A lot of people ask how Noa learns signs, well here is a perfect example.
First we have a highly motivating situation: Christmas! Actually this is the first year that Christmas has been such a great motivation. Her resistance to anything new made new toys… a bit overwhelming and not always a great event. But this year, she loved all her new toys and played with most of them right away. She actually also ripped some gift wrap and stuck her hands in her Christmas stocking – both very new activities for her.
This is actually her first Christmas morning gift – some great block from Grammy and Grampy that I think really got her in the right mind-set for the rest of the gifts. I took the opportunity of her realizing that this was a “different” toy, to teach her the sign for “new” – a sign that we’d get to use a lot since there would be a lot of new toys.
As you may notice, she actually says the word “new” when I ask her if she wants to learn the sign. She does a lot of this repeating, but when she wants to express herself she tends to use signs.
As you can see, she really gets that I’m teaching her a sign that she wants to learn. She just keeps putting her hands out for me to repeat the sign again and again. A few days after Christmas, and the sign is pretty well set in so much as she can make the sign if I ask her to. Sometimes her understanding of the concept comes later as she tries using the sign – though she seems to be doing pretty good with this one so far.
She did a lot of verbalizing on our Christmas trip to Grammy and Grampy’s – she was trying to say “Christmas” a lot. For the first time I think she really got that it was a big fun event full of toys, and she did great with all the holiday hub-bub of noisy kids and their toys.
She also started doing the sign for “no” – which has been a tricky one. We’ve been doing it as a sort of song and she likes doing it that way. The trick will be transferring it to situations in which she wants to say “no” since she is usually upset and so doesn’t always remember her best communication skills (a problem I think we can all relate to).