We began by looking up signs for his frequently used objects at http://www.aslpro.com/, which was very helpful. But then our contact through early childhood intervention told us about the Signing Time dvds. I know this show comes on PBS, but we don't have cable for many reasons that I won't bore you with.
The benefit to these dvds is that everyone in the house is now learning Memphis's signs right along with him. He is proficient in cup, milk, more, blanket, I love you, ball, water, please and banana. Excitement overcomes him if we recognize his sign and respond with what he is asking for.
Sometimes he can't remember right away which sign he needs and comes at us with, "cup, cup, cup....more...milk, milk...blanket...cup, cup, cup" and we are standing there poised to get whatever it is if he can ever get it out. And other times he is trying to tell us something that he doesn't have a sign for yet and he gets frustrated and looks at his hands like, "Ok, guys come on. There's gotta be something you can do to show them what you want." It is nothing short of adorable.
Thankfully, we are seeing a decrease in his tantrums as his signing vocabulary increases. This just proves to us that we were correct when we suspected that he wanted very badly to communicate with us and was not able to. What a relief it is to be able to help him. It won't be long until we can't get him to stop talking.
**I held this post for a day so that I could try and get some pictures of Memphis doing some of his signs but, being the stubborn little man that he is, he would not cooperate. Maybe next time.