Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sign Language: FAQ

I've gotten a few questions, so thought I would answer them in this post.

1. Will Aubrey always use SEE for signing?

When she gets close to or in high school, many of the kids transition to ASL or "Pigeon" which is a combination of the two.  The point of SEE is so that she will learn proper English, especially in her writing.  Once that is learned pretty well, they move to a "spoken" language that is "faster".

2. Where do you learn SEE signs?

*We use this book.  It is set up like a dictionary for signs.  We got ours on Amazon, HERE.  They also have a  "pocket" edition HERE.  We have both.  The big one usually stays at home and the little one I keep in the diaper bag or my purse so that I can look things up as I need to while we are on the go.
*The teacher sends home some signs for the theme that they are currently on.  This week was Community Helpers, so the sheets included:  Fireman, Doctor, Hurt, Bandaid, Dentist, Teeth, Sick, Hospital, Ambulance, Mirror, Sink, Water, Mouth, Clean, Dirty, Police, Nurse  

*We are also taking a FREE class on Tuesday nights through the school district, which I talked about HERE.

3. If I only know some ASL (American Sign Language) signs, will Aubrey know what I'm signing to her?

YES....I would say most of the basic signs are the same between the two.  And she does know some signs as ASL.  Unfortunately, she has a small addiction to THESE videos...Some are available at our library, but they are also available online:)

4.  Where should I start, if I want to learn some signs?

*Libraries have tons of books (at least ours does) and videos of course.  Most books will be ASL, but that is ok:)

*I also have a couple websites that I have used in the past or every once in awhile, when a word is not in my SEE dictionary.  This one has a main dictionary organized by letter where you can search for words.  It also has a category for religious signs, conversational phrases, and ASL for babies.
This is another good one:
It has a way to look up words or phrases as well as great categories to learn things like numbers, colors or states.

5.  What do I do if I don't know any signs?

Most hearing impaired or deaf people (who are older) read lips very well.  Some of the parents in Aubrey's class as well as the teacher's assistant AND her speech therapist at school are hearing impaired.  I don't have any problems communicating with them myself.  It isn't always easy for me, but I think they don't find it too challenging:)

Aubrey's hearing impairment is actually pretty mild, especially compared to others in her class.  She does really well HEARING us, even with her aids out.  We do notice that we have to talk louder or tap her to make sure she can hear us.  In fact, some people we know, don't even know that she is hearing impaired!  They are surprised when we tell them and her speech is really coming along lately.  But she still really relies on sign language as her primary language.

I'm always willing to answer questions on hearing impairments or sign language or anything else related.  I still feel so new to this Deaf Community, but I ask a lot of questions myself and I'm learning along the way too.  We felt very alone in this area for a long time, but now that she is in school and we have teachers to rely on daily and actually KNOW other kids with deaf impairments, it has made a big difference.

I hope this helps answer your questions!

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