having trouble communicate and talk sooner rather than harm them. By 22 months, a kid who isn't communicating well may be used to being frustrated by trying to get her point across, and having anything to help with that will help set up a positive pattern of interaction. Signing will help set up skills that can lead to speaking. If she does end up getting intervention, they may use sign with her as well.<br><br>
I can so sympathize about the family members who say it's nothing. I kept hearing the "Einstein didn't talk till he was 4" and "My cousin started talking in full sentences at 3" and "Kids develop at their own rate." The general rule is that if you are worried about it, it's worth looking into. I would tell dh that it can't hurt to see how she is doing, and that even if she does need therapy, it is best to start it now, when she is so young.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> It's so hard to be worried about your child, especially when everyone else is telling you it's nothing. Good luck.
 

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Hugs mama...I agree. If you're worried then call for an eval. It may be nothing, but if your "mama sense" is tingling then it can't hurt to have someone take a look.<br><br>
Maybe see if your local library has any of the Signing Times videos/dvds? They teach ASL in a fun/fast/child appropriate way.
 

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rubygirl, I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters. At the very least an evaluation will provide a baseline so that a problem can be identified early upon re-evaluation. There are also some ASL browsers that come in handy as the Baby Signs book contains a limited vocabulary list.<br><br>
I have been signing with both of my children since they were newborns and it really did wonders to get them through that phase of frustration from being unable to vocalise. My older son still signs to me and his brother and learns new signs on his own. If your child is slow to vocalise, signing will bridge that gap. Good luck and have fun, it really is.<br><br>
SM
 

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My nephew is speech delayed (as a number of children in my family are -- me included). My sister got him evaluated a few months after he turned two and was offered speech therapy. His speech therapist recommends that speech delayed children learn signs, especially to prevent frustration and subsequent behavior problems. He took off with them and uses "please", "help", "thank you" and a few others that he just wasn't able to communicate before without the signs. It helped reveal that he is able to communicate in multiple word sentences, just not with words. My sister is very grateful for introducing signs to him (and for the speech therapist that recommended it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I will call our early intervention and inquire about an eval. We are signing a few basic things with her and she seems to be noticing...I really want her to be able to communicate with us w/o pressure. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Thanks so much to all who responded with advice and encouragement...I appreciate your wisdom!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug">
 

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My son was speech delayed. He was showing signs of it as early as 15 months and thats when we got him evaluated. He started talking around 2 1/2 years but didn't really get to the point where you could understand him until about 3 or 3 1/2. He's still in speech therapy but he loves it.<br><br>
We taught him sign on our own and then the speech therapist recommended we teach him sign, we were so ahead of the game<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
By the time my son was talking he could sign over 50 words and it really helped get rid of his frustrations. He even knew his colors, please and thank you, activities, foods...it was so great.<br><br>
I think it is important to evaluate early and get him some help. If you contact Early Intervention they come to your house, evaluate him and then determine if he qualifies for their services. In Pennsylvania the kids switch from Early Intervention to the IU. They have been great and we haven't paid for any of it, its all available free of charge.
 

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Just to add, ASL is a valid language and there's no age that's "too late" to start teaching them. But what has worked great for us is the Signing Time DVDs (the regular series, not the Baby one which isn't as good). In addition to having her evaluated, I'd look into getting the DVDs if you can (some libraries have them for rental). They have worked wonders for us and I can't recommend them highly enough!<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I know I've heard good things about the dvd's but I am not sold on tv being a good way to teach our little ones. I found that the easiest thing to do was to teach through out the day. Pick a couple of signs for you and your DP to learn and then use them all the time when you talk to your dc.<br><br>
For example, words like milk, all done, more, eat, play and read are all used a lot in our day. We would say "Are you all done or do you want more?" and use the signs for all done and more at the appropriate times. When he is trying to get down from his high chair you can say "oh, you're all done" and use the sign. Before you nurse him say "you want milk" and sign milk...you get the idea. Just make it an all day thing with no pressure and before you know it he'll be signing back to you.<br><br>
This is a biggie, because you want to use sign to allow him to communicate but you still want to encourage spoken communication make sure YOU always use the sign AND the spoken word.<br><br>
Sign language is so great for the little ones who are speech delayed!
 

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I replied to another similar thread recently, and thought I'd written some of the suggestions here that I had left there (did that make any sense? I forgot to write a comment b/c I'd already written it for someone else.)<br><br>
Anyway, there are some things you can do now, on your own, to help with language, in addition to signing. I've always heard that it's good to repeat words often, even if it is a word the toddler knows. Think of learning a foreign language - you understand it before you speak it. Your toddler needs to hear and practice words a lot before becoming fluent in English. This might mean something like saying "You want crackers? Here's your crackers! Yummy crackers!" Talk a lot about what is going on right that second - eating, playing etc.<br><br>
Give choices verbally - it's a lot easier to answer Do you want crackers or apples? than 'What do you want?' Show her what the choices are - hold up the apples and the crackers. If she doesn't repeat a word or make a sound after you ask, that's OK, see if she will point. Once she chooses, start that repetitive narration using similar words again and again. This takes some pressure off while empowering her - she can make a choice using communication skills she already has.<br><br>
Hope that helps!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>milkmamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9010945"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know I've heard good things about the dvd's but I am not sold on tv being a good way to teach our little ones. I found that the easiest thing to do was to teach through out the day. Pick a couple of signs for you and your DP to learn and then use them all the time when you talk to your dc.</div>
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We were very anti-TV, and tried teaching our child ASL for many months -- diligently, but she just didn't seem to get it. And in our case, the Signing Time DVDs helped *us* as much as her. They made it very easy for us to remember and learn the signs and help teach them to our child. She was learning not just from watching the DVD, but from interacting with us too.<br><br>
I'm not trying to suggest anyone here plop your child in front of the TV -- we interact with our child and the video, and she interacts with us while watching it as well.<br><br>
I don't want to suggest any parents use the TV as a babysitter or whatever, and I totally understand being anti-TV, but wanted to say that for us, making the exception for Signing Time has been a very good choice. I recommend to the OP to check out the video first and then decide if you want to let your almost two-year-old watch it <i>with</i> you.<br><br>
There's a difference between letting the TV "teach" your child something (which to me implies no human interaction), and you teaching your child, with the DVDs re-affirming, if that makes sense. I think in our case at least, letting Guinevere watch the DVDs with us was <i>very</i> helpful, because it shows little kids signing -- she's an only child and not around other children very often, so that seemed to be very helpful for us. That may not be the casefor other people's kids. It has been for us, though.<br><br>
Obviously, everyone should do what s/he's most comfortable with! Before we watched the DVDs, we were not comfy with any TV at all for our child. We made the exception though once we realized she wasn't making the connection with us signing with her, so after we watched the first ST we let her watch it with us, and have no regrets at all. She doesn't watch any other TV (we tried Sesame Street once but she wasn't interested), and we limit how much of the DVDs she watches.<br><br>
But FWIW, our nearly 17 month old now uses signs for nearly 100 words. She's not very verbal at all, so we're <b>very</b> thankful for Signing Time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> We started letting her watch the first one around 11 months (with us, always). And we now have like 7 of the DVDs. She loves them all and so do we. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Good luck, and if you decide to stick with books, that's fine! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But I do believe it's possible to use the TV to reinforce teaching a child sign language, as long as you're careful and interacting, and comfortable with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I like the suggestion of the Signing Time DVDs. I think we see if our library carries them.<br>
We started with the signs for eat and drink today. DH did a great job with it, and DS was so sweet to get involved. DD smiled at us a lot and watched very intently. A few times she put her little hand up to her mouth as if to sort of mimic the sign. It is definitely a start. Thanks again mamas!
 

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My kids love the Baby Signing Times videos. It is the one type of tv/dvd that I highly recommend. I had been doing signs forever but after watching the videos once they picked up several signs plus a few new words. I think there was something about seeing other "babies" doing it that was more powerful than seeing mom doing. Plus the woman in videos is great. She started making the videos because her DD is deaf. I also got the CDs so I put the music on and we dance around and do the signs without having to watch more tv.
 

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Since I haven't seen anyone recommend it, I wanted to mention "Signing Smart for Babies and Toddlers" by Michelle E. Anthony and Reyna Lindert. THis wonderful book has the signs and also describes a sign teaching method, and it also includes games and songs to help teach your baby signs. We have been working with our DD since she was about 4 months, and she now has a sign vocabulary of about 25-30 signs, and learns new ones really quickly. It is so much FUN!<br><br>
Good luck!
 
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