Some of you have asked what I'm using or how I've learned sign language. I've always been fascinated by sign language and have taken classes a few times in my life. That said - since I never used it, I never really remembered it. Just before we brought Alex home, I asked around to see what people were using. The "Signing Time" series came highly recommended - and I also HIGHLY recommend it. You can find it on amazon - or you can purchase them from their website. www.signingtime.com
I would suggest starting with the Baby Signing Time DVDs (there are two). We started right in with the regular Signing Time series (we have the first 3 volumes) but the Baby Signing Time is better for 2 years old and younger.
We've been watching the DVDs with Alex since we brought him home. It was VERY early for him to start sign language, but Jay and I started picking it up. I then just signed when I was talking (if I said words that I knew). It took 4 months (he was 9 1/2 months old) before he signed anything back to us, and it's really been the last 2-3 months that he's really taken off.
If you have a DVR, you may also want to search for Signing Time. 30 minute programs of Signing Time is now being shown on our local PBS station at 5:30 am on Sundays. We've been Tivoing them so now we have LOTS more episodes. I also look up certain signs on the internet if there is a word that we want to work on.
It's also never to late to start. My two girlfriends started doing signing with their kids when they were 13 and 18 months and they picked it up REALLY quickly.
And about the talking stuff - studies have shown that kids that sign don't speak any later than their non-signing peers. (some studies say they speak earlier, but there is some controversy around those) I don't think that signing has "stunted" Alex's speaking - in fact - I think it has enhanced his language skills.
If anyone has any other questions about signing - please email me and I'll be happy to talk to you about it. email@example.com
(and Lori - you can borrow the DVDs!!)
My mom suggested that I document all of the words that Alex is signing now. So, here it is. (in no particular order and the ones marked with an asterisks are the ones that he does on a consistent basis)
potty (he does it when mommy is going potty!!)
(ok - so I thought he had more signs than this!! Jay and I can't think of any more!!)
Alex also said his first word tonight. He picked up his empty bottle - looked at Jay and said more. I didn't really hear it - Jay got excited. I asked Alex what he wanted and he looked at me and said "more" He then signed more, milk, please. :)
I have lots of pictures from Fancy Farm that I'll post later this week. I've got to get to bed. I have a 7:00 am global call for work!! :)