Thursday, April 25, 2013

Starting the Language Explosion - without actually talking

M is signing up a storm. I know I said that before, but the storm is even bigger now. He is constantly on the look-out for things he recognizes so he can point them out to us and do the sign. And if it happens to be a word he can say, then he joyfully proclaims it: "Ball! Ball! Ball! Ball!"

I remember K using words and signs at his age and generally wanting to communicate, but I don't remember her being so insistent and enthusiastic about it. I mean, she would point out an airplane and sign 'airplane' and then keep on playing, but if M sees an airplane, it's BANG BANG BANG on your shoulder, AIRPLANE AIRPLANE AIRPLANE signing, with bouncing and smiling and waving arms. And it's the same for anything he knows the name of. Going on walks is now an I-spy-style hunt for things to sign (or make animal noises) about.

I also don't think K took to signing as much as M has. She used them, and made up some of her own, but M uses them constantly and learns them very quickly (like, immediately). He would learn more if I would just look some more up to teach him. (Note: look up some more signs later.) It really is like his language explosion has started in his brain and hands and his tongue just hasn't caught up.

M's favorite signs (and things) are 'gorilla' and 'butterfly'. He is also drawn to flowers, it seems, and kept using 'butterfly' to mean 'flower', so I looked up the sign for flower and taught it to him. He is now learning to distinguish butterflies from flowers.

His new favorite thing to do is make me do image searches on my laptop for whatever he signs. He usually starts with 'gorilla' (because gorillas are awesome) and then car or train, though he also enjoys butterflies, flowers, elephants, and babies doing various things such as yawning, sleeping, crying or eating. I like looking up 'babies yawning' just to see him open his mouth wide, too.

The Slovak is on a business trip at the moment and for the past day or so M has been pointing to random men and signing Apo. Today on the subway it was every man he saw, including a poster for Iron Man 3. I think M will be relieved when the real Apo comes home so he can stop searching for substitutes.

We are planning to go to the zoo on Saturday (where they have gorillas!) so I need to come up with more signs for the animals we will see there. M is going to LOVE it.

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