My advice to parents who are considering signing: do it right away and do it all the time! We have been signing to Nathan since he was in the NICU. My husband did "hand over hand" and taught Nathan his first sign the night he was born--hooked up to the vent and post trach surgery!
We have been very intentional with Nathan and in our efforts to learn ASL, and it has paid off big time. Nathan is one week shy of 18 months old and has probably 120+ signs. He signs constantly and is now putting 2 signs together regularly to form sentences. He will even sign in 3 word sentences--maybe once or twice a day.
Signing has given him the freedom to communicate with us and with others who can sign. He "chatters" and "babbles" in sign non-stop. It is amazing!
We taught ourselves by checking out some ASL books from the library and then buing the ones we liked the best. We use the Signing Smart flash cards and a Scholastic ASL book. Nathan even flips through the flashcards and books and "practices" the signs he sees.
I look forward to the time he is finger spelling like Julie's little Sam. Kids are incredible in their ability to learn ASL! Good luck and have fun with the signing!
I'm glad you got good news at your dr appointment