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Is 17 months too old to begin baby sign language?

My husband announced he would like for us to teach our now 17-month old sign language. I have a few books on it and a few charts/flash cards with the sign/word on them...but my son seems more interested in playing 52 card pick up and folding them than learning to sign.

I keep reading on several different sites saying that toddlers are not too young to start, and actually is a good age to lessen the likelihood of tantrums (from frustration)...but how do you teach a child that doesn't want to pay attention?

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Asked by Rebel_Supergirl at 12:05 AM on May. 14, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • baby signs

    Answer by 2mothershelpers at 12:08 AM on May. 14, 2009

  • lol No baby is going to want to look at flash cards to learn things. You just incorporate it into daily life. If he's reaching for his cup, sign drink and say drink. I was with my friend's 14 month old and I was bouncing her on my knee, singing a song. She wanted me to do it again, so I took her hands and showed her the sign for more, said MORE and did it again. After 3 or 4 times of doing that, she was signing it on her own. Just use the signs often in your daily routine.

    Answer by toriandgrace at 12:08 AM on May. 14, 2009

  • What tori said. You have to incorporate it. My cousin's daughter has been learning to sign since about 11 months old.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 12:14 AM on May. 14, 2009

  • Never to late, but one thing I noticed with my son, and the reason why I stopped, is that the words that he can sign he won't say with an actual word. When I say, " can you say....', he will only sign that word and not verbalize.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:28 AM on May. 14, 2009

  • I don't think it's too late at all. It is, however, going to take a lot of dedication on your part. Just try to be consistent as you can. My son is 23 months and has been signing since about 9/10 months and still signs. We watch the show "Signing Time," which I highly recommend. Good luck!

    Answer by jkt747 at 1:58 AM on May. 14, 2009

  • We're trying to show our 15 month old a few words. I started with thank you, more, book, potty. good luck

    Answer by Danni143 at 10:47 AM on May. 14, 2009

  • We started to teach my son to sign at 18 months because he was a late talker and was getting frustrated. We did basic words like "open", "more", "help", etc. We always say the word and the sign together. It took a little while to get him to use the first sign but the next few came quickly. Once he could say the word, he mostly stopped signing it (although sometimes he does both). I was initially wary of teaching signs as I was afraid it would further delay speech but the therapist was right. he just swapped them naturally. The Baby Babble DVDs have some basic, useful signs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:07 PM on May. 14, 2009

  • Its never to late to start signing, but you are going to have to learn the signs and show your child, it may take them a while to catch on and do the sign but they learn it my son is 1 and he counts to 10 in asl its just a matter of doing over n over with them good luck

    Answer by wyattgrace at 11:02 PM on May. 14, 2009

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