I know I've blogged about this before (forgive me, but I don't have time to find the link back to it at the moment...Christian is eating soup....any Mom knows that toddlers and soup is a gamble), but I wanted to bring it up once again.
I know that there are many different therapy options and choices out there when it comes to teaching our Cochlear Implant kids to listen and speak. I know when I was first researching therapy choices that I came across the notion that using signs in a CI home would only hinder my child's language acquisition. I am SO thankful that my husband and I completely ignored that nonsense. Christian's progress is amazing, and I do attribute much of it to using sign language as a bridge to spoken language.
Since the beginning, Christian has ALWAYS accompanied his signs with the word (or approximation of the word) that corresponds. We've always spoken to him while we signed. With his CI, when we have noticed that he had a bit of a problem grasping or understanding a concept, we sign and speak. And it seems that when he is able to associate a sign with a word, it just CLICKS.
I know every family and every child is different, but I would like to encourage families to explore using sign language to help foster language acquisition. From our experience, it's done nothing but complete help our little guy. Take a look at his spoken language list to the right of this blog...I love to brag about how well he is doing, and I feel like he is proof that sign language DOES NOT hinder language acquisition.