Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog...

...for a very important announcement.

"Houston! We. have. communication!"

Last week Kinley and I attended a communication seminar so that we can better help Crew communicate his likes and dislikes with something other than screaming or, my favorite, throwing his head back and screaming.

On a side note, getting permission for Kinley to attend the seminar was much more dramatic than I would have expected, but PT Julie came through for us, as she always does. It seems we're one of those high-maintenance families that dares to think outside of the box. What? Full family involvement? What's that all about? Er?

I digress. As usual. And I'm going to do it again:

Once upon a time, when I was a missionary in Latvia, one of my long-term assignments was to serve as a Latvian Sign Language translator. Through my service in that capacity, signing became an integral piece of my soul and I always intended to teach my own children sign language.

Latvian Sign Language bears little to no resemblance to ASL, so I signed up for a community ASL class shortly after Justin and I were married. The teacher was a pervert who called me at home late at night a few times to hit on me with such questions as "have you been thinking about me?" and "what do you like about me?" even though he knew that I was married. He was deaf and the conversation would have been awkward with a hearing person, but it was really icky being translated through the TDD relay system. I'm sure the girl who was relaying on our behalf had the willies. I got my money back on the class and never pursued it again.

I planned to learn something for Kinley, but she started speaking freakishly early, at 10 months. She was in full sentences by 14 months, unnerving people at the grocery store with her tiny body and gigantic vocabulary. Tanner didn't speak as early, but I kept expecting him to start at any moment, so we didn't do sign for him either.

But now... I have my signing baby!

We are working on a few signs, including "up", "more", "want", "eat", "drink", and "all done". We bought the first two Signing Time DVD's and watched the first one last night. Kinley is by far the most excited about signing. She has been practicing all day.

We are also working with Crew to help him make choices. Choices require him to point, reach, or otherwise make a physical gesture to indicate his desires, which will eventually help him realize that he can just start asking for things once in a while. I'm an awfully gifted guesser, but it would be a lot easier on all of us if he would just tell us in some way what's on his mind without the extra drama. When he wants/hates something, he simply starts melting down and we start scrambling to interpret. Why would he do anything else when this irritating method has worked so marvelously for him thus far?

As for the main point of this post:

For the last several days, Crew has responded enthusiastically and without tears to the question "do you want UP?" I don't even have to reach for him to give him a clue. He is responding to the verbal question alone and it's absolutely fantastic!! He is even asking sometimes without being prompted. He simply smiles and throws his arms up to ask me to pick him up. See how cute? No panic in his eyes, no tears.

He has mastered his very first sign. I feel about this the way I felt about him learning to sit. Once he finally started sitting, I felt confident that crawling and walking would come eventually. I believe that now that he has realized that he can tell me what he wants on this issue, it's only a matter of time before he starts making a whole litany of requests!

In other development, Crew now rolls around instead of just rolling over. He now tumbles around the room, getting stuck in all kinds of places. It's awesome! No longer does he just cry or quietly give up if something he wants is too far away from him. He has figured out that he can get it.

His skills are exploding and we could not be more proud of our little guy. Go, Crew!


Christensen Kids said...

Thats great! I don't have the same chalenges you do, and we LOVE signing. We teach our kids please and thank you really fast. It just seems to make life so much better :-) He's growing and learning fast it's fun to read your blogs.

Heather Vincent said...

Way to go Crew! That's great that he is responding to baby sign.

Scrapping Mom of 5 said...

That is so wonderful. I pray for the day you will feel it necessary to say sit down and be quiet.

Kayla said...

That's absolutely fantastic!!

Jessica said...

What great news! Found your blog through eLIMBO, what a beautiful family you have!

Preemie Miracle said...

It was so nice to met you yesterday. Thanks for giving me your blog address.. You can spy on us !!


Nancy Brown

Texasblu said...

Wheeeee!!! Communication is great! Congrats! :)

Jody said...

Love the photo of Crew reaching up. He is soooooo adorable. Signing was a Godsend for our little grandson. I wish you all the best. As Crew learns more signs I know it will help relieve him of some of his frustrations.