- small snack food such as fish crackers or oat cereal pieces
Ask the child “Would you like something to eat?” When you say the word “eat” pull the fingers of one hand together and hold the hand next to your mouth. Pretend you are eating an imaginary sandwich. The child will probably reach for the snack food. But repeat the sentence with the gesture. When the child makes any gesture, give her a couple of snacks.
Ask the child “Would you like more?” Make the sign for “more.” Hold all 10 fingers together and draw them apart, as if you were stretching a piece of silly putty. Repeat the question until the child puts his hands together. Then give snacks. Repeat both gestures with their words.
- 4 Offer the child a sippy cup of water. Ask “Would you like some water?” While saying the word “water” hold up the first three fingers of one hand and brush them against your chin. Repeat the question with the gesture until the child touches her own chin
- 5 Repeat these signs for all meals for several days. When offering milk, make the sign for “milk.” Make your hand into a fist and squeeze as if you are milking a cow
- 6 Create a sign for your child’s name. Keep it simple. It might be the first letter of the child’s name. Use the sign when talking to him
- 7 Use the sign for “mother”–drawing the thumb along the jawline when referring to her.
- 8 Use the sign for “father”–holding the brim of an imaginary hat) when referring to him.
Respond quickly when the child uses the sign for attention. The attention he receives is the best reward to reinforce this new vocabulary.