Well I guess we have been thinking whether or not it is a good idea for Hailey to learn more sign language. On ocassion Hailey sometimes says partial words, for example: When I ask her if she wants to read a book she used to comment “a boo” not totally finishing the word but everybody new what she was trying to say. Earlier on we learned a few words in sign language so that ultimately Hailey’s frustration level would be down a bit and also so we could open up the lines of communication, and to give her more choices. It seems since she has learned the sign for book, she no longer says “a boo”. This causes concern for my family. We have to ask ourselves if this is something we want to continue doing. We do not want her to use sign language INSTEAD of trying to use her voice.
Last night we had Christine come to the house, she taught us the alphabet in sign as well as a lot of different signs that might be helpful to Hailey. It was so much fun to learn (my fingers hurt). She has been working with children who have autism for over 10 years and she also had some great ideas to help with speech development and motor skills as well. Christine did such a wonderful job showing us how to sign and she even let us videotape her so that I could share it with all my blogger friends who have children that have a hard time communicating verbally. I hope that some of you can also benefit from these short clips.
In addition to learning sign I also learned that although we were initially nervous about signing preventing her speech development, research suggests very strongly that this is not the case. In fact the opposite occurs, as signing seems to positively encourage speech development.
Tell me your thoughts about American Sign Language and share your experiences with us.