A couple months ago, we started keeping a list of words that Ethan says (or has said), partly because our pediatrician had asked how many words he can say. Since we weren’t sure, we decided to start a list of words he can say as well as words he can sign.
The list is getting long and I think we’re at the point where we stop adding new words to the list, mainly because it’s getting hard to keep up. It’s not uncommon for Ethan to pick up two or three new words a day. This increase seems to have begun in the last couple of weeks.
Some of Ethan’s early words included “light” (shortly after we brought him home, but discontinued after a little while), “what’s that?” (a phrase I taught him early on that he continues to use many times a day; they’re the oldest words/phrase in his vocabulary). Words like “no,” “car,” and “meow” have been in his vocabulary a while as well.
Some of Ethan’s current favorite words include “happy,” “amen,” and “apple” (he likes apples; he also likes the light on the cover of my Mac laptop, which he recognized as an apple without my help). Some of his newest words are “fan” and “bath” (which he already knew how to sign). In the last two days, he added “hand,” and yesterday, Ethan added “rain” (while watching it rain from the window).
Ethan continues to sign some words as well, although I’d like to be more intentional, especially with action and feeling words/phrases (signing cuts down on the frustration from the inability to communicate).
Ethan picks up signs extremely well. The last few signs he picked up almost without us even trying. One day, he wanted me to read a book to him (one of his favorite activities). While we almost always read when he wants to (it’s a discipline we want to encourage), this wasn’t a particularly good time so I tried to get him to do something else for a while. But, all of a sudden, he signed “book,” a sign I think I had sorta shown him only once or twice (many days earlier). Anyway, I stopped what I was doing and we read some books together.
Communication is an important life-long skill and it all starts with words and signs (i.e., non-verbal communication), the building blocks of communication. Its development is an amazing thing to watch!