Carter is now 4 1/2 months old and one of his favourite things to do is to watch the Hairy Maclary story in NZSL and the NZSL nursery Rhymes app. Watching these apps is like ‘being read to’ he can relax to enjoy the story. This is equivalent to a hearing child relaxing and listening to a story. It also exposes him to a variety of signers and surrounds him with accessible language.
We have even been showing him stories in ASL and BSL, (signed stories) although these are different languages we want him to get use to seeing visual language. Unfortunately there are only a couple of stories for pre schoolers in NZSL. This is an area of need for families in NZ with Deaf and hard of hearing children.
It is interesting to watch where his eyes are tracking while he is watching signing. He is really focussed and moves his eyes from the picture to the signer and back.
I am often asked if Carter is signing yet. No has not produced an actual sign (he’s 4 1/2 months old), he is displaying the building blocks of signs ie Manual babble. So things are on track 🙂
There are particular vocab items that we consciously use repeatedly with him as they carry the most meaning for him in his daily activities. For example
all of these signs have very simple handshapes and simple movements.
We also make sure that we are repeatedly using the family sign names so that he is exposed to names also.
He is now starting to control the movements of his hands. It was so exciting to see him giggle as he moved his fingers and realised he was in control of them.
In this clip I am signing ‘FINISH’ – I deliberately sign it close to him and then in contact with him, this is so that he can feel the movement of the sign. You can see him take hold of my hand and then as he feels the movement he starts to open and close his fist.