Sunday, August 9, 2009

Learning To Sign

About a year and half ago we started to learn sign language with our boy. In all honesty it didn’t take the first time. In fact it didn’t do anything at all except frustrate us and him. He didn’t understand what we were trying to do and we ended up quitting.

I think that at 3 years old he was just too young. All children develop differently, and that holds true for autistic kids as well.

We tried again about six months ago, and what a miracle. Our little clam has opened up in ways that we never expected. He has gone from not understanding or at least not being able to communicate what he understands to having some semblance of normal communication with his parents and siblings.

We made the plunge and spent over $300 and got the “Signing Time” DVD collection. Now I’m not selling them and I could care less if you run out and buy them or not, but they have literally opened up a whole new world for us.

We have two other children, one nine and one four. All of the children love the videos and as parents we are learning the signs as well. Now our little boy can identify all of the foods he likes, as well as a variety of other activities and objects. It is so much easier to be able to say it is bed time than to have to show him the bed etc.

I know that for us learning sign language has been a huge bonus.


  1. How are things in the future? Today is July 26th for most people but, for you, it is already August 9th. Has anything important happened we should know about?

  2. Our granddaughter is 2 and is just starting to talk, but even last year she could communicate with us somewhat using sign. It helped that we watched the same programs that she did because sometimes her signing wasn't exact, but we were able to figure it out and knew when she was saying 'water' or 'cookie'. Even now she signs when she can't find words and then we say the word and she says them back.

  3. You know, we've failed at almost every communication attempt too, but I wonder if trying again now that our son is nearly five would be a good idea for us too. Our son is also on the autism spectrum, and he also has dyspraxia, which makes it very difficult for him to eat or speak. I'm sure he has a lot to say, and he gets so terribly frustrated these days trying to communicate that he hurts himself. I'm going to look into the DVDs. :) Thanks!

  4. There are numerous websites that offer online American Sign Language learning. Some of the websites just offer a list of words and grammar to help you learn. However, some sites will offer an organized and structured way to learn online American Sign Language. In general, all of us learn a language from a structured approach. Learning American Sign Language has to be just that; organized and structured. Online American Sign Language is no different. You need to find a program that will benefit you and your individual learning style.