At first, I just thought it would be cool to teach my son sign language. It was a very light decision I made which hubby supported. I think I initated when Yakee was around 3 months only, then forgot about it and picked it up again when Yakee was around 8 months or so. He readily learned MILK and EAT.
Now, his sign language vocabulary has grown. And so have ours. It's amazing how even my sister and cousin, and now my brother for my nephew, have learned so much sign language. Thanks a lot to Signing Time videos that hubs got for Yakee.
Yakee loves the videos. He prefers them to any cartoon, Brainy Baby, Galloping Minds etc. videos. He even prefers it to home movies of him! And we all actually love the video too. We haven't gotten tired of all 7 that we play and are learning more and more about incorporating it in our dialogues.
Do I believe that it's making my son more intelligent? Not really. But I credit sign language with my good relationship with my son. Communication is just made all the more easier. Since I have to be creative in teaching the signs, Yakee even has a greater grasp of words at age 1. After all, he signs, says (babbles) and does the sound of a dog. Plus he can identify it in a book. And when he's too upset (like during the time of night terrors) to talk, he immediately signs what he needs to be comforted (he signs HURT sometimes so I know I have to give him extra comforting shushing).
Plus, teaching him sign language has forced everyone of us to go down to his level and interact with him face to face. Such attention and communication has resulted in a happy child.
Plus, I think part of teaching sign language encouraged in him a greater appreciation of his surroundings... after all, how can we teach LEAF if we don't show him different kinds of one?
So now, I am sort of becoming an advocate of signing as well. Not as much as breastfeeding but I am growing passionate about it everyday. And when I hear that someone has a child with developmental delays/challenges, I really ask them to think of teaching sign language.
We have yet to record Yakee on video signing all the things he can sign though :)