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Greetings from Japan,

For those of you who know, I've been worried about Neil's late speech development (he's 3 and very behind the other kids speaking wise)...

He's coming along OK (slowly but OK) but he gets very frustrated.

Last month my wife saw a special about how some parents are teaching their kids sign language who don't have hearing problems.

I decided to learn some basic sign language and teach Neil (we're also teaching Erika, our 1 year old).


With his signing in hand he pushes himself to learn more and sometimes speaks when he does so...

Here's a before/after example.

BEFORE: 'Daddy - car' pointing to the drivers seat

This could be translated the obvious way: "Daddy please drive the car" BUT it could also be

"Daddy, this car is too small and I want you to buy a bigger one because in the future I will have many friends"


"Daddy, please don't drive the car because last time you almost hit a dog"


"Daddy, the driver's car seat is dirty, please clean it."

As you can see, it could mean several hundered different things and we had to make a 'logical' guess as to what he was trying to say...

NOW: Daddy - "sign for driving and sometimes saying DRIVE" - car


And the side benefit... Erika is SIGNING TOO!!!!!

She's got several signs down: DRINK (she's thirsty) - MORE - EAT (she's hungry) - UP (pick me up) - DOWN (put me down) - WANT (which means she wants whatever she's pointing at) and a few more...


Another side bonus: I'm learning sign language... always wanted to but never gave myself the time.

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