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Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Sign Language Class

When I began working for the Senate twelve years ago, I met two messengers that were deaf - their only means of communication was sign language. Seeing these two gentlemen everyday really caused me to think about how it must feel to exist in a world where only a very few could speak your language. On so many levels it saddened me. So, I did something about it. I took sign language classes offered at Church. As I became more confident I began communicating with my fellow coworkers and it was so cool to engage them in conversation! Even though I really wasn't all that proficient they would help me and correct me! Two signs I used quite often where - "again" and "slow please." They would tell me about their trips, what they were up to, or just liked to talk. It was exactly why I learned sign language!!! (I'm still not all that proficient but I can muddle through.)

Since this time, I've made it a point to give baby sign language books to just about every one expecting a baby. It makes complete sense to me that if your child knows some simple basic signs he/she will be able to tell you what they need or want long before verbal language skills develop and this in turn can save the child from lots of frustration. I have been signing to Nathan since he was 6 months old and lately I've really kicked it up and am helping Nathan do the signs because we've noticed he is using frustration as a mode of communication - something I've been trying to avoid. This brings me to the reason for this post.

Nathan's speech therapist will be teaching (those who would like to join us) a basic sign language class on Monday November 10th at 6:00PM at our house (she will also bring handouts to take home for practice). I'd like to ask any of you that care for Nathan on an occasional basis to please attend. Nathan may not be speaking coherently for quite some time - thus, the use of sign language is going to be very important and I'd appreciate it if we were all on the same page. Please send me an email and let me know you'll be attending.

thanks!

5 comments:

Shari said...

See you there!

Shari said...

Oh man, I am such a goof! I hope you know I was just kidding around. I definitely would be there if I could!

datri said...

I'll be learng sign language, too -- our service coordinator just got us a grant to buy the entire first set of Signing Time videos!

Mairead Elizabeth Hickok said...

What a great idea! We started doing it with Mairead, but I have to admit that I was not as vigilant about it as I should have been. But I have seen some people be really successful with it! Maybe I will try again with the twins since I will need twice as many communication skills!

waldenhouse said...

Very cool. Both your effort to communicate with deaf co-workers and the sign-language class. If I lived nearby I would be there!

Wil has done pretty well with Sign language and his younger brother Timothy seems to prefer it to the spoken word. :)