Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Christine's Story

I have invited the graduates of my play classes and workshops to share the stories of their communication journeys.   My hope is that by reading their stories, you might given the confidence to start signing with your own little one or the determination to keep going in those stages where it's hard to see the progress you are making. Enjoy reading these stories, and please consider sharing (or starting) your own! ~Miss Steph

Hi! My name is Christine. I was very excited to participate in Signing Smart play classes with my daughter, Claire, because I was interested in establishing clear communication at an early age.  American Sign Language made it possible for Claire to express her needs and wants before she was ready to speak. That was both exciting and helpful. In addition, I've always wanted to learn a second language. How wonderful to learn one that enables us to communicate with deaf church members on a weekly basis!

We began Signing Smart play classes when Claire was six months old and participated in a second session when she was eleven months old. At first, her new language wasn't always clear. Knowing what to expect at this early stage was very helpful! New signs are frequently inexact. I appreciated the tips on identifying my baby’s early signs as well as suggestions on incorporating sign language in our normal routines. I really enjoyed watching “Claire signs” evolve to actual signs. It was so exciting to see my baby sign THANK YOU twice in the same day!  

Peer interaction was another benefit of the play classes, not only for the babies but for the parents as well.  Many of us are working parents. So we sometimes miss the “firsts” that take place during the day. It was awesome to have an opportunity to play and learn right along with my daughter and to share that experience with other moms, dads and babies. 

At eighteen months Claire had a spoken vocabulary almost double that of the typical 15 to 20 spoken words. Claire is 20 months old now, and she is talking and signing like a pro. The benefits of early sign language are still paying off. Thank you Miss Stephanie for introducing us to early communication with 100% American Sign Language!

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