Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ASL - Teach your children well.

Piglet signs "all done."

Piglet signs "fan."

Piglet signs "please."  Just look at his earnest expression!

I'll admit, I was a skeptic about ASL (American Sign Language) and babies.  A couple of years ago when my bestfriend Jess would put her infant daughter's chubby little hands together to teach her the sign for "more" I was like "dude, you are crazy." She'd say "maybe, but I want to try" and we'd have a little laugh over it. Lo and behold a few months later our families were out to dinner and when Miss A wanted more of her mom's pasta, can you guess what she did? She tapped her fists together asking for more. Seriously. I was chagrined. So when it was my turn on the mom merry-go-round, I read tons of material on sign language and the great benefits of teaching it to your child at a very early age. And I mean EARLY. As in starting at two or three months. I have to say, I didn't see the point in "teaching" Piglet anything at that age, I mean, REALLY. The kid was just starting to poop consistently for Pete's sake. Did I really think he was going to tap his hand on his chin saying "momma?" COME ON PEOPLE. Be realistic! Still, I did see the benefits of being able to communicate effectively with Piglet before he could/would verbalize things to me.

So dh and I set on a course to teach our little spawn a little sign language. At first, he was much more diligent at it than I was, but then one day around eight months old, Piglet slapped his hand on his thigh when the dog mosied by. The next day he did the same thing when he saw a picture of a dog on the Cottonelle package.  It was amazing to me. Piglet not only knew the sign for dog, but remembered it. He wasn't just copying us, but signing of his own accord. He GOT IT. And I got it too.  So THAT was what all the fuss was about!

From then on he's been an unstoppable signing machine...from milk, to help, to book, to please, Piglet is quite the savvy little signer. The other day he signed "sleep" and "milk after his bath, so he's starting to put signs together and form very basic sentences. I am thrilled! Though we're not launching into any debates about the economic stimulus plan, Piglet can effectively communicate his needs to us and we can do our best to accommodate him and avoid most meltdowns.

We use this book and this book and we think they're great.

Piglet signs "book"
Piglet signs "car."

Piglet signs "dada."


Anonymous said...

Amazing Piglet. Smart Piglet! Best Piglet ever!
I love him. And I love reading your writings...
xox Mirka

Marketing Mama said...

Isn't it amazing how smart these kiddos are when we give them the tools to tell us? I just love the pictures you posted of piglet and love that you are teaching him ASL. It is sooo much fun and sooo useful! :)

Anonymous said...

How cool! You have such a smart kid. I wrote down you book suggestions just in case I might need them someday. You are so great about sharing great advice. Thanks. -J

Cameron said...

Hmm, I thought I already left a comment on here when I read this last week, but I must've gotten distracted. :) I think it's awesome you're teaching him sign language! I had a friend who taught her daughter ASL and Abbie would get so mad when she'd sign something to someone who didn't know sign language... like, "What the heck is wrong with you, don't you know 'more' when you see it?" So cute. Great job, Mamma! :)