Monday, March 1, 2010
My oldest two children were born profoundly Deaf. I found myself learning a beautiful new Language and at the same time teaching the same Language to my two small children...it was an adventure and oh so rewarding. I will post some stories of these sweet memories, hopefully for your enjoyment.
Back when my oldest daughter Mrs. S (now almost 30) was about 18 months old I decided she needed to learn not only the Sign but the meaning of the word "Responsibility".
Sounds easy enough but to me the concept of the word "responsibility" is an abstract, best shown by example and reused at every pertinent opportunity.
Now mind you, I was a stay at home Mom, so my world was a small world, literally my home. I signed and acted out the meaning of "responsibility" every opportunity it presented itself. You know, like "It is Mommy's responsibility to cook dinner, clean the house or wash clothes". I also would sign relative to Mrs. S's world, "It is your responsibility to pick up your toys, sit not jump on the couch, sign not scream" and so on.
We went through a couple of days where Mrs. S looked at me with a puzzled look but she would mimic my signs and actions. Then one day, while I was in the laundry room, busy gathering up laundry, sorting clothes...I felt her little hand pulling on my jeans...
I looked around to her little face. She was holding one of her doll blankets. She handed me the blanket and signed "Your responsibility - wash - my blanket." She smiled up at me, turned on her heels and toddled away.
Victory! We had added what I call an abstract word to her Sign Language vocabulary!
And I must interject...she has taken this word and it's meaning very seriously all of her life!
If you care to learn American Sign Language (ASL) or you're curious about a particular Sign go to ASL Browser. I have used the Michigan State University Communication Technology Laboratory site for years as an ASL reference and it was my saving grace during years as a Interpreter for the Deaf or hearing impaired at a local college.
TIPS FOR USING ASL BROWSER:
There is an alphabetic listing at the bottom of the ASL BROWSER WEB SITE page, select the first letter of the word you want to look up.
Next, a listing of words beginning with that letter are shown on the right hand side of the page. Scroll to your word and select. Then a video and a written explanation of the word/sign will appear on the screen!
Well, I'm off the take care of some of my other "Responsibilities" so have a wonderful day!