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Thread: This just can't be...

  1. #1

    This just can't be...

    This thread has a long explanation followed by a very proud father that is about to do a major gloat about his daughter. A thousand apologies are headed in everyone's direction, but this is so odd, neat or strange...or whatever you want to call it...I just had to share.

    Okay now my daughter has about 20 words in her vocabulary...and MORE is not one of them. Whenever she wants something she gives off this horrendous screech that gets your attention. Well my mother found a way to rectify this.

    My mom teaches my 15 year old brother in a home school setting. He needed to learn another language so she chose sign language. Now this is the funny part, she watches my daughter while Patty and I are at work, and this week she has been teaching Alyson sign language as well. You are not going to believe this but in 3 days, it seems like Alyson has been taught how to sign "Yes" and "More."

    Tonight we were eating dinner and she started her screeching thing and reaching for additional food, so we said "No Alyson, you want..." and then she signed for "More" which is two fingers pointed together. No matter how we asked her if she wanted additional food, she signed for it. I mean deliberately signed. We deliberately kept the word "More" out of what we said so that she did not associate the word "More" to make the sign for it.

    Now what do you guys think of this? Do you think a 15 month old understands more than she can say in verbal speech? Do you think she really knows how and when to sign for "More" and just cannot say the word right now? Do you think she can just pick up fine motor skills faster than speech?

    To me it just seems strange that she picked up doing sign language so fast. I mean I doubt I could pick up two words in 3 days. Maybe two words in three weeks. I don't know, just seemed kind of strange to me, or at least kind of blew me away. Sign language at 15 months, who would have thought?
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Orem, Utah
    Wow - [check it out] ... especially the video sample!

    Who'da thunk?
    Last edited by Kerry Burton; 11-07-2007 at 11:41 PM.

  3. #3
    Moms have been using sign to communicate with their young for years, often dads don't get this and are awed when finding out. My wife, daughter-in-law have always used sign in their classrooms (they are formal classroom teachers) It is a very effectual way of dealing with disruptive children in lieu of stoping the instruction with others.

    It is not unusual for moms to communicat with youngsters through sign. Chldren not yet able to speak clearly or say much more than jibberish can make sign jestures to inform mom what she/he wants. Sometimes it is a jesture that only "they" have learned together. But if a new mom begins with universal sign jestures when dealing with the child the child will soon learn through immitation. There is a slight flaw in this method, For instance my daughter's sister-in-law has three sons and she began signing with the first, as each brother came along they began to sign, make jestures with each other to communicate and the second child was slower to develop verbal skills and the third is developing slowly as well, They communicate in their own sign jestures as well as formal ones. She says sometimes they play all day w/o ever speaking to each other. She has sinse stopped the signing to help her sons express themselves in a verbal manner.

    So your astonishment of the ability to sign at such a young age is understandable but it is not a rare occurance and practiced extensively. Remember, you must use verbal commands as well as the signage to help develop verbal skills.

    I do understand your new found pleasure, as my youngest granddaughter (17 mo) would rather Scream than anything, I'm not talking about a yell or loud cry, I'm talking about a gut wrenching, ear drum shattering, headache inducing , repeatedly continuing, blood curdling, Whale of an out cry that she can turn on and off at will. Any non verbal sign would be a gift from heaven and I too would write an apistol or gloating literature.
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 11-08-2007 at 12:50 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    SE Minnesota
    This is excellent Travis.

    We started using sign language with Ian. We strated signing to him when he was about 6 mos. and at around 8 or 9 mos he started signing back. Even though he has a large verbal vocabulary now at 3 1/2, he still continues to sign a bit.

    I'll give you a warning though Travis. You get her going on sign language now and you'll see that her verbal skills will blow you away. We'd been told this when were took a baby sign class and I was skeptical. Ian has proved them right though. At the rate that kid is learning, I won't be able to understand what he's talking about by the time he's five. He already knows more Norwegian than I do.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I used to teach English, here in Japan, and I went deep into the mechanics and the theory of teaching a second language. I read a ton of books, and learned a lot. Signing is one thing I only touched on, and here in Japan they VERY STUPIDLY use a special "Only in Japan" form of sign language which is very unfortunate. My sister teaches elementary school in Canada, and she has learned to sign, as she found it interesting and she needed it with some students she had.

    Language is a funny thing, the brain, when we are young is so much more open to learning, and language is certainly one of the things we can learn well, at a young age. Everyone is different, I know that my mom says I was VERY eager to communicate and would try to do so with one word commands and lots of gesticulating Now my younger sister, she was really really quiet, up to a certain age, then all of a sudden, she would start speaking in complete sentences, kind of shocking to have a kid go from grunting and reaching for something she wanted more of to saying "Please pass me the buns, I want some more" but my mom swears that is what happened

    Now about learning a second language, the second one, apparently, is the hardest one to learn, the third or the fourth are MUCH easier, I'm told.

    In one study I read, they researched the brain while the subject was doing certain things, or thinking about certain things. For example, a test subject is shown colors and told to think the color's name in their head, while under the cat scan or what ever they were using to watch brain activity.

    There were three groups, one who only spoke their mother tongue, one who learned a second language before the age of 16 and one group who learned the second language after the age of 25.

    The results were startling. The control group, the monolingual group, had all of the activity in their brains concentrated in one area, which is typical.

    The other two groups were told to think of the color first in their mother tongue and then in the second language. The test subjects who learned the second language before they were 16, had a shotgun effect of brain activity, the two languages were causing activity all over the brain. The test subjects who learned the second language after they were 25 had a very definite pattern, showing distinct areas that were separate for each language.

    It was explained to me like this, someone, like myself, who learned a second language after 25 years of age, has a "Japanese" compartment in my language center, where as my kids, who are and have been learning both languages since they were babies, have only a "language" center in their brains. When I think of the color Red, I have that in my language center and I also have an entry in my Japanese language center, "Aka", my kids don't have this, they just see "Aka" as another way of saying red, like you or I would have red, blood red, scarlet, crimson......... all kinds of red.

    All in all I find it VERY interesting.

    Travis, I'm glad you are so impressed with you lovely daughter, now do your whole family a favour and get rid of the TV and start reading to her

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    New Zealand
    I was reading a similar thing online the other day. Where researchers looked at some kids with one deaf parent. The kids could hear and learnt to speak normally over time, but picked up sign language REALLY early, before they had ANY actual spoken words.

    I think it's probably because young kids understand various concepts quite early, but dont have the speech part of the brain developed enough to put their ideas into words. But their motor skills (hand movements) develop much earlier, so they are able to communicate via gestures, even quite structured ones like sign language, much earlier than they can speak.

    I think young children understand a lot more than many people give them credit for, just takes then a while learn speech so they can express themselves.



  7. #7
    This is kind of an interesting thing. I also think this is a good thing on several fronts.

    Not only will this allow Alyson to communicate better, it will also help my brother Brian learn sign language faster. I say that because Alyson and Brian are very close. You would never think a 15 year old boy would like a baby so much, but Alyson and him are inseparable. I think having Alyson learn sign language along with his studies will give the whole thing a lot more interest.

    As for delaying verbal skills, I can see that happening too. As with anything in life, I can see putting too much emphasis on one way of communication would delay other areas...that is why I will not allow Alyson to text-message until she's at least 18 months old!!

    Personally I find behavior to be pretty darn neat. When I was a Safety Coordinator for the railroad I took a lot of training in behavior because what the railroad found out was, they had the proper guards in place, the 4 inch thick rule book in place, all the personal protective equipment made, and yet people were getting hurt. They found it was people's attitudes and behaviors that were causing it. When you figure out why people do what they do, and even predict with accuracy what they are going to do, you can find ways to counter it. So with all this behavior based safety training, watching Alyson grow up at this stage really intrigues me.

    By the way poor Alyson does not have a chance. Her Mom is a 5th grade school teacher with an additional degree in Environmental Science. Between her constant education and perfectly healthy atmosphere (super clean house, toys, organic food, etc) Alyson is not going to have much fun in life. Still I think she is going to be a book worm. Hand her a toy or a book and she will grab the book every time. I think she likes books because Daddy learned very quickly that sitting with his little girl and reading a book with her is one of the most simple, but most pleasurable things in life.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"


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