Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Speech Double Standard

We've got a double standard in our house that's been kind of troubling to me. Melanie and I are very strict about having Whitney sign for what she wants. She needs to use her signs to communicate the things she wants and then we're happy to help her get them.

Because of these rules, Liam, my little two year old boy has also grown up very confident with signing for the things he needs. In fact I think I mentioned that at a recent Deaf family conference, some of the teachers though Liam was Deaf because he communicates so well with ASL.

But now that Liam is two, Melanie and I are working hard to get Liam to speak. at dinner when he asks for something, we'll tell him to say please. He'll sign please. And we'll say, "No, you need to say please with your mouth." Liam often points to his mouth confused.

Our pediatrician isn't too concerned about his speech yet. After all he says a few words very well. And he communicates his needs quite fluently in ASL
We're just not sure how to help him understand that we expect him to speak as well as sign. Especially when it's a total double standard.

1 comment:

Anderson Family said...

With Signing Smart, I taught hearing children to sign AND speak. SS is considered speech therapy for speech delatyed children. The ket to teach them sign as well as talk, is to ALWAYS say the word with the sign. I love that Liam signs so well, it will benefit him greatly through his life. You guys are doing great! I could on and on.....