As you may have read in my “New Year, New Me” blog post, I have decided to start signing with my son. He is 13 months and at the stage of desperately trying to communicate but is still unable to form words and speak. Instead he has started to scream (extremely loudly).
His expressions of frustrations have caused my husband and I to become home bound. We can no longer take him to restaurants after the embarrassing walk of shame to the car with s screaming child who didn’t understand that he had to stay in his highchair for a little longer and not pull tablecloths off the table. The weekly shop has also become complicated as the tantrums emerges in the middle of an aisle. Yes, I’m expecting that when he is older however, with such a small baby I would have thought it would be a little easier. Jude’s desperation to communicate has become so bad that a friend of ours commented on not wanting a boy after witnessing his outbursts of anger.
So the research began and the desire to help him communicate became even stronger.
Should I read more books? Mimic more animals and ask him what animal makes that noise? Sing the nursery rhymes even louder and with more energy? I finally found that those will help, along with teaching him to sign.
Obviously we are doing the very basic signs; more, food, please, thank you, milk, water.
I had the chance to study ASL while at university. I studied it for a year and loved it. However, when it came to teaching my son signs I wanted to refresh my memory. There are so many resources out on the web. I found a “Baby sign language dictionary” which was extremely helpful.
Olli and I helped remind each other to sign while feeding our son, bathing our son and playing. It was difficult to remember in the beginning however, we soon got the hang of things and now find ourselves signing a lot.
Jude hasn’t yet learnt to do it himself, so we are now taking his hand to make the signs as we speak. On the other hand, when I sign and speak to him, he seems to know what I’m telling him. He knows when its lunchtime and when it’s bath time.
Hopefully, as we continue to sign in our home and while we are out and about, Jude will pick it up and the screaming will stop. I am still working extremely hard to help Jude speak by singing songs, going through the alphabet and reading several stories a day. We should soon have a talking and signing baby boy!