|You can't get more Australian than having|
Vegemite all around your mouth!
Here's a quick video of Felix doing some signing.
Using sign language for children with Down Syndrome can help in different ways. The biggest reason why we decided to use sign language with Felix was to eliminate a certain amount of frustration. Children with Down Syndrome are generally slower to speak than other kids and the degree to which they will be able to speak, verbally, varies from person to person and is not something you can predict when the child is born. We don't know how 'verbal' Felix will be, so it's really important to us as a family for Felix to be able to express to us what he wants and how he feels. Imagine how difficult it would be if you were hungry, but were unable to express that to the person who cared for you. Even worse, if you were feeling sad or in pain but noone knew. I'm really hoping that Felix will be able to speak clearly when he's older, but if he can't (which is OK too), then at least we have something in place to help us all be able to communicate with each other. In the meantime, it's brilliant for him to be able to tell us what he wants!
Some children with Down Syndrome have varying degrees of hearing loss. Some is able to be corrected by tubes or grommets in the ears, and some people wear hearing aids. Others have significant hearing loss which is unable to be corrected. In these situations, sign language becomes even more important. I would strongly encourage it anyway as the future is unpredictable. Besides, it's a fun thing to learn and the whole family can get involved. Here in Australia we use Auslan sign language. If anyone is interested in learning, this website is fantastic http://sign.com.au/ Click on where it says 'Create Custom Phrase' and type in any word you'd like to learn. A diagram will come up showing you how to sign it. Give it a go :)
|One of Felix's first signs was 'Cat'|