At least in AJ's world they are!
Today, on Day 2 of Preschool, AJ's teacher reported me that during snack he SIGNED:
Strawberry. (pause) Strawberry. (pause) More. (pause) Strawberry.
HOLY COW!!! I could hardly believe what I was HEARING!
What was equally as awesome was when she was telling me the story...his teacher has the BEST animation and tone in her voice. She said/signed "Tell Mommy what we had for snack today. We had strawberries." AJ's eyes immediately looked up at her when she said the word strawberries-and he grinned at her. He recognized the word!
We now have TWO WORDS in his signing vocabulary. WAHOO!