ASL for Infants

emckean at ENTERACT.COM emckean at ENTERACT.COM
Tue Mar 13 17:10:59 UTC 2001

Interesting article. We've been signing in a lackadaisical way with Henry
since about eight months, and he uses three signs with some regularity now
at nearly a year -- "light", "cat", and "water" -- which not so
coincidentally happen to be three things he is VERY interested in. (He
does, however, extend "cat" to all furry wingless creatures smaller than
horses!) He does not use these signs outside of the presence of their

He is working on signs for "fish" and "sock" but they don't seem to have
any particular resonance with him yet -- he doesn't use them consistently,
and, also, how interesting are fish and socks, really?

We've tried the more useful signs (like "more") but Henry shows no
interest in them, especially when pointing and saying "MMMMM! MMMMM!" gets
him more with less effort than the two-handed finger-to-palm "more" sign.

Several older children in Henry's playgroup (ranging from 18 mo. to 2
years) use signs fairly regularly, especially signs of the "more",
"cookie", and "mine!" variety. I'd say that the boys use the signs more
than girls, but there are very few little girls in his group. (Must be
something in the water.)

Erin McKean
editor at

On Tue, 13 Mar 2001, Grant Barrett wrote:

> From the Washington Post
> "All three researchers advocate teaching signing as a way to learn babies' needs and
> wants—whether food, play or a diaper change—before they start to speak, typically
> during their second year."
> --
> Grant Barrett
> New York loves you back.

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