Baby Sign

I noticed the user name of the poster of the first video below, and was curious, so I checked it out. I have a long standing interest in Baby Sign–I found out about it from my ASL professor at University of Oregon (one of the best professors I’ve ever had in all of my many, ‘ohmygodshe’sgoingtobeacareerstudent’ years. I used sign often when I worked with individuals with disabilities, and as one of my main interests in working with people with disabilities is communication, and the knowledge that behaviors (I’ll just round those up as behaviors we’d rather not see) are the result of the inability to communicate adequately what the person needs. This is especially important for nonverbal individuals, whose receptive abilities to understand language usually far exceed their expressive abilities–how to tell us what they want to say. This results in frustration and anger, which is completely logical. Imagine not being able to express yourself to anyone, about anything, and the only tools you have at your disposal are, say, tugging at people’s clothes, swatting at them to get their attention, on to more serious behaviors as their requests for attention go unheeded.

For me, that would amount to a personal nightmare, given that I am a very talkative person, and if I can’t talk, I write, because I have to express myself somehow. I have written about communication before, so this isn’t exactly a first. I’ve read a couple of the blog entries, and watched a couple of the videos. I just had a comment or two on the blog entries I read, one on why some parents won’t teach baby sign, and why some children say some words and sign others.

Regarding learning Baby Sign and parent ego. I’m not sure about that. It may definitely be one reason. I don’t know if there is one reason. I think some parents might think it appears as though their child is deaf–as opposed to the term used with “D” referring to the Deaf Community, or people who refer to themselves as Deaf because they are proud to be so, as well they should be. They have their own culture, their own language, but because of this, are unfortunately sometimes mocked for using their language, or how they sound when they speak. Therefore, they are shoved into marginalized status along with everyone else who doesn’t fit into what is “normal” in society. As my baby sister, less than 10 years old at the time, said once, quite upset, “I don’t want to be normal.” I completely agree with her. I’m part of a marginalized group of individuals myself, and would much rather be myself that whatever is supposed to be “normal.” There truly is a point to this. Some people don’t value things because they don’t understand them. A parent might not understand the function of Baby Sign, and some people (no names or positions of office to be mentioned) cannot be convinced of the truth of something regardless of the facts that are sitting in front of them. Sorry, couldn’t help it. They may not consider it an issue. They may think of it as something only

Pink-Elephant-73315people in special education use–I’m not sure what the term is for those classes in Canada. I did look it up at one point, but don’t remember if it was the same or something different. I’d be very curious to see the whole system for people with disabilities in Canada. I’m digressing. It’s that elephant. I only mention Canada because I know that’s where the site is from.  Or something you only need to use if you are deaf. Therefore, the stigma of disability attaches itself to sign, and instead of being seen as a language in its own right–it is officially considered a language by some universities/schools in some states of the US, it is seen as something openly marking a child as different.

Sadly, I’m not sure how many people with that mindset are willing to change unless circumstances force them to, and maybe they feel using Baby Sign is stigmatizing their child, instead of enhancing their communication with their child. As well as avoid many of the behaviors, because with Baby Sign you can communicate with your child why they are frustrated, agitated, angry before it spirals into a full blown tantrum. Although I suppose everyone is entitled to one occasionally.

It could often be fear. I’m not sure why–possibly that their child won’t talk, which moves on to the second post I read about why some children say some words and sign others. I feel that individuals will use whatever means is available to them to communicate what they need in the more direct, fastest fashion. As soon as a child learns a word, they often drop the sign, because it’s quicker to speak than to sign, as the author points out, but has also been pointed out by numerous speech language pathologists I’ve worked with. I’ve found it, personally, from the children I’ve worked with who had the ability to learn speech, to be completely true. I think the only reason a child would continue to sign and not speak was if there genuinely was a speech issue, or some other issue–and the child would need to see a doctor. The advantage of the signing at that point is that your child would already be able to communicate to some degree, which would be a tremendous help to any professional involved. I have a feeling that is incredibly rare–I’ve never heard of it happening, but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t.

Another advantage of a child learning Baby Sign is, on the off chance that he or she meets a little boy or girl, or even an adult, who is deaf, they can talk to them a little. Any attempts to communicate in a person’s own language, I think, are generally appreciated. That could inspire your child from a young age into an interest in linguistics. That sounds way too technical. There are more and more students from different areas of the world moving–I’ll just use my own town. I’ve worked at a school where there was a small Russian population. Spanish is always useful in the US, as are Mandarin or Cantonese, depending on where you live (I think Eugene would count). There are enough Korean students attending the University of Oregon they publish their own newspaper. There are a large number of Thai students. Eugene is a university town, which helps when it comes to diversity of cultures and languages. It doesn’t have enough bookstores, however, in my opinion, leading to the videos.

That is a really, really cool Sesame Street book! There is something magic about having a book nearly as big as you are. But as seen in the video, books like that with lots of things in the pictures, board books generally, as they tend to get chewed on–also very honestly shown in the video. Reading can be a very tactile experience. When I was in my early education classes, the general consensus was that it was fine for children to chew on their board books, if anyone is curious. Just that teething can sometimes make them pretty soggy.

Reading with your child is one of the best things a parent can do to prepare them for so many things. Their brains, at this point in their lives, are filled with so many neurons that they actually get pruned back. They are like little sponges, and everything–especially sensory things, feeling different textures, seeing different things, hearing people talk, around them and to them, affection–all of these things make synapses connect and form routes through the brain at an amazing pace–they will never grow this quickly again. So when children are the youngest, before they’re talking, before they’re walking, things as simple as being held, playing with their fingers and toes, talking to them, singing–they don’t care if you can’t sing at that age–music, new experiences are so important for just that reason–all of those synapses are firing and talking to each other, and the more connections made, the better. Baby Sign is just one more experience to help their brains develop.

If you’re curious to learn more about Baby Sign, and this isn’t an endorsement in any way–I don’t know these individuals, they aren’t paying me, anything like that, but they do have a good web site to learn more about it:

http://definitivebabysign.com/blog/

They have a blog, a video link on YouTube, and an online dictionary on their site, along with other information. I had no idea that watching a bathroom video would lead me to a post like this–lol–I am so curious, though. What kind of chocolate thingies? Are they good? Homemade or from the store? Unfortunately, I do empathize with the little guy–cause and effect is a hard concept to learn. I still sometimes struggle with it–sweets are a weakness, although I’ve been doing remarkably well. But, just for example, take my dinner. It was a really yummy baked tofu steak that’s marinated and has this really good sauce on top, probably too much sodium, and is covered half with black sesame seeds and half with white sesame seeds, so it has a really cool look as well. I always look for that in my food–fashion conscious comestibles. It’s from the deli of a local small chain of markets. I looked at it and thought, because my appetite has been down, “That is way too big. You should really cut that in half and save the other half for later. You’re going to make yourself feel sick.” So I compromised. I left it on the paper it was on in the box and decided I’d eat half and then put it back in the box. I even left the box out as a reminder. The problem was the box was in the other room, and I was mind-melding with my cat and the idea of “I can’t see it, it’s not there,” — it’s similar to when they put their head in a bag but the entire rest of their body is in plain view, and you can almost hear them thinking, “You can’t see meeeeeee, I can’t see you!” I ate all but a very small corner, which I then asked my boyfriend if he wanted. But it was too late. I felt quite ill and luckily we had fizzy lemon lime water, which helped, because now, a few hours later, I’m eating something else my boyfriend and his daughter brought home from the deli for me. I’ve eaten almost the whole pint. I don’t even want to admit what it is, but for the sake of honesty and the fact I need to start eating better, which the tofu was, this is, ah-hem, what I used to call ambrosia salad but now goes by the title of (I can’t believe this), “Marshmallow Mandarin Orange Salad.” See, ambrosia. I just looked at the ingredients list. You’d think it would be pretty short, wouldn’t you? I think this is one of those things that is going to have to be eliminated from my died. I would guess it’s about a size 5 font and covers the entire bottom of the pint deli container. And yes, for those who like to look things up I’m eating and tell me Red #40 has been banned in most countries and shouldn’t be given to children (he’s right, by the way, Red #40 is awful and is in so many things its unbelievable). It looks like tonight I’m only dining on Yellows 5 and 6. Among other assorted things. But there are mandarin oranges, pineapple, and coconut. Okay, dessicated coconut. Sigh. I think that may be the end of my marshmallow orange mandarin salad days. I have stopped before suffering ill effects. So cause and effect did work today. Yay! Tomorrow, I’ll tackle gravity.

Even car manufacturers come up with better names for colors than Red #40, though. My 1987 Volvo 240, Buttercup, had the official color of “Eggnog” stamped onto her little metal plate under the hood. Now that I think about it, it’s sort of funny to name a car the color of a beverage usually consisting of 40%–50% hard liquor. But at least it’s a color. How would you describe a sunset in terms of FDA approved terms?

The tartrazine yellow #5 High cirrus uncinus and cirrus fibratus on the horizon glowed with a heavenly light as they merged playfully with the sunset yellow #6 gilt cirrostratus fibratus hovering near. The indigotine blue #2 ocean, occasionally dappled by bright blue #1, reflected the dazzling array of erythrosine red #3 altostratus translucidus as it blushed into allura red #40 before dipping its liquid droplets of life-sustaining water to meld with the sea…

Orange Sunset

Snort. Thank you, wiki, for your assistance, and my apologies to any meteorologists out there. How is it, though, that it’s possible to have a job where you end up being wrong so often? It’s not a criticism, just an observation. All the days we’ve been teased with the prospect of snow, only to rise in the morning to find the branches bare and our vehicles clearly visible. I didn’t realize there were all the cool cloud symbols, though. I think throwing in a little baby sign would be interesting–you could change the weather watching demographic and raise a generation of children completely knowledgeable about clouds, so if they became writers they wouldn’t mangle the actual science of it like I have. And, during the process of looking for a picture that might match (sort of) my sunset, I realized something very important, which you can tell if you read the paragraph and look at the picture. I know that my inner content editor, which pops in at inconvenient times when I’m reading something now, would have caught this if I’d been editing instead of writing. You can’t have a blue ocean if it’s reflecting yellow clouds. Bummer. Nature trumps bad writing. Photoshop trumps nature, but then it would just look funny. And there wasn’t Photoshop in Regency England. Nor were there those awful artificial poisons. They just used the natural ones instead. lol

Boy, I’ve come a long way from Baby Sign. That was completely unintentional. I’m fairly certain none of the above colorants were used on the pink elephant however. I think that was just Photoshop. So no one was harmed in the writing of this post. Animal, vegetable, or mineral. On that note, that sunset is starting to blind me. I prefer the pinker, purpley-blue ones–not so bright.

otherwiseThe Free Dictionary: Under other circumstances: Otherwise I might have helped.

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