Sign language…it is a great way of communication for non-speakers or speakers. It’ has been something I had always wanted to do with my children because I see the positive gains from it. I was first introduced to it by my sister in law when she started teaching my nephew. Even though, he only knew a few signs; babysitting him was an easier task since I knew what he wanted at times. So when I had Ansen, I was set to teach him also. Starting at 6 months, I have been teaching Ansen some simple signs such as “please, more and all done”. At this age, I feel it’s only necessary to teach him the basics so that we can understand each other a little more until he speaks. He caught on really fast within a week of mimicking my actions. It’s truly amazing how intelligent infants can be. However, it did take him 1-2 months to fully grasp the meaning and only do it when that is what he is trying to say and not by instruction.
For “please”, you take your right hand and pat it over your heart a few times. For “more”, you scrunch up your fingers from each hand, bring together then separate and repeat.
Now, he does it all by himself and it’s very rewarding to see him do it on his own. Any time he wants more food or snacks or even if he wants to go somewhere, he’ll sign please to take him there. It can be used for many reasons and that’s why I love it because it leaves little room for frustration. For the most part, I have received a lot of support and positive comments from family and friends. Babies are really smart and it takes a lot of time and patience to succeed at it. Now that Ansen is 1, I plan to teach him more signs such as: thank you, potty and eat. I don’t have a need to teach him more than that because his vocabulary is growing and his pointer finger does a pretty good job of letting us know what he wants also.
It does take time, patience and practice so good luck!