Yesterday the boys and I spent longer than I expected practice our ASL: and momma did not even initiate the practice!! We all had fun. Little Brother has recently actually started mimicking signs and really showing an interest in communication with sign. This is really an exciting thing for us; Big brother always had a great ASL vocabulary. 25 signs at 20 months and it just kept going. I am ashamed that I recently realized he is loosing some of it and not adding as much to now that he can speak quite well. Bad momma. ALS in this house was never intended to be a simple bridge as some family choose to use it, merely to help a young child communicate till their speech catches up their understanding and needs. We have always intended ASL to eventually be a second language for our family. Granted we have started with random vocabulary and no grammar, but the intent has never been to simply use a few basic signs for a few years and then move on. I realize I have got to get Big Brother more and more new voc. To that end, I have started to add in more ASL practice time for all of us and I am strongly encouraging Big Brother to demonstrate the signs for Little Brother. Not only will it really help Little Brother add to his collection but it will reinforce Biog Brother’s and continues adding to his of vocabulary.
Until recently Little Brother showed no interest, did not engage in mimicking signs or using them. Even the most basic MORE, PLEASE, ALL DONE, and so on he rarely used and did not put effort in to the correct formation of. (Even now his form on MORE is not correct and he will not even try HELP). So for Little to finally be interested in sign is really refreshing. Little can now mimic all the color signs, though BLUE is still the only one he produces independently, but then blueberries are a vital element of his diet. So we practiced colors.
Big Brother, on his own, found the ASL ABC poster and brought it out of the closet and was sitting alone trying to make all the letter signs (some he know and can’t do, some like the P he still really struggles to ‘create’ and can’t remember). All by himself, sitting in the bedroom alone. Momma vas so proud. So we took it out to the living room and did it together. Big and I practiced the entire alphabet at least 2x fully, in order, and put extra time in on some of the letter formations. The most exciting aspect of the practice time was Little Brother. He joined us, as he normally does in the middle of everything. I repeatedly had to drag him off the poster so anyone could see the letters and sings. He was paying close attention trying to mimic several of the letter signs.
Then I was quizzing Big Brother on his letters (“find me the lower case Q”) mainly looking at the less common letters or the letters where the lowercase is a lot different than the capital. Little Brother started pointing out the letters called out, right along with his Big Brother. SMILE. So momma started calling out one letter for each boy, turns. Now neither of them are good at that. Even Big Brother, on a topic that is a no-brainer for him any more (colors, bigger or smaller for example) can’t resist jumping in to answer questions asked of Little. Almost frustrating, trying to practice colors or body parts with Little brother (just past 3) and having Big Brother (5!!!) shout out the answers. Anyway I got him to slow down and let Little choose first. Over the course of the game, Little Brother correctly identified, located, all 26 letters at least twice!!!
Big Brother and I will go though alphabet again this week – upper case and lower case on individual tiles, and verify but I feel confident to say Big Brother knows all his letters in both forms and the basic Phocis sound tied to them (such as C = cat sound; or G = the goat sound). I want to get the tiles out this week and check once more, but I am confident he is there. I can’t run Little Brother though the tiles like I can Big since he doesn’t have the language, but I will try to assess in a big more structured way where he stands on letter recognition this week too.