I have been asked on numerous occasions to recite the reasons why I learned American Sign Language (ASL) thirty-something years ago when I was a student at the land of Blue Hens- The University of Delaware. And I laugh each time. You see, way back when I met some really groovy gals in my dorm complex who were taking up this “sign language” for fun and to suffice their college language credits. The first word they showed me in sign was COMPLAIN! Yep, I learned to kvetch in sign before anything else. I was fascinated of the prospect of using this silent language in addition to the few other spoken languages I knew. So, I started to take sign classes/ workshops/seminars… and haven’t stopped since.
Now not all of my sign language training was pretty. I started by learning something called SIGNING EXACT ENGLISH (SEE). Nowadays, I admonish any student that uses SEE in my ASL classroom, although I maintain a healthy respect for it’s applications as a teaching tool when it comes to the instruction of language arts and reading in the elementary years. It should come to no surprise that I have learned to shop ASL, too. Which explains the countless bookshelves of my huge collection of sign language dictionaries, signed movies and even a stamping set to make cute little ASL notes.
Which brings me to present day. As fate would have it, I was able to meld together my love of sign language and developmental psychology in to one company- SIGNING FAMILIES. I would like to think that my little company is one that helps to build communication bridges one SIGN at a time. It gives me great joy to see people of all ages and abilities learning to use their hands for communication. Maybe one day it will be you?!
Enjoy learning my “first” signs (above) and visit SIGNING FAMILIES on FACEBOOK or the website to learn many, many more! For more information on sign language, SIGNING FAMILIES and a whole ton more.. visit SIGNING FAMILIES.. http://www.signingfamilies.com
AND NOTE: If you are a mom or dad blogger and wish to preview our new materials for educators, healthcare staff, rescuers, disaster relief shelter workers and more- please contact me via our website or Facebook page. THANKS!
3 thoughts on “So You Think You Can Sign?”
Louise…we therapist types need a DVD for basic communication regarding emotional first aid! Sad, mad, scared, sorry, happy, hurt, upset, How can I help,what do you need, take a breath, Let’s sit here a bit, etc, etc….
I cannot wait to kvetch with you in real life, lady!
SIGNING FAMILY DOES have a trilingual chart to help with social emotional terms called the I WANT And I FEEL CHART. Loads of signs with feels… and we also make to order sign DVDs and materials…
Thanks for writing!!