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corner view: daily communication








I had high hopes for this post and have been looking forward to it since the topic announcement last week. I treated myself to a video and space upgrade on the ole blog and set out to make a movie of all of the signs we do in our house! Sadly, our industry queen fell sick to a high fever this weekend and she was unable to perform for a good part of it. The footage we captured we were going to label as Bieber Fever since it included her signing rendition of the hit single Baby, Baby, Baby complete with a gel Be Kool patch attached to her tiny forward to keep her fever minimized and her charisma high. But, well lets just say between technology and viral bugs the film isn’t quite prepared. So we’re going with the B-side and showing a few photos.
We started signing with Zuzu our 4-year-old when she was about 9-10 months old. With this experience under our belts and a clear research study of her showing that it OBVIOUSLY did not inhibit her ability to talk (come visit us anytime of the day), we had no qualms joining our buddies in the Down syndrome community as Rachel groupies around her show Signing Time. From early on both of our girls have been able to make fairly clear choices about what they wanted. I say fairly, because the Quail is just now starting to be able to sign with out prompts and doesn’t have a full enough vocabulary yet to cover all of her bases. She gets quite animated when she needs something and doesn’t have the sign to tell us yet. I have no doubt that the Quail will talk with as much animation as her older sister one day, but in the meantime we know it’s important to give her a means to communicate that will minimize her frustration of getting what’s in her pretty lil noggin out to the rest of the world. We’ve done daily therapy to overcome her motor planning and oral-motor weakness that comes along with Down syndrome and we KNOW she has things to say- we’re happy to adjust how we listen to meet her half-way. Both the girls will sign with each other now and for Zuzu, it’s become so instinctive that her hands will automatically go to the position still now as she’s saying the words for some of the earliest ones she learned.
Learning sign was easy and fun- there are tons of websites, board books, flash cards and videos. Instead of watching other TV our kids look forward to watching the antics of Rachel’s littles doing the things they do everyday. Zuzu’s first sign was more. When we started with the Quail on more she struggled and it seemed to abstract of a concept to begin with. She needed a one-handed sign that correlated with a concrete subject- so we backed up and went with her favorite motivator- eat! We started hand-over-hand having her sign eat and we did it as well and then handed her what we were eating. Now she’s to the point where she does it when she’s hungry on her own. Below is a list we’re keeping of her signs. I know I’ve forgotten a few- but this starts us off:
By herself:
all done
will do back when I sign it
thank you
my turn/me
woosh-woosh (her breathing treatment)
chicken (to eat)

 Edited to add: Here’s a link to her signing and a lil of her Bieber cover

Corner view is a weekly Wednesday post hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by  Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or poetic in form from around the world:

 Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine

14 thoughts on “corner view: daily communication

  1. Well hello and nice to meet you! I spent the weekend organizing a weekend workshop with Libby Kumin so I just had to join the conversation on communication at corner view.

    Wonderful photos with your post!

  2. sign language is a beautiful language and way to communicate. I took a class at our local college for a semister. Zuzu & the Quail speak it beautifully. xo

  3. I’m sorry about the virus, and hope you’ll be able to finish and show us the video soon. The pics tell the story, though, and I’m so glad that sign language is working for you. I don’t know anything about the debate around sign vs verbal language, it seems to me that the key thing is to find a system to teach a child to communicate and interact.

  4. I love the pictures! Sounds like T.Q. is coming along great with her signing. I notice Dada is on the first list and Momma on the second- isn’t that always how it is! We’re at the phase of him seeming to understand some signs but he won’t do them himself yet- patience!

  5. Awesome little Quail and from here,communication will absolutely explode.

    Even with our little Z… where, because of her stroke,two handed signs have been difficult,she has managed to have a pretty varied and wide range of sign approximation.Signing Time has been huge in facilitating that and now,at just 4 zoey has begun verbal communication … hi and no … her first words.I feel like in many ways she is like a year old and her new words,fits that.

    Oh these little precious ones… so fun and wondrous to watch them blossom,isn’t it?

  6. Very interesting way to communicate! I met a girl who could talk in sign language because her parents both were deaf-mute, but she wasn’t. I always wondered how she learned to speak when her parents couldn’t, but obviously she had some other good teachers. ;o)

  7. I am so glad you have this blog! I miss your two something fierce, and I am so proud of little one!! She is doing so well! I wanted to cry, reading this post, simply because I cannot believe how well she is doing! I look forward to reading more, and I thank you for offering such a great blog, for me and for others.


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