Tag: Signing Families

How a Mother of an Autistic Child Started My Entrepreneurial Journey – Signing Families

“Welcome to Signing Families”.  I first wrote those words “officially” in 2006, the year that Signing Families became an educational / instructional company focused on teaching novice learners how to communicate with sign language.

Since then, hundreds of classes and sign language trainings have been conducted and thousands of DVDs and sign language communication charts have been sold or donated to people across the globe.  My goal is simple – to build communication bridges one sign at a time.

How did it all begin?  Well… one day while I was a School Psychologist working at an elementary school I was asked to attend a  special education IEP meeting with a parent who had a child with moderate – severe Autism.  Our school based team had just recommended that to help try to facilitate spoken speech or any communication,  she may want to consider taking sign language classes.  With tears in her eyes she looked at us and asked one simple question, ” Who will watch the child you just told me needs 1 on 1 assistance in his special education self-contained classroom due to his severe needs while I leave for hours to learn sign language?”

My heart stopped.  As a mom of two children, I knew exactly what she meant.  I had a child who was born with conditions that meant he needed specialized babysitting when he was a baby.   I could relate to the  challenges that this parent was facing. There was no way she would be able to leave her child with a “regular” babysitter.  She was a single parent. She had limited financial resources. She was frustrated.  But, most of all – she was upset because she couldn’t provide the one thing she yearned most for her child – an ability to learn to communicate.

That night, I couldn’t sleep. I kept tossing and turning because I continued to hear her voice… “Who will watch the child you just told me needs 1 on 1 assistance..?”  The next day I decided I needed to help this mom.  It just wasn’t fair.  She was dealt a tough situation and we just made it worse.  That was unacceptable. So, after a while I created a temporary “fix”, I would make a sign language video with a few dozen basic words and put it on a basic DVD.

Word got out and before I knew I was in the DVD business – making dozens of copies for teachers, friends and even for relatives of people I didn’t know. The phone kept ringing. Email requests flooded my inbox.

That is when “Hubby” said… “I think you have something  here.”  So, we enlisted some talented people to help create the first DVD from Signing Families:  Baby, Toddler and Preschool Sign Language with Louise Masin Sattler and Friends.  The differentiator between my DVD and many others was that the audience was “language role models” and not kids. There were no dancing bears or signing birds.  Moreover,   I open captioned the DVD and added a Spanish – English – Sign Language component.  I did this because there was virtually very little sign language instruction available for parents of children with communication needs who were from Spanish speaking homes but living in the United States or Canada.

DVD sales started off slowly but then the momentum kicked in when Borders and Barnes and Noble started to order. Before long sales were in the hundreds, then thousands.  I then created ancillary components to the DVD.  A sign language chart to help with expressing  WANTS and FEELINGS.   This was followed by a website with  a plethora of free  learning opportunities.  And, a very full nationwide training schedule for special needs groups, schools, preschool programs, Head Start and much more.

In 2010 my second DVD series  and training program launched.  The Sign Language For Emergency Situations was born out of necessity.  Simply, we as a nation were not offering equal access communication opportunities  to those who were Deaf or had limitations with  functional needs. I have written about my journey in the field of emergency management on this blog before.  Please feel free to ask me about resources in the comment section below.

Related Reading: Why I Created Sign Language For Emergency Situations

Now it is 2019 and the world is a different place than 2006.  Instead of DVD sales we have ‘streaming”.  So, that means that I have to make a shift in the way I reach an audience.  I have uploaded many free YouTube videos  for people to either start learning sign language or continue honing their basic skills.

sign-expressions-mini-emergency-chart1

I must confess, a year ago I nearly closed Signing Families.  I had lost my “WHY”.  I wasn’t selling huge lots of product or traveling as much for trainings. I was the “lost entrepreneur”.   But,  then I started to look over boxes of materials I saved.  Letters from families. Drawings from children.  Emails from teachers.  Commendations from First Responder groups.   I was humbled and knew that I couldn’t stop. I just needed to reinvent.  So, I started to teach ASL at a high school, I began to think of new ways to reach an audience yearning to learn to sign and clicked the keys of my laptop once more to inspire parents and teachers via media articles  not to give up.  At last, I remembered my WHY.

So… dear readers – thank You for allowing me to tell my story.  You are groovy, indeed!

xo,

Louise

Related reading: My interview with SLATE MAGAZINE and others

Educator’s Sign Language Lesson Plans #2

ACTION WORDS!

Now that you have learned a few simple words. Let’s learn some simple action words!

Many times we need words to for every day activities.

Starting with words appropriate for all ages:

EAT

to eat 2 asl

frankie eat outside     TO EAT with JAYLEN

 

DRINK

 

DSC_1024

DRINK

 

DRINK - cup.jpg

WATER

 

 

WATER

WATER- Move “W” handshape back and forth to the mouth

SIT

 

TO SIT .jpeg

SAME SIGN - SIT

TO SIT

SIT

TO SIT

 

 

 

 

GO

 

0TxhWt8WIByBenejACyq-RYZ_Is4OlFJ8xSlScW4dpA

 

 

GO TO THE BATHROOM (POTTY)

SHAKE your WRIST with the “T” handshape

 

 

SLEEP (Young Child Sign)

TO SLEEP

 

For Older Students:

 

To DRIVE 

TO DRIVE

 

 

To WANT (pull hands towards you)

 

 

To THINK

 

PRACTICE:  Now that you can spell finish these signed sentences

1- I (point to self) EAT ________

2- I (point to self) DRINK______

  1. I (am) GOING to ____________

Also, fingerspell these places :

 

DISNEY WORLD

CHURCH

TEMPLE

HOME

SCHOOL

MALL

STORE

LIBRARY

EXTENDED LEARNING: This sign has an X handshake but none of the words it can convey in ASL start with the letter X.  Which words (there are at least 5) can you make with this handshake? (Hint: One word this can communicate is TO NEED)

1- TO NEED

2-

3-

4-

5-

 

TO NEED
TO NEED and many other words that use this sign/ handshake

 

Recommended viewing for older students and adults: (note mature themes)

Oscar nominated:

  1. Children of a Lesser God
  2. Beyond Silence – German / English subtitles/ German Sign Language

These Sign Language Lessons are FREE

This year – start your BACK to SCHOOL planning with FREE Sign Language Programming from SIGNING FAMILIES!

Am I kidding? Free lesson plans??

This year I have decided to offer via my educational platform – SIGNING FAMILIES –  a FREE series of beginner sign language classes. These classes will be “subscription only” but FREE to all who register.

The intended audiences are as follows:

  • Preschool teachers
  • Classroom teachers
  • Home Educators
  • Special Needs Support Staff (such as behavioral specialists)

Nv16eMsdgxb9eEi9JDGuLq2gpx3wQsShaWjMV3qpJ84What to expect:

Each lesson starts with target vocabulary by age.  Preschoolers will get simple words to learn while older students will be instructed to more enriched vocabulary, the alphabet, numbers and grammatical concepts.

 

 

For all students discussions about Deafness is encouraged. Resources are offered.

How to present the material, videos, downloadable photos and images and creative ideas to practice – all are part of the lesson plans.

Lastly, an opportunity to exchange ideas by asking questions will be a feature!

How to access the program?

Simply subscribe to the EDUCATORS LESSON PLAN/ SIGNING FAMILIES NEWSLETTER here:  CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO FREE LESSON PLANS FOR TEACHING SIGN LANGUAGE

Once you subscribe the access codes to the lessons, as they become available, will be emailed to you.

There is no “hidden agenda” to this offer. Simply to educate more people about sign language.

I have seen so many positive outcomes when people know sign language – even the basics.  If you like the idea, but don’t want or need lesson plans for sign language instruction – please consider sharing this information.  Who knows?! – An educator may happen upon your post and love the idea!

Questions? Please use this contact form to ask any questions! 

I will not sell my list of subscribers to any company. Your info is kept private!

 

 

 

 

 

Aside

Happy Holidays!

As a present from me to YOU please find in this blog a FREE download of my 10 FAVORITE SIGNS intended for beginner or  novice sign language learners.  The ASL photography are for sharing and printing.

**  FREE DOWNLOAD  – Click the link below **

SIGNING FAMILIES – 10 Favorite Signs

The same signs found in the downloadable document also are included in these open captioned sign language videos from my YouTube Channel (Please go check out my channel and many other sign language videos!).

 

Coming soon – ASL videos to learn signs for travel!

Travel Sign Language - coming soon

Each year Signing Families, the company I founded nearly a decade ago, adds new videos to our free online catalog available on YouTube.   This year we are creating more sign language videos dedicated to the topic of travel!  Learn signs for countries, ways to travel and more! 

This series of videos will be focused on helping novice and intermediate sign language learners acquire basic vocabulary. Also, intended for those in hospitality management who may wish to learn how to communicate with Deaf patrons.

In addition, we will add information about Deaf travel opportunities. (Did you know that there are specific tour companies dedicated to travel with Deaf clientele?)

If you have a Deaf owned travel company or any other suggestions about this series- please comment below!

Thanks!

~Louise

First week of the ASL Challenge

Have you joined the SIGNING FAMILIES 31 DAYS ASL CHALLENGE on YouTube?!  Each day during the month of October 2014 –  I am uploading sign language videos for easy learning.

Here are this weeks signs and a video of #5 – FAMILY

 

In case you missed them here are the other signed videos from the first week of the ASL CHALLENGE!

MORE

WANT

FINISH

TO SIGN

EAT

DRINK

FAMILY

 

 

Will you accept the ASL CHALLENGE?

Starting tomorrow, October 1st,  I will be hosting a 31 days, 31 ASL CHALLENGE on  YouTube.     It is my goal to teach people FREE how to communicate using basic sign language.   The signs will be geared for daily living and school terminology with a sprinkle of signs in the event of a disaster or medical emergency.  Sign language has traditionally been considered only used within the Deaf community. However, more and more children and adults with Autism and Down Syndrome are now learning sign for communication, too!  So many reason to learn!

Where to start?

First, set aside up to five minutes a day to learn some basic sign language and practice! If you subscribe to my Youtube channel you will receive reminders every time a new video is uploaded.  Secondly, if you are so inclined, please share these one minute videos with others. And lastly,  enjoy the journey of learning this visual language.

Learn more on FACEBOOK, SIGNING FAMILIES and of course, on my TWITTER stream.

 

 

What are you doing October 16th at 10:16 a.m.?

dropcoverholdon_re On October 16th at 10:16 in the morning, I will be joining the  9.2 million Californians and 19 million worldwide (and counting) individuals who are planning on stopping EVERYTHING to participate in the SHAKE OUT earthquake and tsunami drill!

RegistrationShakeOut_Global_JoinUs_300x250  is EASY and the whole drill only takes a few minutes.

WOW – five minutes to practice how to be safe when a disaster strikes!

And, for you non-west coast folks – don’t think that earthquakes are just “our thing”.  If memory recalls correctly – one of the most recent earthquakes of a magnitude greater than 5.0 in the United States happened in Virginia!

Here is the PSA I made in sign language with open captions to help keep everyone safe, including those in our Deaf and HOH communities!

 

graphics from ShakeOut.org

HOLIDAY GIFT CONTEST! CONTEST NOW CLOSED

1458456_10151757577143240_1802744351_n-1 

MOMMY PERKS  in conjunction with SIGNING FAMILIES  is offering a HOLIDAY CONTEST 

How to  be eligible to win!

STEP ONE: Simply watch  this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Jffvh_gIU  THEN…

  STEP TWO: Comment only  on the SIGNING FAMILIES  FACEBOOK page as to what you liked in the video! Click this link here to be brought to the post where you should comment  

  Note that prizes will be similar but not always exact of what is in in the video.  A Gift    Certificate may be offered instead.  Prize package is worth more than $100 in items and gift certificates.

RULES

  • Enter only ONE TIME, must be over 18 years of age
  • MUST RESIDE in the US and be able to accept packages
  • MUST ENTER NO LATER than -9 pm on November 19, 2013 PST  Winner will be announced on the SIgNING FAMILIES FACEBOOK PAGE on November 20th
  • Winner must respond to confirmation within 7 days of announcement or forfeit winnings
  • Only one winner will be chosen
  • Value of prizes is totaled at more than $100

Participating companies.

PEACOCK POTTERY– 

KIDCOURSES  

Wikki Stix

THE BOYS STORE– 

MediPAL–  

OHANA WELLNESS 

SIGNING FAMILIES

 

 

THE WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED ON THE SIGNING FAMILIES FACEBOOK PAGE AND CONTACTED.

 

THIS CONTEST IS NOW OFFICIALLY CLOSED

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