Jay and I recently decided to start using some signs with Joshua since he's getting to the point where he's a little frustrated by his inability to communicate. And, honestly, we were getting a little weary of him following us around making the baby bird face and saying. "Ahhhh" when he wanted a bite of what we were eating. So far we've taught him three signs: more, water, and finished.
The sign we taught him for "more" is actually ASL for "again," and after modifying it a bit, he makes the sign for "more" by pointing to his palm. We taught him the true ASL sign for "water," but that's a little tough for a toddler, so he points to his mouth rather than making the "w" sign by his mouth. Finally, we taught him "finished." His own version consists of waving his hands wildly in front of his face.
We've been at this for two weeks and are slowly learning that his definitions of the words are slightly different from ours. Here's what he means when he makes these signs:
1. Put food in my mouth now (Often done while running into the kitchen after naptime and looking for his snacks)
2. Give me some of whatever you're eating now (Done when you have something to eat and he doesn't. This has recently resulted in his first experiences of pad thai and spicy breakfast sausage, both of which he surprisingly enjoyed).
3. Let me drink from your glass. (Joshua has a large selection of lovely sippy cups, but once he hears his dad pouring a glass of water, dad must share).
Yes, these are interchangeable, and understandably so. If "water" is signed by pointing to the mouth, and "more" means I want you to put something in my mouth now, then shouldn't I be pointing to my mouth if I want more?
1. Put me down, I want to play. When eating, often followed by the word "more"
2. Put me down, I want to play. When being picked up after a nap, means "I like you and all and snuggling's not so bad, but I'd really like to stick my fingers in the fan."