Starter Signs from Baby Sign Language
My three-year old toddler was diagnosed with Autism this summer. One of his challenges is that he’s non-verbal. He’s three and although he was talking fine at first, around 18 months of age he started to lose words. At the time of his testing he was still saying “mama” and “dada”, today however he doesn’t use any words. One of the things I’ve been doing to communicate with him is trying to learn signs. I received a Baby Sign Language Standard Kit for review and inclusion in my Holiday Gift Guide from Baby Sign Language
After getting his diagnosis my son was enrolled in a pre-school program to get speech therapy as a part of his IEP for his Autism. Within a few weeks I received an email from the teacher saying he was doing the sign for “more”. It’s one of the first signs he learned and so we started using it at home as a way to encourage him to communicate with us, instead of just doing things on his own.
My Baby Sign Language Standard Kit was filled with awesome resources to get us started with teaching and learning baby sign language. While we use out with our non-verbal son, you can use Baby Sign Language with any child to teach them to communicate at an early age. We already knew the sign for more and we use it to encourage my son to ask for more food when he’s eating instead of just grabbing food off of people’s plates. Included in my kit was a Baby Sign Language Quick Start Guide that helped me determine what signs I wanted to start with. I loved the guide, it was so simple and easy to use as a base for learning. You can choose your own pace and decide how you want to use the program that works for you. Here’s some of the other signs I’m teaching our son as starter signs.
Mommy is signed by tapping your thumb on your chin. In ASL female signs are usually below the nose, and male signs above the nose.
Dad is signed by tapping your thumb on your forehead. The signs for mom and dadare similar, however, the mom sign is performed on the chin and the dad sign is performed higher up on the forehead.
Eat looks like you are putting food to your mouth, with you thumb to your fingers. Eatis particularly useful for babies on solids.
All Done is signed by twisting your hands back and forth. It allows baby to tell you they are finished eating (without flinging food).
These are the signs we’ve started using with our son often. The Baby Sign Language Kit also includes a dictionary with lots more signs to learn and a handy poster with signs you use frequently. The poster is on the wall in out living room so the whole family can be reminded of signs they need to use when talking to my son.
About the Baby Sign Language Standard Kit:
The Deluxe Baby Sign Language Kit includes everything you need to get started teaching your baby to sign. The kit includes:
- Flash Cards – 52 sturdy board (4×6 inches) flash cards, covering a variety of basic signs. The flash cards allow you to teach words, such as animal names, that Baby is not exposed to in everyday life. The face of the flash cards shows the word and image for the child. The back of the flash cards show how the sign is performed, a handy reminder for the adult.
- BSL Guide Book – shows you how to teach your child how to sign. The book begins with a Quick Start Guide that will teach you your first signs and having you ready to sign in 30 minutes. As your baby progresses, you can delve into more advanced topics like combining signs to make phrases, using props, and transitioning to speech.
- Signing Dictionary – contains over 600 signs including the most common words, the alphabet and numbers. The dictionary helps you expand your child’s vocabulary, and has the breadth of coverage that lets you follow your child’s interests. Each sign is illustrated with two diagrams, showing you the starting position, the ending position, and intermediate motion.
- Wall Chart – the 24′ x 36′ chart includes 22 basic signs, and makes a handy reminder for caregivers. The Baby Sign Language Wall Chart covers basic signs, like eat, drink, and sleep. Hang the poster in Baby’s Nursery to help babysitters, or other occasional caregivers learn and decode the most commonly used baby signs.
The site also has loads of free resources for families to use, whether you’ve purchased a from them or not. We’ve been enjoying out kit and I’ll be posting more about the different signs we learn. Baby Sign Language has been generous enough to offer a kit as a giveaway. One reader will win their own standard kit. The giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older. Enter via the tool below.