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Sign Language?

Let me start off with saying that my 3 year old daughter is in speech therapy at her pre-school and the therapist sometimes uses sign language as she is saying a word.

This evening as we were putting DD to bed, she kept doing this with her hands:

With her left hand opened up, she would put the index finger of her right hand in the middle of the palm of the left hand and do a half-turn with her right hand turning the finger inside the palm.

Does that mean anything in sign language?


Asked by AllAboutKeeley at 9:46 PM on Apr. 11, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (7)
  • She could be signing "time". Is she pointing at her palm, or laying her finger along side her palm?

    It's definitely not friend or cookie unless she's adapting somehow. "Friend" alternates hooking the first fingers and "cookie" is a "c hand" in the palm of the other hand.

    ASL does NOT have multiple signs for a single word. There are dialects, just as in any language, but the signs in different dialects will be similar enough that there will be NO doubt what the sign is.

    Children don't always sign it "perfect" when they're learning. I would speak to her therapist and see what she says.

    Here's a website I like to use: They have videos of the signs.

    I definitely recommend you learning along with her!! How cool she's communicating!!


    Answer by TiccledBlue at 8:30 AM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • Ask them for a picture sheet. I'm surprised they didn't give you one. Or you can probably look it up online.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:48 PM on Apr. 11, 2009

  • It is hard to say. I am no expert but have been teaching my kids sign language since they were babies (with the help of Signing Time DVDs - not because I already knew it). One thing I have noticed with both kids is that just as children pronounce words differently and use baby talk they will do the same with sign language. The closest thing I can think of is that it could be a variation on "cookie". That being said ... the best thing to do would be to ask the therapist what signs she uses with Keeley. :-)

    Answer by Feef at 10:05 PM on Apr. 11, 2009

  • It is sign language. There are books for ASL (American Sign Language) at bookstores. I am thinking friend or cookie. Ask the therapist for a sheet of the sign she is teaching your daughter. Doing signlanguage at the same time as talking, actually helps with speech development. A child as young as 6 months can learn sign language. You could look up the signs online to . Google American Sign Language or Baby Signs.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:21 PM on Apr. 11, 2009

  • If she is rotaing her finger flat on the palm of her other hand.. like a clock.. it means TIME (or clock).. she may be saying.. "TIME" for bed.
    Congrats - she is trying to communicate with you !!!!

    be aware.. that in American sign language.. there are many different signs for the same word. so.. you may want to talk to her therpist about YOU learning with her.
    Also.. there are many on-line ASL dictionaries to look at.
    Good luck mommy

    Answer by 4xmommy2008 at 10:53 PM on Apr. 11, 2009

  • Like other mom's, I would tell you to get some books or picture cards. My son, was a late talker and his first words came from signs. Be consistent by using the signs at home as well as saying the words. check out or

    Answer by tiggermom803 at 12:53 AM on Apr. 12, 2009

  • After watching the videos, I'm not thinking what she did was "cookie," "friend," or "time." I know my explanation probably wasn't that well, but she was holding her left hand vertically (as if she was going to clap) and used the index finger of her right hand to point in the middle of the palm of her left hand, then twisting her right hand like she was drilling her finger inside her left hand. Ugh...I just don't know a better way to explain it...LOL

    I know it really doesn't matter, but I hate it that just the idea of my DD being in speech therapy means she can't communicate. She says words (lots of them actually). She just doesn't combine as she should yet and doesn't really say words to where strangers can understand her.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 11:20 AM on Apr. 12, 2009