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About 2 weeks ago Nolan started to point his index finger into his open palm. This now seems to have virtually replaced his sign for "please" (which was really just another way of saying " Do what I want you to do") Nolan's only other sign was/is " More" It seems odd that he would invent a sign but children invent their own verbal words too right? Anyone else out there have a similar experience?
 

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Yeah, my son invented a few signs when he was signing (about 11-18 months); they are all gone now though at 21 months(replaced with words! very exciting!).

He had one for "waiting", banging fists together, and "driving" doing a steering wheel type motions, and he invented his own for "drink" and "cat" and a couple others, I forget now. He also had close to 40 of the by the book signs. Signing is cool! we loved it.

Jenn
 

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My DD Abby brushes her hands together, as if brushing away crumbs, for "all gone." We taught her that (or she saw DH doing it, anyway) but she uses the same sign for "alligator." We figure she thinks it must be "allgone-agator"


Both DDs extended their sign for "get down" (finger pointing insistently at ground) for both down and up, and then to indicate any kind of "stuckness", be it in a carseat, stroller, cart, etc, or even if a dress/shoe/coat wouldn't come off.

Phoebe

-----------------------
Phoebe Gleeson
Mom to:
Faith (3/00), Abaigeal (6/01), and Bede (3/03)
 

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We started with a few signs and Dd took off with making her own. We think that once she figured out there was a nonverbal method of communication, she decided to make as much use of it as possible. The hardest part is when she has to teach us a new sign!
 

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DD invented her own sign for swing. One day she wanted to go swing and made the sound "sssiiissshhh" and swung her arms back and forth. She still does this! It's kinda cute.

We think she's doinga a sign for throw now. Dh was throwing a ball around the other day w/ her and she kept doing ball and then moving her arm up and down. So?

I love signing so much w/ her. It really has helped her be more calm and communicate her needs more effectively.
 

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Jackson has the sweetest sign he invented for 'love' - he puts one hand on his chest (kind of over his heart) and pats it with the other one.

He pats his head for 'hat'. Might even be the official sign, but we didn't teach it to him.
 

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When dd was born I took 'Baby Signs' out of the lib but never really did anything with it----then a couple months ago dd started to sign when she wanted to eat solid food by pointing her index finger at her palm ( which I think is actually the sign for 'more') she kinda says "mmmmuumm" while she is doing it. She points at her boobs when she wants to breastfeed and says "BOOOOOB" and last night she wanted her toothbrush while she was in the tub and showed me by using her index finger like a toothbrush in front of her mouth. Its pretty cool.

I forgot that when she wants to take a bath she rubs one arm with her other hand---she got that from a book we have that has a line in it "they take a bath in one big tub with soap all over scrub scrub scrub"

Theres probably more this thread is making me think I really need to write them down so I can remember when she is older.

edited to add about the bath
 

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My daughter invented many signs. I've forgotten what most of them were now, but at 20 months she had about 22 signs, most of them her own invention. She also generalized from signs that she already knew to express more than one concept with the same sign. For example, her sign for "more" also meant "Don't stop, I'm having fun!"
 

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Aw. Lots of creative kids!

One thing I wanted to get in there -- while there is certainly nothing wrong with made-up signs ("home signs"), and a lot that is great about it, it is not the equivalent to ASL. ASL signs have liguistic commonalities, the manual equivalent of phonemes (the building blocks of language), and lots of other good linguistic stuff that has been shown to aid in general language development.

(meister, that's the sign for "show" or "show me." That's also the "real" sign for toothbrush, though!

Phoebe, the sign for "stuck" is to make a V or peace sign
and then gently bounce it against against your larynx (or a bit higher). That with an appropriate expression (brows furrowed.) That was one of my dd's first signs and she used it a lot! (Still does.)
 

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Hi. I am very interested in your responses. I've just begun signing with my ds (born 8-25-02) and I am very excited about this non-verbal communication. I think humans are incredible!...especially little humans. I am wondering if any of your children continued signing even after they began talking. Have any of you continued teaching sign language as a second or third language? I don't mean to overshadow the main topic of this thread, but I am very curious.

Thanks,
nappyhair
 

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That is great! Are you also bilingual? Was it conscious on your part that your daughter be bilingual? Why do some children stop signing once they begin speaking? Do any of you know? Is it because some parents encourage speaking over signing? I am really curious because I just began teaching my son his first signs and I am thrilled to be learning ASL right along with him. Since we speak Swahili and English at home, I think signing is a wonderful way for him to be trilingual.

My friend's son just "took off" with signing the other day. He is about 14 months old. She said he creates variations of signs she has taught him.

I think it is wonderful that children begin creating their own signs. Getting your point across is the point of communication. I will definitely encourage my ds to create his own.

I like this thread a lot.
 

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One thing I find really interesting, mentioned briefly above, is Dd's understanding of context. My mother, who reads to her a lot when I'm working, was worried about confusing her with the bark of a tree vs. the bark of a dog.

But Dd will use the same sign for different things, and it's clear what she means from the context. Like pillow and phone, both hand to the cheek. Lots of other examples my tired brain can't fathom right now. But I think it's really interesting to see that part of language develop.
 

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My now two-year-old began signing his sister's name with arms and elbows perpendicular with wrists and hands turned inward and held limply to signify her name. No one taught him to sign. There are/were others. He is becoming more verbal now. Sooo cute.
 

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Hi nappyhair,

Yep, I'm bilingual too, since before dd -- I became deaf as a teenager. English is my first language, ASL my second.

I think (hearing children of hearing parents) are most motivated to sign when that is THE way for them to communicate. When they can communicate as easily or even more easily by talking, there is less motivation to sign.

I do lipread, and my husband is hearing, so my daughter speaks a great deal. (Today at dinner she said, "I want a pet, but not an ordinary pet... I want a cat with beautiful long white fur." -- word for word transcription.
) I am in a tricky stage now where I don't want to pressure her to sign, but do prefer that she signs more than she currently does. The main thing that I've found helps is to sign MYSELF as often as possible, especially in fun ways like storytelling or having "secret" conversations at a restaurant.

That's so cool that your kids might be tri-lingual!


Very brief rant which I already mostly covered in the above post -- it took so long for ASL to be recognized as a real language, and in that context it makes me wince a little bit when it as seen as interchangeable with homesigns (made-up signs.) One is a language, a real language, one is not. That doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with home signs, really, just that they are another kettle of fish.
 

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I just want to say that I completely agree with you, Sozobe, that ASL and home signs should not be perceived as being interchangeable because they are not. I understand why you emphasize the difference and feel it should be emphasized.

I think you have chosen wonderful and fun ways of encouraging your daughter to sign.

Multilingualism is awesome!

Peace and blessings,
nappyhair
 

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Yes the sign you mentioned sounds like the one my first ds made up for coloring. Open palm and use index finger of other hand to imitate a pencil/crayon drawing on the paper(open Palm) Let me tell you this took several weeks to figure out what he was "signing" of course when we figured it out it was major "DUH" moment!

Also at the same time he made another sign using the same open palm and same index finger only the index finger was laying horizontal and moving across palm. This one he wanted bread/bagel--open palm with butter/jam/peanut butter---index finger moving as if a knife spreading butter over bread.

My kids have both made up other sign totally on their own, but these have remained constant and ds#2 now also uses them!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sozobe
Very brief rant which I already mostly covered in the above post -- it took so long for ASL to be recognized as a real language, and in that context it makes me wince a little bit when it as seen as interchangeable with homesigns (made-up signs.) One is a language, a real language, one is not. That doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with home signs, really, just that they are another kettle of fish.
Good point, thanks for making it!
 

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Sozobe, thanks for saying this about ASL! We have a few home-signs at our house from the days before I got busy and learned the ASL words I wanted to teach and use, but we use mostly ASL words.

I think another benefit of using ASL is that we are not just transmitting the skills of learning another language or the concept of alternative communication, but teaching our children a language that is useful in the outside world. I am hoping that when Meg meets my cousin's family (all fluent signers) later this summer, she will be able to sign with them a little, and that when she meets signing people later in her life, she may be able to communicate a bit with them. Wouldn't that be wonderful? She will never be fluent under my tutelage
: but any little step toward better communication in this world is a good step!


Quote:
Today at dinner she said, "I want a pet, but not an ordinary pet... I want a cat with beautiful long white fur."
:LOL Your daughter is certainly not an ordinary daughter, either.


warmly,
Kam, mama to Meg
 

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Yes! She "taught" me signs for:
ball
bath
play
Jim (man with a beard)
Maggie (a cat)
I don't know
lotion
crayon
no more

and probably a few more that I can't think of right now.

She knows about 50 signs so far. I quit teaching them to her once she started talking like crazy. I should probably keep it up - it's so much fun.
 
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