Thursday, December 1, 2005

a day in the life and some sign language links

today we played in the snow for the first time
hands got cold pretty quick

upon returning in we discover that snow is
in fact

and delicious

they are both wandering around trying to say 'hermana'
and signing up a storm

I highly recommend signing with your child as early as they will pay attention. My mother was a sign language interpreter while I was growing up. I was fluent until age six when I stopped using it. Now, at 23, I've picked it up again in order to communicate with my children. Lyli and Scarleht just turned 19 months today and know upwards of 50 signs apiece. Children can sign long before they can speak and many of the early frustrations of parenthood can be easily bypassed by means of this method of communication. Plus it's fun for you and your child, gets those rusty neural networks tickin' again and has been proven to increase the development of your child in some astonishing ways. Language, critical thinking, problem solving, everything is sped up due to the acquisition of a language at such an early age.

I wish there were better resources out there but this will have to do:

Sign With Your Baby - at least they're Seattle-based, I can't vouch for their business practices other than that but they've put together a decent program. I'd just keep the book and maybe find a few other decent sign language dictionaries and go for it. It's not like you're going to be signing with many deaf people and need to be fluent or precise. It's the principle which counts here and the effects will be the same regardless of the quality. You can even invent signs of your own or better yet listen to your child and let them invent their own. It gets tricky sometimes trying to decode their little twitching hands and so many signs look alike (sorry and please; thank you and hot) but you'll get the hang of it.

God, I've been looking at some of the baby sign websites out there and they look strange! DON'T DO SEE-SIGN I BEG OF YOU. Stick with American Sign Language, here's a basic online video dictionary and here's another one: Handspeak(I haven't investigated the quality very thoroughly). There are also a few forms of international sign but I don't know much about them at all. Please feel free to contact me regarding sign language as I still have many resources available through my mother. Good Luck!

alas, it has been another long day. and i am a tired papa.

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