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It's probably odd to be starting "baby signing" when your kids are 3 and 2, but hey, that's just how I roll I'm Kel, a soon-to-be SAHM (my last day of work is July 30), and part of what I want to start doing more of once I'm done working (and am starting a little now) is signing with my kids. I'd also been curious and interested in baby sign, but working full time with a daycare that doesn't sign, it just didn't really work because there wasn't a whole lot of reinforcement. I can fix that now!
My reason for signing is that my 2 year old, Danny, is deaf. Now, an immediate reaction is probably to wonder why on earth we haven't been signing for the past 2 years, but we opted to also pursue speech and language with him using cochlear implants. In our opinion, allowing our son to learn to speak and listen as well as learn to sign will give him the most opportunity in life, as he will be able to choose for himself if he wanted to be oral, manual, or both. He was also born with a virus that landed him in the NICU for 2 months, and we have spent the past 2 years in physical and occupational therapy to overcome the developmental delays and low muscle tone that resulted from his being sick. We are finally starting to graduate out of most therapies, and I'm really excited to start this new journey with him!
So bear with me, ladies! I am a total newb to baby sign and have NO idea what I'm doing, but I hope to pick up some great ideas, tips, tricks, and techniques to help us all learn. We will be using ASL, not baby signs, since our goal is to use sign as a tool for the rest of our lives. Even with cochlear implants, Danny is still deaf, and he can't hear at all without them. We hope to use ASL to communicate when we're doing water play (bath time, swimming, sprinklers, etc) and after bed time (since he does not sleep with them), as well as in general while he is still learning to communicate verbally.
(The only thing I have no idea about yet is how on earth I'm going to tackle ASL grammar...thankfully I think I have a few years before we start cobbling sentences together in sign, LOL! I do have this image in my head, though, of my boys a few years from now, sharing a room and signing late into the night with DH and I yelling at them to turn the lights off and go to sleep, and hope to make it come true.)
I don't normally post here but lurk occasionally. I've seen you post in other places on JM so I was familiar with Danny's story. I didn't realize that you guys weren't already signing.
I'd suggest checking into your local colleges. Some of them offer courses in sign language. It's a bit of a pricey way to learn but it is effective since you get to practice with other people. ASL is more than just using your hands. It can often rely on facial expression as well. Plus it's something that you'll use for the rest of his life so if it's possible it would be worth it.
Hi! I think its great that you are going to be starting. Does your hospital offer ASL classes? Or maybe somewhere else in the community since your LO is deaf, they may offer it to you for a discounted price.
Good luck learning it. I can't do sentences but I have had fun learning the signs with Bella, so I am sure you will too!