Using ASL with hearing children

Dear teacher of The Flash,

We’ve decided that The Flash’s nose digging has gotten out of hand (pun intended). It is unsanitary and disgusting. In addition, his method of cleaning the gooey finger with his tongue is nauseating. We’ve told him that any time we catch him in the act, he will be ordered to wash his hands. Our hope is that he will get tired of repetitive hand washing and become more aware of his actions.

We’ve also told him that we would let you know and tell you that you can use the American Sign Language sign for “wash hands” (like wringing your hands together) so that you don’t have to interrupt the whole class to tell him. I know that teachers at my school like using silent hand signals for various children.

I hope that this will work for you, as I am aware that extinguishing these behaviors works best when families and teachers work together.


Super Woman

(This email was adapted from an actual email sent earlier this week. Only by coincidence did these events closely correlate with Burgh Baby’s nose picking story ).

I love that when my children learn American Sign Language, they are not only developing their language skills, but also learning a special second language. I can tell them from across the room to “stop”, “go to the bathroom”, or find “daddy”. Without saying a word, I can tell them to “wait” and stop interrupting, while I finish up a conversation with Professor X.

So I was thrilled when Signing Times asked me to screen their new Baby Signing Times DVDs #3 and #4. I must admit that watching them was slightly bitter sweet, I had so wanted Marvel Girl to be one of the adorable signing actors for this video.

These videos are filled to the brim with cuteness. All children are 2 years old or younger so that young children can watch their “peers”. There are animated sequences, songs galore, and lots and lots of vocabulary practice (verbal and signed).

Here are some of the signs on each video:

Baby Signing Times #3
weather words, nature words, stop/go, bug, sky words
The bug section is my all time favorite of both videos. Absolutely adorable. Kids, costumes, antennae, tutus.

Baby Signing Times #4
friend words, emotions, opposites, fruits, toys

Like always, Signing Times delivers. And now I have even more “secret” words to share with my kids!

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  1. If I were to have another baby, which I WONT, LOL, I would do the sign language with them. It is so sweet to watch them sign and communicate!

  2. As a Mommy who uses ASL with two of my 3 children, I’m all for signing with a hearing child. Who WOULDN’T want to do away with the terrible two’s? By teaching your toddler to sign you can give them the means to express themselves and do away with the non-sense of toting your crying child around the house pointing at every object, “Is THIS what you want sweetie?!” The added bonus? Yelling at your child from across the room without anyone “hearing” you!

    How cool that you were asked to screen the new Signing Time video. I was on a yahoo board with Rachel way before she was famous, it’s so great to see what she’s done with her ASL and singing skills. I’m a big fan.
    Take care,
    Jayne (the view from my shoes)

  3. I am cracking up over that letter — STILL!

    I am so ready for some nose-pickers of my very own!


  4. The first time I ever saw a baby communicate this way, I was floored! How I wish I had known how useful this would be years ago, when my kids were babies! I wonder if studies have ever been done to see if babies who sign are less frustrated in their two year old year?

    Very interesting!

  5. That is just THE COOLEST! MAN! Why don’t I learn sign language? I’ve always wanted to. What is my problem???

  6. See what happens when I am slow to answer emails? You get to see Signing Time episodes before me. DAMMIT!

    Jealous. Yes, I am.

  7. I *love* signing times videos. My daughter likes to watch the ones she knows all the signs to and show of her skills. :o)

    I love being able to talk to her from the piano at church. LOL!!


  8. We are using ASL more and more with our daughter. She hears fine but is not able to speak many words as of yet. Signing Time is awesome and I wish they had these video’s out when my older children were babies.

  9. Ha! That letter is perfect! As for the signs, we used/use them before our babies really start talking, but then, admittedly, we abandon them once they can hold their own speaking. Mostly because I only know a few signs. I always wanted to look into those Signing Times DVDs…

  10. That’s cool. Would they work for slightly older children? I’d love for my boys – six and four years old – to learn some ASL.

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog recently. 🙂 Congrats to you, too, for the Top 10! 🙂

    Reluctant Housewife —Yes, they’d be fine for kids that age, too.

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