Tuesday, October 20, 2009

kira speak

Kira seems to be in a new language development period. A few quotes from yesterday:

- I was blogging and she came in the room and said "oll-uh". I knew she was approximating a word and not just giving me a dispatch-from-Kira, but for the life of me, I could not figure it out. Until I followed her into the living room and saw that she was trying to open up her STROLLER for her baby doll. Duh, Mom.

-Last night we were watching Dancing with the Stars (go Kelly!) and she looked up and did the sign for phone, said "i-tuh" which I think is "I talk", and said "Papaw". We said, "Kira, do you want us to call Papaw?" and she said, "NO!".

Then about fifteen minutes later, she did the sign for phone, said "i-tuh Nene". We said, "Kira, do you want to call Nene?" and she said, "es". We of course had to let Papaw know that she had no interest in talking to him.

-Monday nights are "boys night" while I watch DwtS. Boys night = hot dogs and fritos. So, last night, Kira introduced her newest word, "ot dog".

Oh, and I remember one from last week that I wanted to get down. Derek was off and I was taking a shower and getting ready to go somewhere about the time he usually leaves for work. I came out of the shower and Kira looked at me and said, "Mommy? Work?". She was totally making the connection between the getting ready and the time of day and transferring that from her Daddy to me! Of course, I had to say, "No baby, Mommy is always at work." (She doesn't say work that clearly, but I'm not sure how to write her approximation. She says it along with the sign for work and it's pretty close to the actual word.)

I know that sign language can be a hot button issue with our kids. Some parents feel that using sign language might hold their kids back from speech development. I can see that point, however in our case, sign language is a huge help. When Kira has a sign to go along with an approximation, I know right away what she's saying. Once she begins actually saying the word, the sign disappears. I think, for Kira, sign language helps to reduce frustration and encourage communication.

One more story - Kira made up her own sign to use when she wanted me to sing lullabies to her. Very quickly, she started saying "bye-bye" and using the sign with it. So, I knew that "bye-bye" was temporarily "night-night". Now she's saying "nye-nye" (no idea how to write that) and because I know right away that she's saying night-night, she doesn't use the sign. Now, she only uses that sign when she wants me to sing lullabies.

While I would love for her to have the vocabulary of her brother at this age, I LOVE the fact that she uses her limited vocabulary in the ways that she does. Watching her problem solve and figure out how to communicate is really amazing.


  1. That is so cool! I can't wait for Liliana to start using signs.

  2. Kira is awesome! We look forward to more words here. Signing has been a huge help for us. I know I would understand most of Goldie's words if she didn't sign with them. It really helps us know what she means and encourages communication.

  3. She is doing so great communicating with you! I have to lol about the shower=work comment, because Sean calls showers "Dada bath." He is used to seeing dh shower every morning before work & I shower while he is at school, so I guess he doesn't know that "mama bath" too!

  4. Wow she is doing amazingly well with speech!!

    I love the signing, it really helps with frustration. And I really do believe it does encourage speech - it's a progression.

  5. Hi, just found your blog through Days with Dylan (we have been following them for over a year). Anyway, our Aubrey just turned one and I wondered if you could give a little more insight as to how you went about teaching her the signs. I have been doing it for 5 or 6 months, not always consistant, but haven't seen any results from Aubrey. If it is in an older post, just point the way. Thanks, and good job Kira!

  6. Studies show that sign language, if used right after birth... are the best. Better than speech. I've seen babies sign reasonably well at 10 months. Speaking? No, much later... Using sign language DOES NOT hold back speech development at all. If speech development is slowed down, its something else - unrelated to signing itself.

    Many people think sign language slows down the mind... that is the sad result of long social bias between 1900 to say 1990. Before 1900, Deaf people were more highly educated than the average American! After 1900, Deaf people were ecouraged to learn to speak and as a result, overall, Deaf education went downhill. I know this vey well because I'm a historian and happens to be Deaf...