It was as if a switch had been pulled. My son figured out that the signs he had been learning were useful when the thing he wanted wasn’t around. In other words, he when he did the sign, the could have the thing appear! It was like magic to him I supposed, or maybe it’s an innate sort of brain wiring thing. Either way, signs would begin to appear on their own in connection with his desires.
I think it start with the sign for RAISINS, which he would do next to the pantry. This was pretty neat to experience, so we made several trips there each day to fetch some raisins. Next it was BOOKS, which he’d want to read, so we’d fetch some. He’d then ask for images within books, frog sounds which we played on the computer, MUSIC (which he eventually learned to switch on himself) and a myriad of foods, MILK, WATER, you name it, if he wanted it, he’d sign for it! This must have been liberating for him. It must have given him confidence and mastery of his world, something I think all toddlers strive for and what signing children gain months if not a full year before their non-signing counterparts. Give the gift of sign, and build your child’s self esteem while relieving yourself and them from the burden whining.