Tag: Signing Families

First Signs to Introduce to Young Children

Today I received an excellent question on my SIGNING FAMILIES FACEBOOK  page.  It was a very caring grandmother requesting information about First Signs for her young four year old granddaughter who is having sensory and learning challenges.. Where should they start? How can the school support their efforts and vice versa?

I have added a slideshow at the end of this blog to help answer this question. 

Here are my basic rules for teaching sign to children whether they are deaf / hard of hearing or have developmental challenges.  (These rules also can apply to teaching children “just because”.. which makes me all happy inside to think that so many are learning ASL for fun and to make communication bridges.)

1- Introduce signs that are in the child’s enviroment. Concrete signs.  Daily activities or objects.  Nothing that is abstract or not pertinent.

2- I always suggest learning a few signs such as MORE, WANT and FINISHED at the onset of ASL learning, too. These not only help with transitions but also can help with promoting positive behaviors.

3- Signs like I LOVE YOU and GOOD JOB will help the older child who is learning sign language feel comfortable.

4- Don’t use ASL in isolation. Have everyone in the child’s immediate environment learn ASL so that the child is an equal member of the family. Nothing is worse than a holiday celebration, an incidental conversation or a trip to the store where people are chatting all around you but you understand virtually nothing or very little. This is the scenario that has been retold to me time and time again by my deaf friends.

5- Learn only FIVE to TEN signs at a time.  Your child will be able to tackle more, but try to learn and introduce the new  signs in to your basic everyday conversation. Anymore than that and you may feel overwhelmed.

6. Involve your child in to the local deaf community. And, yourselves!  There is a wonderful deaf community waiting to embrace you and share the rich culture that has been part of the fabric of Deaf Life here in the United States.

7. Read up on great resources and also indulge in social media to help you explore for more.  See my resource link page on Signing Families for more info.






















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Summertime Learning for ADULTS!

Today as I am writing this post it is a hot (95 degrees) and humid (90%) day in the greater Washington D.C. area.  Don’t make any mistake in thinking that this is a “dry heat”.  So, I am especially grateful to Willis Haviland Carrier, who purportedly invented the air conditioner.  This little piece of trivia is new to me and I will add it to the list of “things” I learned during 2011.

I was raised in a home where education ruled supreme.  And after watching and reading commentary about   OPRAH‘s tribute to her by the Moorehouse University graduates who she supported, I gather that we were not the only ones.  But, if there is one thing I know for sure- it is that one should never stop learning or you just mentally wilt.    (You can watch Oprah’s surprise here)

So, here is my list of things that I want to learn the Summer of 2011.  (And add yours to the comments below!)

1- Zumba.  Yes, I want to learn more about this form of dance. Would love to hear from others who have tried this dance and exercise form.

2-  Learn about HTML. That is a computer term and program “thing” – for those who may need to brush up on it, like me.

3– Read more.  I want to read about a random topic.  I haven’t picked it out – yet.  That will take a trip to the library. And thank the goodness we still have libraries!

4. Learn how to play Mahjong.

and lastly… 5.  Learn more about how to operate my “fancy” camera.

TAG – YOU’RE IT!  What will you learn this Summer?



Follow me on TWITTER: [twitter-follow  Louise_ Sattler =’wordpressdotcom’]

Missed my debut radio segment which airs during the 411 Voices- Arts, Entertainment and the Business of it ALL! show?  I was privileged to interview Talent Manager, Susan Ferris from the Bohemia Group.  Here is the audio-  Listen Here

Want to learn American Sign Language later this Summer?  SIGNING FAMILIES will be offering ONLINE COURSES starting August 2011.  Here is what we will be rolling out…

Just for Kids– a basic sign class geared for kids and taught by kids!

Just the Basics- A Sign Class for anyone who wishes to learn, with emphasis on those who are in the hospitality, restaurant, vacation attractions, hotel and business industries.

Adaptive/ Functional Sign Language A course designed to teach children, their families and educators within the special education communities.

Sign language for medical and dental personnel. 


Welcome to Changes and How Two Truck Drivers Saved the Day!

September is always a month of transitions.  This year is of no exception.  Within just the past month our family has experienced a wealth of changes.

First this past month we changed from being a family with a working air conditioner to one without.  To change back to a cool air family was possible and in my viewpoint- mandatory.  So, we are now the proud owner of a fairly clean piece of machinery known as Mr. Carrier.

Second, Mr. Carrier must have sent word that we were a really nice house to reside in because we then gave birth to an assortment of other new household items, including our soon to be new family member, Mr. New Roof.  I decided to change the roof tiles from green to grey.  I know you are shuddering at my exciting life right now.

We then decided to drive our son to Michigan State and of course, back home again.  This is the part of the blog when I get to introduce our newest and best friends- the two truck drivers who saved the day.  You see, we didn’t realize that hitting a median at a high speed when you are pushed off the road by an idiot that is texting causes a bent wheel as well as the other parts of the back of the car that makes it go straight.  Lucky for us, the guy driving behind us on I-80 was adamant that we were in a FLC (Funny Looking Car) and motioned for us to pull over.  So, we did at the first stop we could.  A nice truck stop.  Two wonderful drivers of awesome rigs ,who also moonlighted as mechanics, assured us that if we drove fairly slowly (say speed limit) and didn’t attempt any stupid turns, we would arrive home safely.  I was so happy to be given the sacred trucker’s blessing that I offered to buy them coffee and lunch.  Not being of sound mind, I missed the clue of them holding bags full of food and a cup of coffee while talking to us.  (And if you are curious one was hauling paper and another sand for highway repairs!)

So on the week that we celebrate the Jewish Holidays I must relish in the changes that have entered my life.  And acknowledge that even in a truck stop trust can be earned and kindness can be found.

L’Shana Tovah  / Happy New Year

Louise Sattler is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, the owner of Signing Families and a radio personality.  Come tune in soon to her new show on the HerInsight Media network starting this Fall. As always- bring the coffee!

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