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.