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Thread: Sign language for very speech?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Atop the lookout...

    Default Sign language for very speech?

    Hi all, long time no speak! *waves*

    Little Mr Mack (super ultra velcro baby, for those who remember, and he still is!) is very almost nearly three, and cannot speak. Well, no, he can say 'Mum', 'Dad', and a number of other one syllable words, almost all entirely made up of one consonant and one vowel. Or "cv's" as his speech therapist calls them. He has his own cv sounds for most things, with a lot of overlap between what they mean. And he will only say on sound. Ie, "thank you Mum" is only ever said as "ma". "Ma" is his word for thank you, and often Mum. Reminding him to say "thank you Mum", still just nets a "ma".

    He has recently started going to speech therapy, which is mostly play. The first time (the assessment ), he was okay, along with the first actual session. Subsequent two sessions, total disinterest aside from the toys. The sessions were weekly, but we have changed them now to monthly to see if he is any more willing. I know persistence is the key. I had to persist with his daycare.... one day per week, since before Christmas, and only literally last week did not cry when I dropped him off.

    I am wondering, do to his seeming inability to speak (not even bribery coaxes a word out), if learning sign language would help? Less frustration all round because he can't always get his point across.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sign language for very speech?

    Have you spoken to the speech pathologist about introducing sign language? Ours actually got us to use some signs which I was a bit surprised about, but it did work as a means to end in the big picture. I guess regardless of if we introduced signs or not our DD2 was making some of her own signs up anyway so that ship had sailed I should mention this was in a case where we knew there was a physical reason she wasn't able to form enough sounds to put together meaningful phrases, so that may have had an impact on why it was beneficial for us but may not be for everyone.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sign language for very speech?

    I don't know much about speech etc (I only have a 15mo) but we have been doing baby sign language classes and it is supposed to help with their speech & communication skills.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Sign language for very speech?

    Whether he can or should use sign depends on so much - motor skills, receptive language skills, what other intentional communication he uses, motivation to communicate... stuff that hopefully your Speechie can give you more insight around. What did the assessment tell you (if anything) about what might be causing the speech delay? Is there anything else concerning you about his development?
    My guess is that there's no harm trying sign though. Just start with one sign. A powerful one, like 'more'. Then encourage him to use it in super motivating situations. You want more icecream? Sure! Show me the sign - copy me. Then say the word and use the sign together.

    As a possible irrelevant aside, I think maybe drop the expectation of a please and thank you from a child with very limited language. If he's only got one word at a time, I'd focus on those with the most communicative power - his needs, requests and observations.

    Must be very frustrating for you both. Wishing you all the best.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sign language for very speech?

    Not sure if it is helpful but I have a friend whose son didn't talk until 5. One morning at breakfast he just came out with- "you know what mum, I really don't like vegemite toast. Can I please have cornflakes instead?" When asked why he hadn't spoken before hand, he said he didn't have anything to say. He went on to be the dux of his school.

    Re sign language, it has helped some friends with late speakers and others it hasn't. I guess it is a case by case basis.

    Fingers crossed everything works out for the best.

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