Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dear Teachers and Parents of all kids with disabilities

I am currently working on a proposal and report about the feasibility of teaching basic ASL to paraprofessionals (teachers aides your child utilizes in school) for my English Tech. Writing class. Paraprofessionals are generally not trained.

I have a few questions to ask you. I need answers by July 10, 2009 in order to finish my report.

Moms:

1. Do you sign with your child?

2. Would you be interested in learning more ASL to help your child if help was available?

3. If your child has limited speech, would you want your child's special educators, mainstream teachers, and paraprofessionals to learn a basic form of ASL?

Teachers:

1. Would you be willing to learn a basic form of ASL (no grammar or syntax, just signs) to help teach in your classroom when needed?

2. Would you prefer training as a college credit course (reimbursed), in-service instructed, or DVD instruction in your own home?

3. Can ASL help in teaching children to read (I already know the answer to this one but I need your answer in your words).

TIA for all of your help. I'm excited about this assignment. Please feel free to pass this on to other teachers and moms. Leave comments on this post.

Sincerely,

Scarehaircare

Mom to The Love Magnet who has T21
Student majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Pre-Speech Language Pathology

3 comments:

Leah said...

Well, I'm a sign language interpreter AND a parent of a child with DS. She was signing FLUENTLY by the time she started preschool. Part of the problem is you cannot teach a language when you're not fluent in the language yourself. Parents and professionals have a habit of only signing nouns and verbs (because those are the only signs they know, and many other things have to be fingerspelled) but then they're suprised when the child's language is also limited to nouns and verbs! Also, with ASL there is ZERO correlation between the signs and written word. NONE! Take the sign "bird". What part of the sign represents the "b" sound? NOTHING. That's why decoding is often really difficult for our kids. Better to train paras, school staff and parents to use Cued Speech. Not only is it something you can learn in ONE WEEKEND, (you won't be at the rate of speech, but at the end of 12 hours of learning you will know the ENTIRE system and be able to cue any word in the world with it.) There are only 8 handshapes, and 5 placements, unlike ASL which is always changing, new signs developed, etc. If I had to do it over again, I'd cue! For the child who has auditory processing issues, Cued Speech makes every sound VISIBLE. Now, throw in the fact that every sound in speech (in 47 different languages) can be reproduced with Cued Speech. There is a 100% correlation between Cued Speech and the written word. Can ASL help your child read? Well, it SORT OF CAN, but Cued Speech can allow them to sound out words at a VERY early age! Ok...off my soapbox now! LOL If you want more info on CS, go to www.cuedspeech.org

CandyandLadybugs said...

Teachers:

1. Would you be willing to learn a basic form of ASL (no grammar or syntax, just signs) to help teach in your classroom when needed?

I would be willing to learn basic ASL for sure. I know some very basic signs, but could use some more.

2. Would you prefer training as a college credit course (reimbursed), in-service instructed, or DVD instruction in your own home?

I would rather get college credit for the training. Then it helps for recertification as well.

3. Can ASL help in teaching children to read (I already know the answer to this one but I need your answer in your words).

If a child has limited vocabulary, then any way a child can get vocabulary will help with reading.

Al, Wendy, Max, and Lil said...

Hey Car, I know I'm not a teacher. But, since I'm fluent in asl I thought I'd weigh in. I love seeing everyone learn signs and teach their children. It is frustrating that they think they know sign language at that point. As you know, ASL has it's own syntax, grammer rules, etc...It takes a lot to learn it. I would rather see people learning the whole language....but, if it fascilitates communication, it's great to learn some basic asl vocab. I could just see a lot of teachers getting frustrated at the learning. You kinda have to set it up that they are just learning some words to communicate--not the language. The language takes years and lots of use. (I hope this made sense...just woke up.)