Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Signing the Alphabet

video

Here he is in all his ABC glory. This little guy signs the alphabet all day long. He falls asleep with his hand in the shape of various letters, that's how intense he has become. And who would have known that the love of ASL would lead to his first attempts at speech?

Take that, you auditory-verbal fanatics!

*If I hear or read one more thing about how "research proves" that signing hinders the development of speech I'm going to go nuts. I think it's great that AV therapy has been so successful for so many kids, but I am tired of the anti-sign stance that is being backed by people who are just lucky enough that deafness is the only issue their kids are facing. *


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That little cutie who comes into the picture and is speaking in the background is Ethan's best friend Zeva. She is an extraordinary signer, has an ASL vocab of well over 150 words. She is also 2 years old, and hears just fine.

29 comments:

Lotta said...

That's like saying that teaching your children Spanish as a second launguage will keep them from excelling in English. Nonsense!

Aliki2006 said...

This video was amazing! The look of joy and pride and just FUN is so apparent in his face!

flutter said...

he will totally be bilingual....what a doll

Kyla said...

OH MY GOD. Could he be any cuter? Both my kids ran over from the legos to watch. BubTar said, "Wow. He's so smart!" KayTar signed along with E.

I am BEAMING with pride for your little guy.

Kyla said...

PS: KayTar's first REAL (as in, words that she didn't lose) words/sounds were tied to signs as well. Nothing ever stuck until then. I know I've told you before, but I really think signing tripped a switch in her brain and made speech acquisition possible.

Don Mills Diva said...

He is an absolute doll - you must be very proud!

Jason said...

Stunning - quite the smartypants!

Jennifer said...

OH.MY.GOODNESS!! He is WAY too cute!!! And what a sharp kid!! I know you're proud of him....I am!
I love this video...and now am going to request more on occasion! He's so adorable...you might as well!! :)

Kellan said...

I just loved seeing Ethan signing! I just loved seeing him!! He's so cute and doing so well.j I know the alphabet signs and I was following what he was doing - how great!! Take care and thanks for sharing this video - it was so sweet. kellan

Eileen said...

I loved seeing this video. It nearly brought me to tears. Ethan is so beautiful and hearing his voice, seeing him sign the letters and say the letters and with such happiness and excitement......it was WONDERFUL. It really was, it just gave me chills. He is just too cute and you can tell he totally listens and gets exactly what is being asked. He is one smart cookie. One very, very cute, smart cookie. Thanks so much for sharing this!!!!XOXOXO

Mom to Toes said...

Go Ethan!!!!! :-D

Great job, Heather!

diber said...

ROCK ON!!!!!

And he knows which ones come after each other, too. Cool!!

I love how they work hard to make the handshape right. So cute.

(ellis has those jammies, too. *grin*)

La La said...

Oh, Hetha, he's absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! I started crying with joy! Thank you for sharing this. IT MADE MY DAY!

He's so smart and handsome and bright and happy!

Sending you love.

I am Trish Marie said...

I get so frustrated with the "research" that proves that signing hinders language development. I want to meet these kids that were taught sign, and then, consequently, had underdevelopped language. Emmi? Pretty much the only words she says are ones she also signs.

Plus, I think it is silly not to teach our children with implants sign (I also am against the push to longer call them deaf once they are implanted...the are still deaf when the processor is off). It is ridiculous. What? I am not supposed to talk to Emmi when she is taking a bath or swimming or playing in the rain? They need sign.

And, you know, no matter how much she talks, she is still drawn to sign. It is like she was born to do it. I can't take that away from her.

And...way to go Ethan!

KC said...

He is so precious it hurts.

LOVE the video.

La La said...

I had to come back and see this again today. It melts my heart.

love you.

jen said...

oh, STOP IT!! he is so unbelievably precious (and smart, smart, smart) love it, love it, love it.

slouching mom said...

he's enchanting.

and so very clever!

Emily said...

Great job, Ethan!!

Dianrez said...

Just discovered your blog...it became my "awwww" for the day. Thanks so much for the cute clip! I just know your boy will make it someday! Can't wait till you blog about his first stories!

Also inspiring are all the commentaries that express the wisdom of learning both speech and ASL...I'm so relieved that parents are really thinking and seeing through fallacies about restricting sign language.

Loudest Mom said...

Yay Ethan!

You know what's funny? Trey would only 'speak' words he learned the sign for first- AND I got his AVT Early Intervention teacher to agree that we were making a smart choice :)

Great job!!!

Hetha said...

I know there are some voices of moderation out there in the AVT community. We've been fortunate enough to find AV therapists who understand our committment (and Ethan's need/desire) for sign language, yet they continue to work with us. It's the purists who feel the need to cite research to make their case that I'm losing respect for. It's one thing to be pro AVT, it's another to make people who use sign feel like they're failing their kids and that is exactly what they are doing by beating the research horse over and over. It's particularly disrespectful to families like ours who have a child who is not only deaf, but has other health issues that factor into the equation as well. Research is great, but it doesn't account for the diversity in any community to paint everyone with the same brush.

Jeanie said...

OK, it's Grandma commenting again. As Grandma, this tickles me to tears. I mean, this little boy is so smart! As Jeanie I have to say that ASL may be a life saver some day to any person who can't hear without aid of some kind. How could ASL be a bad thing? It's communicating in a truly lovely form.

Kellan said...

Hi Hetha - hope you have had a good week. I think I'm on the other side of the sickness that has been going through our house. Have a great weekend!! See you soon. Kellan

leahlefler said...

Wow- he's awesome! You're a great advocate for him, and every kid needs something different to learn how to communicate. Go, Ethan!! My 2 year old (hearing) has a severe expressive language delay and EI is to start soon- we'll probably add in more sign language since speech is going NO WHERE!

Casdok said...

Yes i get annoyed at what researchers think to!!

Lisa b said...

um yeah.
My first kid (neurotypical) signed as she started to speak. No issues. Now we are also teaching her Cantonese. I agree with Lotta but have a stronger word in mind.
My younger daughter has Sotos Syndrome so is delayed and will have language delays. We will be singing with her.

Sarah said...

Oh, that is great! What a cutie pie!

Jen said...

There is research showing that crawling and other motor tasks requiring kids to "cross center" helps with learning to read.

My son never crawled, he just started walking very young. I can't tell you how many people hear this and freak out, telling me that "he will never learn to read. You better start making him crawl around!"

I would just laugh. First of all, when they made these comments, he was already reading (at the age of 3) and secondly I'm married to an educational psychologist!

Obviously his daddy knows what to watch out for with education concerns! Just because DS walked before crawling, also didn't mean he had difficulty crossing center, and he certainly did a lot of crawling and other cross center activities around later. It wasn't really an issue, but people still freaked out.

What people miss when they "cite" research and get after other parents is that often the research has been generalized to situations that weren't the ones studied. Just like the crawling research was showing that kids who were already struggling reading benefited from crossing center and people generalized it to mean that kids who didn't crawl as babies would never learn to read.

The research I've seen on speech delays is that they are slight, and that kids catch up quickly. It's still a benefit because while it took them a bit longer to get there, they now can speak & sign. Same thing with any second language-kids in bilingual homes speak slower, but when they do, they speak 2 languages. Still a benefit in my book!

Don't worry about criticism from people who aren't walking in your shoes, and know that he is utterly adorable.

Blessings,
Jen