As many of you know, Benjamin has hearing loss. He is deaf in one ear (the ear with microtia) and has moderately severe hearing loss in his other ear. He wears a Cochlear Baha hearing aid with headband. When he’s about 5 or so they will surgically insert a cochlear implant.
In addition to having hearing loss, Benjamin has a craniofacial condition that essentially “locks” his jaw shut. He can open his jaw a few centimeters. He also has a large un-repaired cleft palate. These things combined means that Benjamin is mostly non-verbal. He attempts to speak (makes sounds) but no words actually come out.
We began introducing ASL to Benja in the form on baby signs shortly after he came home. We did this through the book and DVD system “Signing Time”. I can’t recommend this program enough. The videos are so informative while at the same time very entertaining. Benjamin happily sits and signs along during his daily Signing Time. He loves it! He now has a vocabulary of about 10 signs he does regularly on his own and a handful more he does when prompted. Believe me, the difference between no language and being able to “say” 10 different things is huge! We have seen such a decrease in his frustration level now that he’s able to tell us what he wants. And the best part is, he really WANTS to sign! He makes up signs constantly (babbling in sign, so cute!) and seems eager to participate when we try learning new words.
I wanted to share our success so far with Signing Time and recommend it to anyone who is looking for an easy and fun way to introduce ASL to your young child. We couldn’t be happier with it.