Meet Ayla!

Meet Ayla! She is an adorable 22-month old Deaf girl with an infectious laughter who loves to “OHHH”. She wants to show you her savvy American Sign Language (ASL) skills. Her facial expressions are just too much and will make you go “Awwww, that’s tooooo cute!” *** 22 months old ***

Meet @Mandy Harvey

What an inspiring story of how one deaf young lady overcame losing her hearing and learning how to sing again.

Please watch and be inspired.

Baby Signs

Just having become a grandparent, for the very first time, (by the way, love to show you pictures of the most beautiful and intelligent granddaughter, ever!), I am again reminded of the benefits of using Sign Language with infants and babies.  Evie does the “bye’ bye” motion which is common for babies, but her very first sign was “PLAY”.   I can’t tell you how helpful and exciting it is to be able to know what those sounds of displeasure and crying are for!!!  Now she doesn’t have to scream or cry to let us know she wants to spend time with us playing.  We don’t have to guess, check her diaper, offer her food, or a dozen other things it could be.  She just wants some attention and time.  An added benefit is that she has learned that her hands communicate and she can point to what she wants, when she doesn’t know the sign.  Amazing the feeling of actually communicating with her, instead of experiencing that helpless feeling, not knowing what is upsetting her. The research on families that sign to their hearing children is showing that these young children’s IQ scores and cognitive skills are in the 99 percentile!!!

Just think, then, what it does for deaf babies, who cannot hear to learn to talk and communicate!  How trapped they must feel, with no way to express their basic needs and wants.  How frustrating for hearing parents of those deaf children, to experience the devastation of no communication until the child is much older and has been taught to speak through laborious practice and study.  Too horrible to imagine.  No wonder 90% of deaf high schoolers graduate with a 1st-3rd grade reading level.  They are actually losing brain function during the language less years, not to mention being very frustrated, discontent, and getting farther behind every day.  Imagine if they had a language early on that could make communication possible from before one year old and continue on throughout the difficult language learning years, making language visible and attainable so much earlier and easier.  If only…..

Experts are Telling Me NOT to Sign to My Deaf Baby

If educational experts are telling you NOT to sign to your deaf baby because he won’t be normal and won’t learn to talk if he learns ASL or learns to sign; then let’s discuss a few things.

First, let’s first address the term “normal”. What does that mean? Ask your doctor what he means by the term “normal”. Does it mean your child will look and act likes other children who can hear and speak and not draw attention to himself by signing? I am afraid that a child without language input from birth will certainly not be “normal” in ANY way. He will be unable to make his needs, wants, hurts, or feelings known without language. When he can’t get those needs met in the “normal” way, his frustration and anger will manifest itself in aggressive, physical actions. Now *that* is normal – you and I would do the same! But with *those behaviors* he will definitely draw attention to himself!

He will also be behind all his hearing peers in language development. Unless he catches up somehow, he will never be on “normal” grade level. Like 90% of his deaf peers (the 90 % without language input at home), he will graduate high school with less than a third or fourth grade reading level-hardly “normal” achievement after 12+ years of school. He will struggle all the way through school because the inability to read well will affect every area of study. A strong language and reading base is necessary to learn Science, History, Social Studies, even Math. He will not pass the EXIT exam for high school and will not be able to go to college… He will live on SSI the rest of his life because he cannot get a decent job that will support him without a high school diploma or the necessary reading, language skills.

So, ask your doctor what he means by normal and please let me know his reasoning.

January 2017: The Executive Branch

2017 Calendar Page: Executive Branch

Our 2017 Sign Language Calendar.

This year’s sign language calendar focuses on teaching signs about various aspects of the United States of America. Most of the pages feature additional information about the month’s topic or theme to add extra teaching opportunities. January 2017’s theme is The Executive Branch.

 

Did You Know?
The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States who resides in the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C. The President also acts as head of state and Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces. The Executive Branch is responsible for implementing the laws that are created by the Legislative Branch also called Congress, which includes the Senate and House of Representatives. Imagine a triangle: at the top is the Executive Branch, and the two bottom corners are the Judicial Branch and the Legislative Branch.

 

Leah Katz-Hernandez is a Deaf, Latino woman who attended Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and became the first Deaf Receptionist in the West Wing in 2012. She said, “I believe my story sends a good message about the abilities of people who are Deaf and Latino to be successful anywhere.”

You can order 2017 America the Beautiful calendar here.

Many parents today are teaching their babies and children to sign and they aren’t even deaf. Why?

Because parents have found their hearing child can communicate with them much earlier through signs than speech. The infant/toddler can make his needs known and the parents do not have to guess why their child is crying or what he is pointing at. It reduces frustration for both parent and child and makes for a much happier and contented child. (and parent!). Speech doesn’t usually begin until between one and two years of age. A baby can sign before he is one year old. The research on these families is showing that these young children’s IQ scores and cognitive skills are in the 99 percentile! It seems they are stimulating both sides of the brain and are getting a big jump start on language and communication. Hmmm, are we missing something? Should that tell us something?