Signing at Day Care

This morning I brought the binder we have created with Vincent’s signs in to day care. As I said, we took pictures of him signing, then we wrote an explanation as to how to sign it and if Vincent does it a little different we wrote it too. I put all the information in a simple powerpoint format, we printed it out and put it in a binder. If I figure a way out to do it, I will try to post it here too.

Anyways, I was not so sure how day care would react to actually having to work extra on this with him. Afterall, learning to sign sounds like a HUGE thing to do and also sounds hard. I am thrilled to say that they reacted very positively and will definitely go along with it. I suggested that we do 2 signs a week and maybe the kids can learn them together at the morning meeting on Mondays. Vince showed off a little by signing on cue and they were all amazed at how well he did the signs. As the kids are ca 9months – 3 years old in Vincent’s group there are many kids who do not speak.
Vincent is the only kid with a special need in this day care. He goes there alone, without any extra person to help him out during the day. This is what we want and what works for us.

I am so relieved. And a little mad at my self that we did not get it all together earlier… But well well, nothing I can do about that now.

Question: All of you that are using signs, how do you work with this at daycare?

4 Responses

  1. hey, just sent you an email… glad it went so well! i’m also kicking myself for not doing it sooner, but hey- we can’t put the clock back. onwards! tekeal

  2. Very well done! Be proud of yourself! You are also doing a good job in raising awareness for other groups of children that have needs different from your beautiful son, who also communicate through signing!

    I have long said signing should be a part of school curriculum, as the first new “language” we learn. If it also was to be taught in daycare for younger children, they would really benefit from it in the long run. Small children are capable of signing before they learn how to express themselves orally.

    The world would look different if we could communicate across most barriers we put up for ourselves, which is something sign-language ignores.

    I too am on a mission to educate teachers, parents and children in daycare/school through enlightenment and education because my childrens roots are multi-cultural and multi-ethnic and they look beautifully exotic. It works! They are seldom being teased anymore.

    My objective is not about focusing on my children only, but EVERY child that stands out in the croud in some way. It is about creating an openmindedness in people that embraces EVERYBODY!

    As parents we all have things we regret we did not “fix” sooner where our children are concerned.

    My biggest regret is that I waited too long to have my first DD’s tonsil removed.

    After the surgery I had a different kid. She was suddenly RESTED after sleep. She was HAPPY all the time. Afternoons were not HELL anymore.

    Her only “symptom” before surgery was VERY HEAVY snoring, the need for a nap during the day and absolute and total exhaustion in the afternoon that still lasted when she was almost four when the surgery took place. Had it been the usual never-ending infections in ears-sinus-throat that come with this condition, I would have been forced to do something a lot sooner, but the doctors always told me she was ok.

    The increased quality of life my DD – and I, lol – experienced after her surgery gave me the confidence to demand the same for DD no 2 – who did not even snore, but sounded like she was choking whenever she had a small cold – in addition she kept having raging fits way into her first school year.

    Afterwards the surgeon told me it was a good thing the tonsil was removed, because it was HUGE.

    And again I suddenly had a different daughter, she was HAPPY without the fits.

    I will always live with the fact that my daughter hade to live with a poorer quality of life than necessary for quite some time because I did not react to her other symptoms sooner – naps and tantrums way overdue to grow out of. I used to reflect about how this has affected her in her early years.

    Until I watched them playing and laughing and suddenly realised how adustable we as human beings are, and how wonderful that is!

    Btw I love your blog!

  3. Enjoying your blog!
    We live in VA, USA and our son was dx at 2 1/2 with autism….completely non-verbal.
    We started signing with him using DVDs from and all our family learned immediately. It was so easy, we couldn’t NOT learn just from watching.
    We used to send them in to our son’s speech therapist and preschool class and they would play them there. I didn’t know if that was something Vince’s preschool would be interested in. I think each DVD is about 20-30 minutes and, of course, they wouldn’t have to play the entire DVD in one sitting. It would be fun for the class and they would learn more than 2 signs a day, I am sure.
    I just thought I would write….if this helps any.
    Bless your family,

  4. heisan! so interesting that you don’t want vince to have a spec ed aide. i’d love to hear your reasons. does he have any sort of early intervention?

    first, that’s AWESOME that you did all that work for the daycare and that they welcomed it. i gave the daycare here in norway a stack of signing card from the US. i was a little nervous that i was asking them to us the american signs and not the norwegian (for the signs that he already knows, otherwise we teach him the norwegian ones for a new sign to make things easier for the daycare in that sense).

    anyway, they do exactly what you suggested. 2 signs a week. they practice them during their “assembly” period (5 minutes before lunch where they sing) and they use them in songs if its appropriate.

    also, they learn the sign for the “theme of the week” sometimes. for example, they’ve been learning emotions- happy, sad, angry, tired, etc. so they learned those signs.

    good luck! you’re doing a great job! and i would seriously love to hear the answers the questions i posed in the beginning of this message! 🙂


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