Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vocabulary

By no means am I a child development expert. In fact, I only know what I have read from a stack of baby books, and we are past whatever information I garnered from them.

Something that I love to see Little Bird do is take a sign or a word and expand it's meaning to fit a broader communication need. His sign for "more" has morphed into "I want," and that has led to us being able to add the "please" sign to his vocabulary in just a couple of days.

Yesterday, he had his 15 month check up where we ended up waiting quite awhile to see our doctor. Bird was as patient as a toddler can be, and when he had finally had quite enough waiting, he went over to the door and started waving "Bye bye." He turned around and said, "Buh bye," and I knew that he wanted to leave.

It fascinates me to watch him put concepts together and figure out how to communicate. He doesn't really have many words right now, but he tells me a whole lot. It seems to me that the communication is more important than counting the number of words. Any child development people care to weigh in? I would love to hear from you.

9 comments:

  1. I'm totally useless on the child development side, but I think it's really cool that he's making those connections!

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  2. i feel the same way about my 17 month old. We taught him the sign for all done and he's been using it for awhile and has even started saying it quite a bit. When we were on a two-hour car trip last weekend, he started saying "All done" in his 17-month-old way and I could see in the rear view mirror that he was doing the sign. Because he was "all done" being stuck in his car seat!

    My older son used the please sign as a catch all for "gimme that" as well. The baby hasn't picked that one up yet, mostly because he can just look at me with his big giant eyes and get what he wants most of the time (especially when he throws in one of his patented screeches for good measure!)

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  3. I wouldn't consider myself an expert, but I did study Early Childhood Education in college. And I completely agree with you. While it is important to pay attention to the number of words your child is actually saying, they are just guidelines. Some kids just don't like to talk. Or they don't want to talk until they have something important to say.

    My guy is on the lower end of average for number of words. But he understands everything I say, and he can communicate what he wants. So I'm not worried.

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  4. I agree -- and we get the "all done" sign in the carseat too (she hates it). Bird is not only understanding big ideas (like having to wait), but also learning that he can "talk" to you about them to try to achieve his goal (like going somewhere more fun). Toddlers are amazing!!

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  5. Everything I've heard and read is that the communication and the fact that he understands what you say to him is a big deal, regardless of words. Isn't it amazing to see their minds develop? It is absolutely mindblowing.

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  6. There was time when our doc was concerned about our son's "speech delay". When we had some "experts" over the evaluate him, they realized why...

    When my son wanted the lights to be turned on, he didn't ask. He simply got up, went to the other room for a step stool, climbed up, and did it himself.

    Sometimes actions speak louder than words :-)

    That was when he was about 17 months old. Now at the age of three, he WON'T. SHUT. UP. and I laugh at how worried and concerned I was about the talking...

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  7. Ooh, this is right up my alley! I'm a SLP! Yes, communication, more than just number of words, is so important. Sounds like your little man is doing great.

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  8. Anytime you want a free eval, you let me know. I'm happy to do it if it means I get to spend time with you and litlle Bird!

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  9. So I know nothing of child development, but Maggie still uses the sign for 'more' to ask for stuff.

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