Baby asking for help in American Sign Language

One morning as I put a shirt over her head, Juli (age 1;2) slipped her right arm into the sleeve. She turned to look at me and produced thank-you. I smiled and nodded. As soon as Juli slipped her left arm into the other sleeve, Juli immediately produced help.

Astounded, did I h-eyed that? Did she really say that thank-you.. help (in ASL words, of course)?

Sure enough, Juli often uttered help in clear contexts for the next days. For example, in just one day on Tuesday Juli looked at Dude and uttered help near the chair. He put her on the chair.

Later that same day, Juli struggled with opening the toolbox. She asked me for help. She wanted to open the door. She asked for help. When she wanted to disassemble the toy chains, she asked for help. The stroller got stuck and she asked me for help. And so on.

What I learned from this is that the one-word stage is not the only about noun words but also a verb word.

Use of ASL words

The following words that Juli has used with references in the last couple of weeks: help, baby (correct movement), mouse (lower location, 20-handshape, somehow correct movement), fish (closing/opening hand), some others as seen in the video above, and some reguarly used ASL words.

Pronoun acquisition in ASL

Beginning in the second year, Juli (age 1) pointed to herself when identifying herself in a photograph.

Over the next few months, I noticed that when she identified herself in the photograph, she would point to herself. But, when I asked "where is Juli?" (translated from ASL), she would point to the photograph instead of pointing to herself.

One day Juli (age 1;2) pointed to herself and produced Juli when looking at the photograph of herself on my textphone (cellphone).

This documentation project follows a baby's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, week by week from gazing at birth to manual babbling, to first words just before the first birthday in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.

The second-year and third-year documentation continues to follow the same child's language and phonological acquisition and literacy development in ASL on a weekly basis from the one-word stage to two-word and multiple utterances.

The documentary continues to follow the same child's ASL language and literacy development on a regular basis from age three to four. It surveys ASL phonological acquisition and more complex utterances.

These posts on ASL-English bilingualism, language acquisition, and bilingual education may be of an interest for parents who raise a bilingual-bimodal child in ASL (or another signed language) and English (or another written and/or spoken language of its respective) as well as informative and educational for ASL specialists, educators, and professionals.