There are times when you are sure your baby is making a sign. It’s usually when your baby becomes focused on something, pointing and repeating a gesture. Usually my wife and I are on the same page as for as which signs are being taught so we can each be watchful for their appearance, however this time was a little bit different.
My son was reading his oversized book filled with Sesame street characters and began waving his hand back and forth as he pointed to an image in the book. It’s been a while since I was perplexed, and yet his sign was intensified.
Instead of ignore him, I recognized that he wanted to communicated so I came down to his level and asked him to point to what he was talking about. Again, he moved his hand back and forth at the wrist. I still had no idea and I explained this to him so he knew he would have to work a little bit harder to get his point across, without getting frustrated. He did the sign a couple more times and pointed. I still had no idea, and then he pointed to the couch and did the sign again. He was signing BLUE! I thought, boy, that’s brilliant! My wife had been teaching him the sign over the last few days and I knew about it, but it just didn’t click.
It turns out that at 17 months, he hadn’t fully grasped the concept of colours, but he was properly labeling the things we had taught him were blue. For example, he would incorrectly label some objects as BLUE and some as RED when he hadn’t been taught the sign or had confused them because he forgot. Nevertheless, I thought that it was a very impressive that he was able to generalize across two things to demonstrate exactly what he meant. Truly amazing!