July 20, 2009

Signing Time

We are frequently asked about the implications of Chase's having Down syndrome - Will he be able to walk? Will he be able to talk? Chase will be able to do all of these things that typical kids are able to do, but he will just take his time in reaching those milestones.

Many kids with Down syndrome learn sign language to compensate for a speech delay. Sign language is helpful to allow a little child to communicate his opinions and wants. It can also accelerate the child's learning to speak verbally and can increase the child's vocabulary. For these reasons, we are interested in helping Chase to learn to sign as a bridge until he learns to speak verbally. As he begins to speak verbally, we expect that he will drop using the signs.

Although Chase is only 4 months old and obviously can't begin to sign yet, he can watch us use signs for words for those things he is learning right now. We will be starting with the signs for eat, milk, sleep, mother, father, brother. As time goes on, I imagine we would add signs for smile, play, please, thank you, etc.

I found a great website called Signing Savvy, which shows video clips of how to do the signs.

We have also ordered the first volume of the Baby Signing Time DVD, which helps little kids/babies learn to sign through fun songs! It should be an interesting experiment, both learning these signs ourselves as well as teaching them to Chase!


  1. Signing with children is GREAT! We signed with both our children and I can't even begin to tell you the many wonderful "moments" that we've had because they were able to, through signs, share their thoughts and feelings with us --WAY before they could talk. Do also check out www.babysigns.com for other signing resources. :)

  2. Baby Signing Time is Matthew's favorite! He loves both volumes. We started signing to him when he was about 7 or 8 months old. He first signed back when he was 15 or 16 months old. Every kid is different though. I know another kid with DS who was signing by 9 or 10 months. Who knows when Chase will surprise you with his first sign? Have fun with it!! :-)