Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Liam. Pass. Mamma. Fail.

Liam went for his 2 year old checkup and passed with flying colors. (Go Little Dude!)

His mamma on the other hand (ahem--me) got a little talking to about being bilingual and not yet having a bi-lingual son.

The doc says leave the English to Tim and just sign with Liam. But, I can't or I won't not speak to him day and night. I will make a concerted effort to sign and speak more (which isn't ASL at all) but does expose him to signs. And, I'll work up to "ASL only" a few hours a day.

I had planned to start in earnest Monday and completely forgot about it. Then Tuesday, I did it a bit, but day by day hopefully it'll be a more regular part of our lives.


  1. First of all, you are NOT a failure. But, let's come back to that. Bilingual, meaning you can speak English & ASL? Or English & another language? I guess I thought you had been teaching him sign-language? Am I thinking of someone else? Anyways, please PLEASE don't stop speaking to Liam! As you probably know, you can speak & sign in order to teach him... that's how we taught our girls when they were babies. Signing really helped with early communication. But, that's why I'm confused... why would your doctor be bringing this up now, at his 2yo well-child visit instead of a year ago, or even before? This pisses me off! Pediatricians should know better than making a Mom feel bad. We have enough challenges & an ambitious list of goals we may never fulfill! And if you force anything, even ASL on your son, he may resist & regress. If Liam is excelling at meeting his milestones, then Momma IS indeed doing a fab job, and you deserve a pat on the back, not a backhanded comment about what you aren't doing "right"... that's BS. None of us are perfect. But you, my friend ARE a great mom. You do so much for your son!!

    btw -- I have been working on a post about signing with your babies... now if I can just complete it and publish it. ;)

  2. In all fairness to my doc, we have talked about it before. And before I had children I swore that I would be signing with my child the second they came out. And, I would look at interpreters who had children who didn't sign and be completely flummoxed.

    The reality for me is that in the early days I wore Liam A LOT. And, it wasn't conducive to signing. And, then since it wasn't a habit it was easy to continue to put off.

    He suggested this now, more intently, as the brain truly is wired differently in children who have exposure to a full language when they are young.

    By bilingual I do mean English/ASL. ASL actually has it's own syntax, grammar,etc. and is recognized as a full language. It is possible to sign in English word order which is what most people do with their kids, but it's more coded English that TRUE ASL. It's using ASL signs in English word order, not the language with all it's own beauty and idiosyncrasies. Which is really impossible to do while speaking at the same time. But, giving him some exposure would be better than none...and I hope that I can really start to incorporate it into our lives.

    Thanks for the fabulous comment!


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