Friday, November 01, 2013

Is This A Sign?

Like I have mentioned in previous posts, we know Isabella understands more than what she can express. However, it becomes a guessing game because with very limited expressive language output, it is an extra challenge to gauge her receptive language skills.

Her language repertoire includes the following:
  • She can nod for "yes", and can shake her head for "no" but she is inconsistent in using it, so we can't really tell for sure. She does like to say "no" a lot. 
  • She does not point, but she will take your hand and lead you to where she wants to go or for you to do or get something she wants, e.g. takes your hand because the ipad picture slideshow of herself has stopped - she loves looking at pictures of herself.  
  • She used to touch her forehead,  her generic sign for "parent", but she also uses the same gesture/sign for "Hi"depending on the context.  
  • She makes happy, whiny, angry sounds. Most with a closed mouth, but occasionally we get an open "ahhh". She's happy when she sees herself in the mirror, when we do a lot of movement with our hands, when we swing her, when we sing, when we dance, when we press play on the ipad so she can watch pictures of herself, etc. She makes angry sounds when her dad gets dressed because she doesn't want him to leave, or when I'm washing the dishes and cannot give her my full attention, etc. 
  • When I talk to her she responds with a sound which indicates that she knows how to do the "back and forth" in terms of communication   
                  Me: So what did you do in school today?
                  Isay: closed mouth "uh-uh"
                  Me: So you played with your friends?
                  Isay: closed mouth "uh-uh"
                  Me: Did you have fun?
                  Isay: closed mouth "uh-uh"

  • She has shown us that she has some vocabulary. Like when we ask her to get her book, even if we were pointing at the ball just to test her, she will look at the ball, but turn for the book and get it. 

Since her expressive language is limited, we try to use  sign language.  Even to just model it for her, in the hope that eventually she will use her hands to talk to us. (I have to note that we are not signing because she is deaf or hard of hearing, we are modeling for her a way to use her hands for language so she can learn how to use it). When we do talk to her, we make sure that we say the word and do the sign, even if she does not do it with her hands. I have to admit though that we are not consistent in using it because it's always just easier to talk to her, and there was always the question about whether she makes a connection between the sign and the word, BUT that was a question unanswered until today.


In this video, Isay had one foot with a shoe on and another one with a sock. First, I signed only "where" and "shoe". Then I signed "where" and "sock". There was a slight, what seems like a processing mistake, and then she corrected herself.

In this other video, I had Isabella's shoes beside her on the couch. I don't know if she even knew they were there, because she was busy trying to watch herself being video-ed. I asked by signing "where shoe" but I meant "give shoe". I was not correctly signing what I was asking for her to do. When I asked, you can see she did look down her foot and then she shook her head "no". I realized the miscommunication that happened there. She was trying to tell me "no shoe" when I asked "where shoe", and it is actually a correct response.

She is 3 years and 11 months on this post... that's how long we had to wait for a sign that she does know about things we have been trying to tell her, show her, teach her ... but it looks like the wait is not going to be that long anymore.


Eileen Cappels said...

Hi, Isay, Donna, Edgar and Eloi! And thanx so much for the videos on her blog. I've been thinking about all you guys recently. I'm so proud of the whole gang...especially Isay...for all you do to help her grow and develop. We know she's in there and will communicate with us on her own time. Keep up the good work! Eileen :-}

Eileen Cappels said...

Hi, Donna, Isay, Edgar and Eloi! And thanx for including me in your blog posts. It's nice to see Isay and her progression. We know she's in there and will emerge on her own time, thanx to all your hard work.