Tag - ASL

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Signing With Your Child With Special Needs
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All Signs Point To My Smart Hands
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Words…

Signing With Your Child With Special Needs

Sign language–I can’t sing or sign its praises enough. Signing with my speech delayed child from the time she was an infant, helped us communicate and has played a tremendous role in her development. For those who doubt the validity of signing with your baby, the science backs it up. But I don’t need scientific evidence, the proof is sitting right beside me.  Our daughter is still significantly delayed in expressive language, but she’s able to put together simple 4-5 word sentences. To be frank, the girl never stops talking. Like, never. It’s a steady stream of questions, comments and a running commentary of observations over here. Music to my ears.    Do we still sign? Absolutely. You’d be surprised at how handy (pun intended) signing can be.   Last summer when the kids were out on the lake tubing, Avery signed “Stop!” to me in the boat. Then she made the sign for “cold.”    It was too loud to hear her words over the boat motor, even if she’d shouted. Two simple signs and her message was clear.    Potty sings are also a subtle way for her to tell me from across the park that she needs to[…]

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All Signs Point To My Smart Hands

Since my first year of teaching, long before I had children of my own, I ran the Sign Language club at the school where I taught. I trotted out my choir of shiny faced six year olds onto the stage where they signed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” to music. There wasn’t a dry parent eye in the house. I obviously considered signing to be more of a novelty act, than a life altering skill. I had NO idea how important the role ASL would ultimately play in my life. When I taught my son sign language nearly eight years ago, I relied on library books and bland, one dimensional websites.  Once Avery came along, and it became apparent sign language would be an essential tool in her development, I searched for innovative new ways to teach her. When Laura Berg posted a video on YouTube of her baby signing, it went viral. People were astounded by her 18 month old’s level of skill. They wanted to know how she did it and how they could teach their children to do the same and…My Smart Hands was born. I love Laura’s fresh approach to teaching ASL.[…]

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Words…

The letter M isn’t very commanding on its own. An E flying solo has very little influence. But when united in a word, they become powerful. I’m aware that I talk more than the average person and I don’t even say half the things I’m thinking at any given moment. I suppose this is why I enjoy blogging–it’s like a shunt, releasing the pressure of the words in my head. Words are beautiful when crafted by someone with a kind heart. Words can soothe when spoken by a gentle soul. But, words wielded by the ignorant and tactless can leave behind a painful mark. Last week my daughter happily drew lines on a chalkboard in our doctor’s waiting room. A woman sitting beside me asked how old my girl is. When I told her, she said, “Awfully small for three isn’t she?” The response in my head was, “Well you’re awfully stupid for 60!” What I actually said was, “Yup. She’s our little girl.” As my daughter drew, she and I communicated using signs. The woman leaned over and asked, “Does she talk?” I explained that she has a speech delay, but is a proficient signer. This woman then told[…]

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