Friday, September 26, 2008

signing fun

Just investigated the Tractor Supply Company store near Meijer. Farming stores have the bestest toys! Kittyboy has a kitty and a doggie (specifically a Bernese Mountain dog), chosen from a wide variety of molded plastic animals. That's part of what I love about farm stores' toy sections, the realistic and even breed-specific animals. You can choose between an Angus, Brahman, or Charolais bull for your farm, and for dogs they had dalmations, Bernese, labs, and a couple others. So we got a yellow tabby cat and a Bernese Mountain dog, and over the weekend I'll figure out what other animal he's most likely to encounter in books, learn the sign for it, and get one of those. Then we'll play "What's this?" going through kitty, doggie, and the new critter. His farm will expand as he learns the signs for the animals.
We're working on combining Please with other signs, so that it's actually a request. Right now he signs Please whenever he wants ANYTHING, but without a sign to tell you for what he is saying Please. So we're working on Eat Please, Drink Please, Read Please. His current method of saying that he wants to read a book is to throw it in my lap while signing Please, and if I'm in the middle of something he starts commanding, loudly, "MMMM! MMMM!" and if that doesn't work, will start hitting my leg with the book. It escalates pretty steadily. And it gets old, FAST, especially since I often say "Wait" just out of principle to try and teach him to wait, even a moment or so, for what he wants. So now instead of Wait, I ask him, "Please what?" and sign Book/Read. Ideally, he will start phrasing requests for specifically what he wants, or the sign closest to what he wants, and it would cut down on the frustration for both of us.
Oh, and Janna SL (the new one, speech/language) is helping us start PECS, Picture Exchange Communication System. We're trying to get him to choose between things, like having a picture of bubbles and a picture of a book, and whichever he picks is what we do.
And he'll talk eventually. Really, he will!

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