Sunday, May 3, 2009
When Wyatt was around 6 months we started signing with him, because it can be extremely helpful to be able to communicate with a pre-verbal baby. It reduces tantrums and frustration, it gives them a way to make their needs known, and it has a positive impact on their future vocabulary and language skills. We found all of that to be true, and while we still loved watching our Signing Time DVDs and learning new signs all the time, we stopped using most of our signs around 1 1/2 years, because he was talking in sentences and there was very little that he couldn't tell us with his voice. I'll never forget when I realized how well he could put a sentence together. I heard him wake up through the monitor and he called for me, just once. As I was getting my legs out of bed to go get him, (all of about 30 seconds), I heard him heave a big sigh and say "My mommy doesn't wanna come get me outta my crib" (Talk about patience, lol).
Well, Dawson is a completely different story... at 19 months, he has less than 10 words that can be understood without any context to decipher them. BUT, thanks to the 55+ signs that he can use (and he learns more almost every day), he still has a way to get his point across and let us know what he really wants to say. That's not to say he doesn't have tantrums... it's just that the tantrums are mostly just because he doesn't always like my answer. They are rarely based on frustration of not being understood. His developmental specialist is VERY glad that we sign with him, since, thanks to months of colds and fluids in his ears, he's fallen behind a bit on some development areas that require full listening skills. (For those who don't know us, he was born at 33 1/2 weeks, 2lbs 10 oz IUGR, and has been mostly healthy and on target, except for size. The fluid in his ears is unrelated, and would've gone unnoticed if he wasn't being followed "just in case"). So, signing has definitely had a noticable impact on our lives, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share it with my kiddos :)