Teaching ASL to a two-year old
My two-year old nephew has a speech delay, which is affecting his speech clarity. My mother told me that his mother (my older sister) said my nephew does get frustrated because he cannot communicate well yet. I decided to teach him ASL (well, just the tiny bit I know). Do you have any suggestions for me?
Watch Signing Time with him over and over!
Seriously, it's wonderful. I had another visit today with a deaf neighbor across the street and my friend who knows a lot more signs than I do said "Wow, I'm so surprised at how many signs you know!" It's all from Signing Time.
You could play games with him. Make up flash cards and when he sees the picture he can sign the word...like he sees a glass of milk and can sign "milk." You could give him little rewards like an M&M for each one he does, or just lots of encouragement. A game I'm trying to do with my kids is either to do a sign and they have to do a related sign back (like if it's a food I sign, they sign another food...the same with animals, school, etc.) or, for the older ones, I fingerspell a word they know and they have to "read" it and sign it.
Also, use the signs you know when you talk to him just in normal conversation. Just talk normally and do the signs at the same time whenever you use a word you know the sign for.
Hope this helps!
Signing Time! is wonderful for teaching two-year-olds. I should know, I have 2 of them. Cassia is Deaf, and Alexandria is speech delayed. Signing Time! has helped them both with their signing, and it has helped Alexandria with her speech as well. When signs are taught the word is said again and again. All of the verbal words she has, she got from Signing Time! I can't say enough good stuff about it.
I would say the same as the others --- lots of repetition and lots of ST!. It's an awesome tool to use. And the songs are contagious. My 14 mth old (hoh cutie) attempts to actually sing the theme song. I always know what she is trying to say because her hand motions are always the same and she ends with signing PLAY. My 2yo (who will be 3 tomorrow where has the time gone?) is typically developing kid and she loves it too!
Home schooling mom to 5 great kids
Watch it, watch it, watch it!! I think my daughter has a speech delay too. She uses sign for everything. I think it might be helping her speech as well. But we'll see. We're getting her tested soon. It really helps. She's not frustrated or angry at all. She knows exactly how to get her point accross.
A suggestion from the parent/teacher side. Try to add 5 new words a week to your ASL vocabulary, and use them constantly. Then, just keep building. He'll pick up signs very quickly in that context. Start with the things you really think he needs/wants to be able to communicate (I usually tell parents that if their child has a lovey, that should be very early in the list!), and build from there.
5 signs is usually a number that parents can handle without feeling overwhelmed or getting confused.
Another suggestion-sign caption your house. Print out the sign pages from the lesson plans on Signingtimekids.org, the lesson plans on www.lessontutor.com or photocopy pages from an ASL dictionary, cut them up, and put those signs where appropriate around the house. This serves as a reminder to you to use them-but you may also find your child studying the pictures. I've also put little stickers of words I want to sign in some of my daughter's simpler books, and even on some "books" I've made from basic flashcards-she'll bring the book to me, and we'll go through the word, picture, and sign together. An added bonus is that she now appears to be able to read a lot of those words and signs (and sometimes says)the word when she sees it.
Should I give my sister some flashcards so, she would be able to reinforce what I am teaching him?
More Signing Time!!!!
Ben also has a speech delay and is 22 months old. He loves Signing Time!! He signs which DVD he wants to watch and which song on which DVD or CD he wants to hear. He has picked up over 50 signs just from watching the DVDs and as he picks up more signs and confidence, he attempts speaking more frequently. We've had a number of people say that they think he doesn't speak because he signs so well; if ONLY they knew what an improvement that we're seeing SINCE he started signing. It's very frustrating when people who don't know anything about your situation like to give advice! "He doesn't talk because you don't MAKE him talk." "He'd talk more if you didn't let him rely on signing," etc. However, I guess that's another thread all together!
To Ben's Mommy -- Right... because MAKING children talk is so effective. Can you see my eyes rolling? I have a similar experience to yours in that sign helped bridge my son from a nonverbal world to a verbal one. He signs and talks some now. He tends to sign more when he's tired. Let's see, when he's tired, would I rather have him sign or roll around on the floor crying or screaming in a complete meltdown? Hmmm, tough choice.
To SJCSue -- whether or not to give your sister flashcards would depend on her personality. Some people love using flashcards and can have a lot of fun with them but for others it becomes too stressful. I support the idea of everyone signing to a child having the same sign when a child is first learning. I just loved dmmetler's suggestions. I had sign captioned my house. Initially, it was a lot of work but well worth it, in my opinion.
I suppose I don't need to add to the chorus of Signing Time, Signing Time, and more Signing Time, do I?
On flashcard "books"
The key, IME, with flashcards, is to let the child drive it. If a child's interested and focused on them, they'll let you know. If they're not, don't push it, and just keep using the signs casually.
The reason I like the basic flashcard "books" is that they're so cheap-I can get tons of basic sets of ABC letter flashcards, with a picture for each letter of the alphabet, or basic phonics flashcards with several pictures for each phonics sound, for $1 or less at Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree, etc. I use clip and create, but many of the signs will be on lesson tutor-just print out the appropriate pages, cut out, and glue on. Inexpensive ASL flashcards. While the commercial ones are great, they're pricey and if your child's not interested, it's easy to get frustrated. I paid less for Clip and Create, which I've used to make literally dozens of sign captioned books, labels for my house, posters, and classroom materials than I would have on a few sets of commercial flashcards and ASL board books.
Having said this, I wouldn't try to learn new signs from the cards-learn the sign first, preferably from a person, but at least from a site like Lifeprint or MSU, then use the card to reinforce.
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