"baby, baby, baby signing time. baby, baby, baby signing time." it's baby signing time! if you've heard this refrain, you know i am talking about Baby Signing Time.
a few months ago, friends we connected with through the local Down syndrome Network recommended that we consider sign language for our daughter. and, specifically, they recommended Baby Signing Time.
we'd already considered it and purchased a slew of signing books and flash cards and all kinds of things i don't know that i've used more than once.
so, one day, my husband announced that he had ordered this series of Baby Signing videos, cards, and books that are for infants to toddlers - they use a combination of videos, song, the written and spoken word, and the actual hand sign for the word for quick and easy learning.
what's the point of sign language you might ask, if your child has receptive and expressive communicative skills and no major hearing impediments? well, i'm no doctor, but as a parent i stand witness to its ability to open a world of pre-verbal expression for both typical and special needs children.
but, at the start, i was skeptical because it seemed like yet another tool to incorporate in our already overflowing toolkit of toys, books, activities, educational, speech, and physical therapy interventions. our (read: little apple cheeks' ) week is so full already, i really couldn't fathom adding more to it.
so, since the videos have arrived, i have somewhat reluctantly turned the TV on and watched the videos with emma on a daily basis. in the past few weeks, i have found my signing vocabulary growing with leaps and bounds which has been fun, but really isn't the point here. more importantly, i have watched emma viewing the videos intently. for some, this may seem pretty obvious that a child is going to watch TV or a video - but emma doesn't watch TV and her only exposure thus far to anything close to a show has been to educational apps on the I-Pad (more on that later) and these Baby Signing Time videos.
and then....yesterday, as i was feeding emma lunch, i learned two things about my daughter.
first, she does hate some food (in so many of my past posts, like let them eat cake, i proudly shared what a versatile eater she is and how she has rarely said no to anything other than sweets; i now stand corrected). i tried to feed her regular couscous (not Israeli Couscous which she loves), but the regular, fine-grain kind, with lots of veggies. well, she hated the texture and spit it out repeatedly.
at which point came lesson number two for me. i asked "more?" (while signing it as well) but she did not respond.
then, when i asked "all done?" she smiled, grabbed one of my thumbs with one of her hands, grabbed my other thumb with her other hand and made the sign (with my hands and hers) for "ALL DONE!"
and, she was.
so, although she isn't quite able to articulate "all done" verbally, she's cognitively understanding what it means and letting me know that she was indeed, all done.