Signing ASL As A Second Language For Grandmothers
Gradually Communicating with Deaf Children
The first thing I remind myself is communication is an ongoing lifelong process. We learn more each day as we interact with others. Learning a second language to communicate with our children or grandchildren can be an enjoyable and rewarding process. It can seem difficult to learn a new language when we are older, yet, it can be a breeze when we keep a few points in mind.
- Begin learning as soon as possible,
- Engage by learning together,
- Take it day by day.
Begin at The Beginning
As with anything we learn it is wise to begin at the beginning. I have found a great online resource which offers video lessons to learn ASL (American Sign Language). ASL is the most recommended sign language in the United States.
Start with lesson one. As you move through each lesson you will be building upon previous lessons. The process of learning this way is remarkable.
Sometimes I was tempted to learn from a book. I recommend sign language books as a reference, however, it is a 3D language so it is difficult to learn correctly from a flat page in a book.
This is one of the videos in a series you can access online free.
Life Print & Bill Vicars
Identifying Non-Verbal Communication
As a grandmother I want to communicate with my grandchildren the way my grandmother communicated with me. I have learned and discovered how much of her impact on my life was non-verbal. This is great news! As a grandmother I desire to communicate:
- Love and acceptance,
- Wisdom I have learned about life, and
- Encouragement to be consistent in striving to reach goals.
I recall feeling love, acceptance, and encouragement from my grandmother. She seemed to me the most encouraging of all the adults in my life. Today I realize being a grandmother has its unique place in a child's life. And I have identified what I want to communicate with my own grandchildren.
Why Are You Interested In Sign Language?
Do you know anyone who has hearing loss?
Statistics According to National Institute on Deafness
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has published statistics to give us an idea how often people in our nation have hearing loss. The HIGHLIGHTS:
- 17% of American adults report some kind of hearing loss.
- The highest percentage of reported hearing loss (47%) is from adults 75 years old or older.
- 2 or 3 of every 1000 children are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. 9 out of 10 of those children are born to hearing parents.
Find out more about the hearing statistics at http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/
Hearing Parents of Deaf Children Introduced To Deaf Culture
Sub Culture vs Medical Modality
One Sense Lacking and The Others Enhanced
When I was a young mother my neighbor introduced herself to me and using sign language she communicated to me that she could not hear. This may have been the first time I had met anyone with hearing loss.
Over the years since then I have had the blessing of having children and adults in my life, my family, and co-workers, who continued to help me to develop an understanding as well as an elementary ability to communicate in Sign (SEE, ASL). I have learned two versions of sign language in my lifetime. Today I study ASL and am unlearning SEE (Signing Exact English).
I have learned, as a caretaker of deaf children, there are myths about deafness.
A few of these if believed can deny crucial services. The biggest obstacle I encountered was to appeal to the school to challenge a child with profound hearing loss.
They were convinced he couldn't be taught. I was convinced he was brilliant. So after a long term process of getting testing, testing, analysis, and determination, he was put into a gifted children's program with a sign language interpreter by his side.
People Interact Communities Flourish
I know many people who participate in dear culture. The are a combination of hearing impaired, deaf, and hearing people who have countless reasons they want to be a vital participant in the community.
My own reason is I have two deaf granddaughters.
100 Basic Signs by Life Print Bill Vicars
Sign Language Resources
- ASL lessons - American Sign Language lessons
American Sign Language (ASL), Free Lesson Plans, Online ASL Dictionary, Deaf culture.
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© 2014 Deb Bryan