Monday, September 7, 2009

The Sign for "More"

I shared a long time ago that Daryl and I have been using sign language with Jonah from birth. There are so many amazing findings about children using sign language, and the insight that it is giving psychologists into how children learn language is astounding.

Jonah had been picking up signs (that means that he was learning, using, and understanding the signs) for quite a while. I posted a link when he was first beginning to say "all done" using sign language. These first signs were crude imitations of mine and Daryl's signing. The understanding was there, but I think that Jonah needed to refine his fine motor skills before he could produce the signs fluidly. Then suddenly, he stopped signing. Just stopped. I was so upset. I went over in my head, were we doing it wrong or was he confused.... Then suddenly he started again just this past month. His signs are much more deliberate, and more like the signs that Daryl and I have been signing. His newest sign is "more." I've really been working on it with him this month. It has helped to avert several mealtime tantrums.

When we were at a playdate this weekend, we all stopped to have lunch at a little cafe. While we were waiting for his food, we gave Jonah some yogurt melts. When his food came, I put the yogurt melts to the side of the table and gave him his grilled cheese. He ate about half of the grilled cheese sandwich and started signing "more." He had grilled cheese in front of him. "You want more????" I asked him, a little confused. "More what? You have more in front of you!" He signed "more" again, and finally reached towards the yogurt melts. He wanted more yogurt! I was so happy that I had taught him this sign at that point. With all of his public tantrums, that seem to occur in restaraunts, it is really helpful that he is starting to communicate by sign language again.

Here is a video of Jonah signing "more." To sign "more" you pinch your fingers all together, like you're making shadow puppets with a closed mouth, then you bring the finger tips of each hand together, like you're making your shadow puppets kiss. Jonah touches his knuckles together. Children often create different versions of signs. It's kind of like saying "tummy" or "ma-ma" It is just easier for them that way.
Jonah Signs "More"

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