Sunday, February 8, 2009

Switzerland City, Baby!


Dianrez said,
Just because Jodi mentions inclusion of sign language doesn't mean she is a proponent of it. Reading her comments, I see a balanced viewpoint that attempts to include all methods.

*The point is to offer as many resources as possible to parents of newly diagnosed deaf children- not to advocate for one method over another- to give the parents a fighting chance of discovering what will work the best for their child*

Karen Mayes said:
I want to share one thing that might have no relations to Jodi's blog, but as a parent making the decision. My deaf daughter was attending a Bi Bi Deaf school and was doing very well. She started showing her curiousity about hearing world, having watched her older brother doing academically well in the mainstreaming. She started asking to go mainstreaming. I said no, but I then learned that I'd need to do the research to see if it would be a good idea to pull her out of the Bi Bi school, etc., so we visited a local elementary school, discussed with a few Deaf parents who pulled their Deaf child/children out of the Bi Bi school, etc.

She was in 2nd grade when we went ahead and pulled her out of the Deaf school into the mainstreaming and she is LOVING it! I am aware that things could change in the next few years and my hubby and I are very willing to listen to her needs, ready to rectify the decisions, send her back to Bi Bi school if needed, etc. But I learned from one wise supervising teacher... FOLLOW YOUR CHILD'S LEAD.

*Amen*

I don't know if I ever blogged about this or not, but one week after I found out Jordan was deaf, I attended a meeting held by the local Deaf community. I wanted to know more about communication options because my son was deaf. I encouraged my husband and my mother-in-law to attend with me. I didn't feel out of place, just overwhelmed. My mother-in-law and husband were devastated by the experience. It was too much for them to handle. I felt so completely isolated by my own language issues with Italian that I didn't have the strength to deal with taking on sign language as well. Had I had a dvd of baby signs, it would have made my life so much easier...and Jordan's. I did write to the John Tracy Clinic and they sent me videos on how to communicate better with my child. Those were miraculous for me because they were in English and talked directly to me as a parent.

Jordan was born deaf, but he could have incorporated baby signs, just like this hearing child: (Click to deactivate music on the right-hand column of blog)



Jordan was aided at 12 months and maybe said his first word at 18 months- you know, I don't even remember when he said his first words- I've blocked out that whole period, I think. Really difficult, painful period. I just know it was a constant repetition of life, over and over again with hearing aids. Hearing aids sucked, if I may. I could have used some visual support to help ease Jordan's frustrations.

Not every child is a candidate for a ci, there are different degrees of hearing loss. Not every CI surgeon operates before 12 months of age, visual cues can help improve communication. Unbiased information must be made available so that parents can make informed choices....
*THEN*
Their kids will lead the way.

53 comments:

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

Jodi,

I am NOT asking you to advocate for AVT and CI. I'm just asking that if your goal is to be UNBIASED when you're presenting information to parents of newly diagnosed deaf children, then you need to present ALL OPTIONS. Your last two posts does clearly NOT show that. You ARE PROMOTING sign language.

Where do I see in this proposal that you present other COMMUNICATION options?

Proposal:

1. Create a pilot study program at a hospital with a Cochlear Implant Program.
2. Work with Hands and Voices to locate the perfect situation to develop and begin this program - perhaps through their Guide By Your Side program.
3. Request that NAD contact Rachel Coleman of Signing Time to create a video for parents of newly diagnosed deaf babies that begins teaching basic signs in a fun and informative way.
4. Ask Rachel Coleman to create a series specifically for parents of newly diagnosed deaf babies.

The ONLY COMMUNICATION option that I see is sign language. Where is CUED SPEECH and SPEAKING as a COMMUNICATION OPTION???

Now, on this recent, entry, I see that you are clearly being biased:

"Had I had a dvd of baby signs, it would have made my life so much easier."

"Jordan was born deaf, but he could have incorporated baby signs, just like this hearing child: "

I'm baffled by this quote because you're showing your biased by saying "VISUAL CUES can HELP improve communication..." Then you proceed to say..."UNBIASED information MUST be made AVAILABLE..."

"visual cues can help improve communication. Unbiased information must be made available so that parents can make informed choices...."

Also, I want to make sure that everyone is clear Elliot and Oliver, those two boys presented in the last video on this blog entry NEVER learned sign language. They were raised with JUST the AV approach, and their language is very advanced for their age.

Also, why do you feel that you need to regret something about the past when Jordan is doing very well TODAY? I think we should only regret about the past if we're not happy about something that is happening today. Think about this quote: "Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." I think you should give yourself and Jordan a pat on the back for all the hard work that you've done over the years to raise Jordan to become who he is today. Regardless of communication options and methodology options, no journey is going to be easy and simple.

. said...

Indeed. As a parent you have to make the initial informed decision and as the child grows the child becomes more aware of what his/her needs are and the environment he/she is comfortable in or want to be in.

mcconnell

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Rachel,
You are still not understanding me. I was ONLY presented with AVT information and was specifically told NOT to sign. The reason I am not talking about other factors is because THEY ARE ALREADY THERE!
HELLO! DO YOU REALLY THINK I WOULD ONLY PROPOSE SIGN LANGUAGE????
Obviously there would be info on cued speech, etc. I'm talking about providing info on everything relevant to communication methods- baby signs is an example of how resources can be parent-friendly and not oppressive or intimidating.
Do you understand now???
I'm trying to generate ideas from the annoying dialogue and bicker and banter that goes on without ever accomplishing anything.
What exactly is it about me that has ever given you the impression that I could be Biased??
Just curious.

Li-Li's Mom said...

Rachel, I see where you are coming from in that Jodi pulls out the signing issues as a separate item. I think what you might be missing is that item #1: "Create a pilot study program at a hospital with a Cochlear Implant Program" covers both CI and the communication options already commonly part of today's CI programs: AVT included, ASL not often included. It's likely a very different situation now than when you were first implanted and AVT was missing from the menu.

So maybe what you are looking for is the more detailed map of pathways that could be part of the program that Jodi's suggesting needs to be developed:

Something that maps out the options along the way (and the impact they might have on later options) :

Communication aids:
- Cochlear Implants: .....
- Hearing Aids: .....
- BAHA: .....
- ___

Language models:
- AVT/Oral (aided/unaided): .....
- ASL (aided/unaided): .....
- ASL/Auditory (aided/unaided): .....
- PSE (aided/unaided): .....
- Cue (aided/unaided): .....
- Total Communication (aided/unaided): .....
- ____

Local educational environments:
<3 YO
- early intervention (ASL classes, AVT, aural rehab, ...)
- parent infant programs: EI, Clarke School for the Deaf (oral); The Learning Center for the Deaf (bi-bi); TLC Randolph (TC);
3-5 YO
- preK: Clarke School for the Deaf (private, oral); The Learning Center for the Deaf (private, bi-bi); TLC Randolph (private, TC); Case (public, oral); local school district special education (public, oral)
>5YO (etc.)
for families: family sign, learning PSE, AVT training, etc.

Amy said...

Just to clarify-- Elliot and Oliver never used babysigns or any sign language because we believed that learning to listen and speak would give them the greatest opportunities in life. The choice between methodologies is not an "equal" choice. Sign language is not an OK way to simply incorporate more communication for those whose parents plan for them to be able to speak and understand speech. It will hamper this. Oliver's speech was so well developed that he was age appropriate and ahead by before 2 years of age; Elliot's was before age 3. This was specifically our goal and we furthered that goal by talking, reading, playing and living with speech (not lipreading).

I just wanted to clarify for those who might see them and wonder how this was accomplished. As always, it is about the goal of understanding and being able to use the communication method of the family and the community at large. This is something that babysigns ASL can't provide my children.

The banter and argument actually provided me with the clarity of choice, years ago. I could see easily based on the arguments and ideas of those on both sides which side I wanted to be one.

Disagreement can be a good thing; people do not have to agree on everything. I believe that presenting all the communication modalities as if they are equally beneficial is potentially harming the future of deaf children. You are not obligated to present all options unless you believe that each one is equally beneficial. It's all about your goals.

Li-Li's Mom said...

Amy, your children are doing great, I love seeing those videos.

But when you say "The choice between methodologies is not an "equal" choice", you can only be referring to your own personal decision. You can't know what others are factoring into the decision and shouldn't assume that what is true for you is true for everyone else.

The options should be presented equally, each family should then value those options.

Also, it's not constructive to make illogical and unsupported statements such as "Sign language is not an OK way to simply incorporate more communication for those whose parents plan for them to be able to speak and understand speech. It will hamper this." I'm not saying sign is right for everyone, it can be hard to incorporate into a hearing family's communication model, but IT WILL NOT HAMPER THE ABILITY TO SPEAK AND UNDERSTAND SPEECH. It's just plain incendiary and nasty to devalue someone else's very valid choice.

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

Ok, Jodi. Then, I would be MORE clear in your last two blog entries and your proposal that you do intend to include all communication options. Right now, in this entry and the last entry, you're not being clear about your intentions to include all options. As I said, I feel that you are encouraging baby signs, and you're not saying that it's ALSO OK for some parents to choose not to try baby signs as there are also some deaf children who are also successful without the knowledge of sign language. For example, you did not make a clear statement in this blog entry that Elliot and Oliver are examples of deaf children who are successful without the knowledge of sign language. It seems that you just randomly put up this video without a clear explanation. Right now, it seems that if any readers who are new to your blog and read this entry for the first time would be under impression that Elliot and Oliver are examples of deaf children who were successfully raised with sign language/baby signs. Thus, I feel that you were misleading the information about this video.

Perhaps in the proposal, we could say, "Include all the information about the communication options that already exists today such as AVT, AO, Cued Speech, SEE, and ASL. But we should also add some other options that have been left out such as baby sign."

Li-Li's mom's idea is a very good example. Her example is very clear that there are intentions to present all information, not just baby signs.

My point also was that even if AVT and AO is already being presented to parents of newly diagnosed deaf children, then we also need to be clear and inform that they should STILL be in the picture along with sign language - ASL, SEE, and baby sign.

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

Li-Li's mom,

What Amy is saying is that if parents' goal is to give their children the ability to hear and to talk, then using just ASL or SEE would not be the right options to present. The only options that would allow this work is AVT, AO, Cued Speech, TC, and Bi-Bi.

Li-Li's Mom said...

Rachel, thanks for clarifying Amy's intention. Amy, I'm sorry about that -- I thought you were referring to ASL as being an obstacle for those who hope to develop spoken language.

Candy said...

Rachel you said:

"if parents' goal is to give their children the ability to hear and to talk, then using just ASL or SEE would not be the right options to present.The only options that would allow this work is AVT, AO, Cued Speech, TC, and Bi-Bi."


Are you saying it's not OK to use ASL or SEE but it is ok to include TC and Bi-Bi (in addition to AVT, AO, Cue Speech) if one wants to give the child the ability to hear and talk?

Candy said...

Or..are you saying that the parents should be presented with the following options: AVT, AO, cued speech, TC and bi bi as a mean to weight each option?

If so, why exclude ASL and SEE to the mix?

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

Candy, what I'm saying is that if the parents come to an organization or whoever is responsible to provide unbiased information and says, "I would like for my child to learn to hear and to speak. What are the options?" Obviously, the only options that teach the children to hear and speak is AVT, AO, Cued Speech, SEE, and Bi-Bi with spoken English. Using JUST ASL or SEE will not teach the child to hear and to speak. If the parents want to use ASL or SEE, then they would need to use the Bi-Bi approach with spoken English or TC.

Candy said...

Oops, I guess I should ask AMY that? Not Rachel. My apologies :)

Reason I am wondering what your answer would be is, because that statement is really confusing at best. Sign language in generalization includes ASL/SEE/TC/Bi-Bi/PSE/CASE.

Candy said...

Ok, that's interesting. I'm not an expert on that but I think ASL and SEE, especially SEE would be an option. I would think that when you incorporate written/spoken English to ASL it becomes a Bi-Bi approach. SEE, I always thought was a great sign to use along with speaking because it is signed in exact English. Personally I demand interpreters to sign everything word for word unlike many deaf people.

What got me confused is the fact that many signs for a certain word is the same in SEE/ASL/Bi-Bi/TC/PSE/CASE/ so, I was wondering, what's the difference?

I'm having a hard time explaining this without showing you examples. :) Hopefully someone can.

Anonymous said...

I understand what Rachel at 3:15 PM meant that having SEE, AVT, Bi-Bi approach, AO, Cued Speech that apply to the spoken and written-in-english-structural, not the ASL.

Am I right, Rachel?

White Ghost

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Rachel...I know that Amy's kids never used sign *smile*
I liked the video also because they were reading your book.
No one approach works for everyone, the important thing is that the families are informed and serene.
Night night,
Jodi

Anonymous said...

Language 101:


ASL is a language. It is a fully sophisticated and highly developed language.


English (written and spoken) is a language.


SEE: Signing Exact English is a form of English and is an invented manual method to teach the grammar of English. It is NOT a language or a model for language.

Cued Speech: Is an invented method to teach the phonics of speech. It is NOT a language or a model for language.

Valhallian said...

This is in no way an attempt to bash ASL as I love using ASL myself. The problem is that one cannot really use voices and ASL at the same time because ASL is not the same as the English language. Voicing with signing is likely to be more SEE than anything else. The way I see it, ASL is a beautiful language that is not meant to be written or voiced, it is just signed. Voicing English while signing ASL at the same time would be the equivalency of speaking english and writing a foreign language at the same time, it pretty much cannot be done.

Dianrez said...

Referring to my last comment, please keep in mind that when we speak of ASL in childhood, it does not mean ASL used alone. ASL is taught along with English, speech and hearing in every school that includes it.

To tilt at ASL as if it were used alone is like charging a fallacy. Come on. Let's stop quibbling about this nonentity.

Karen Mayes had it correct: take the child's lead. Children who are offered all methods from the beginning soon explore and choose the best for themselves, and are happier for it.

In addition: all things being equal, most children who have the ability to do so eventually gravitate to speech and hearing for it is easier than ASL especially when you can hear without looking and your hands are full.

Otherwise, ASL with other methods is a life saver and a family saver for the majority of us. I would hope that exclusionary philosophies limiting our input as tiny children would be the exception, not the rule. Let the children sort it out for themselves.

Loudest Mom said...

Jodi-
Great job provoking lots of different thoughts and ideas :) In my mind that is a great blog post. I have to be honest and said that half-way through the responses I had to quit. The strife is exhausting. As a parent, who examined all options, but chose (w/ lots of experts weighing in) the AVT/Oral route, I really think it's such an individual choice. I interviewed for a job recently, where they wanted someone who could really offer parents a complete look at ALL the choices, without offering personal opinion/bias. I truly think I could....yes, we've chosen the oral/approach, but I respect everyone's individual choice. And, every choice does not have to be permanent. But, I think we as the deaf/Deaf/oral deaf/AVT community need to respect one another.

Love you all,
Melissa

Anonymous said...

I must disagree with Rachel@CI who said if the parents choose the AVT/Oral method then give their child that. Not all parents knows best...and there have been parents who just won't follow their children's lead but choose it for their own personal reason. They want & wish for their child to hear and talk...just like them. Of course, that's very normal. I have to agree with Karen Mayes when she said to FOLLOW YOUR CHILD'S LEAD...see where it goes and I still say...in the meantime, learn ASL.
I was looking at Rachel's signing time video...they're very friendly and inviting...making learning ASL fun.
I can hear some and talk quite well and it IS difficult to sign and ASL at the same time and sound "clear". Yes, anyone can do that talk and sign at the same time but it's not an effective way to communicate...just as you would, Jodi...when you want to express yourself you would prefer to talk in English rather than Italian (I'm positive that you'd agree). I code switch often going back and forth and manage it as many others would. But that's not to say one is not allowed...it's just not suggested.

Another beautiful day again...spring is on the way!!

Cheers,
Sharon

CheryLfromMA said...

Hi all, question for Rachel@ CI online, why do you recommend NAD to choose Rachel Coleman, hearing signer to create videos for parents of newly deaf babies??? We have many deaf from all over places that provides ASl classes for hearing people/parents...what's wrong with us??? so we the deaf who teaches ASL aren't qualified as you viewed??

Anonymous said...

My question to you all -- why do some hearing parents have a hard time taking suggestions/advice from deaf people?

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Cheryl,
I was the one who suggested Rachel Coleman because her videos are fun, entertaining and educational.
Most hearing parents when they find out about their child's hearing loss cannot sign and are intimidated by the idea of having to communicate in sign language. Why is Rachel Coleman so successful with hearing parents of hearing babies? It's her method. Why didn't a deaf individual begin something similar? And if they did, why isn't it popular?
I don't know. I only know her method works and is user-friendly.
That's really why I suggested it...
Jodi

CheryLfromMA said...

Hi Jodi, thanks for your reply...sorry for asking Rachel, i didn't know it was your idea...OK...I teach ASL classes at the Learning center for Deaf/CI children in framingham, MA...teaching hearing parents of deaf and CI children...they have no problem understanding me and other deaf ASL teachers and we communicate understanding each other very well...i praise them for adding ASL for their deaf/ASL/CI children to communicate with them at home...my parents didnt learn ASL first--they didn't know but they never stop loving me-very very close family but some others are not lucky...so plese try to understand that ASL is very important for deaf/CI children...i also volunteer working with deaf/CI at my daughters' public school 3x's a week...fun to work with them :)

Anonymous said...

CherylfromMA...
Do you have any video, CD available for hearing parents to learn about ASL? If not, what are the video, CD available, that you use or know of that would be good? Perhaps Jodi can add that information on her blog. I know of an early intervention program in MD where they send both hearing and deaf teacher to the home of hearing parent with deaf child....it worked well for parents to have both a hearing and deaf person working together...makes it less frightening for parents to ask questions. How does your program work? I'm just curious to know...so we can pass that information onto others.

Cheers,
Sharon

CheryLfromMA said...

Hi sharon-
Sure, here is the link of that school that provides for deaf and CI is www.TLCdeaf.org and for ASL books/CD is www.dawnsign.com..Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

CheryLfromMA...
Thanks! I did check out DawnSignPress but didn't find their video as interesting as Rachel Coleman's videos. We need to provide both voice and signing video so parents can follow through the trainer's lead. I will keep searching... and I appreciate your help!
Hope it warms up soon..where you are! ;-)

Cheers,
Sharon

David said...

Once again, I have *never* seen any program that taught ASL exclusively. The *only* time I have seen or heard "ASL only" mentioned is when some opponent of sign presents that as a false choice or "straw man" to derail a discusion.


David

CherylfromMA said...

David-

Can you please clarify it more? thanks

Anonymous said...

David...
If I'm getting you right...I haven't either...there are no "rule" that you must stick to ASL only. People should go with whatever they feel comfortable, however, when I taught ASL back then...I always advised my students to try and sign without using their voice simultaneously. It just makes them a better signer and become more smooth with signing...it is true..I've seen it and know it. Generally, there is no "rule" that one cannot talk and sign simultaneously or must not move their lips. Everyone sets their own belief or rule. One should do whatever they're comfortable with.
I'm not up to date with what's out there right now (been retired for couple of years) so I'm a bit behind times.

Cheers,
Sharon

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

"I must disagree with Rachel@CI who said if the parents choose the AVT/Oral method then give their child that. Not all parents knows best...and there have been parents who just won't follow their children's lead but choose it for their own personal reason. They want & wish for their child to hear and talk...just like them. Of course, that's very normal."

Sharon, I know that we would like to tell parents how they should raise their children, but unfortunately, we can't. It's just like there are some parents who believe that children should not play with video games and there are some parents who think that it is OK for young children to watch PG-13 movies. We just can't tell them that they're wrong to raise them this way. Basically, we just can't criticize them. It's just not our business to do so. The ones who are not willing to follow their children's lead are probably the ones who should not be parents in the first place.

Also, in one of your last comments in one of the previous entry, you said that you'd like to think that you're unbiased...I would be cautious about saying this as you've mentioned a few times that if organizations should give an unbiased resource, they should tell parents to try sign language/baby signs. Telling parents to TRY a communication method is being biased because you're telling them what to do. It seems that you'd be pushing them to head to a certain direction. It is still the parents' choice to choose to try something. It's just a feeling that I have coming from my personal experiences. All throughout my life, I've had several people saying to me, "You should TRY learning ASL." To me, it sounds like they were trying to dictate to me on how I should lead my life. As I've said several times, it boils down to parents' own personal choices. We may not like some of their choices, but we really need to leave it be to them. Frankly, there are few parents on Deaf Village who I personally feel that they're probably not making the best choices for their children, but I have absolutely no right to criticize them, and plus, I shouldn't be jumping into the conclusions anyway because those children could end up being very successful at the end.

Also, for some of the commenters, when we say Bi-BI approach with spoken English, doesn't that mean ASL co-existing with the English language?

CheryLfromMA said...

Hi Sharon again,
question: Why needing to provide both signing & voice by hearing person? What's wrong with deaf teaching signs without voice? I learned how to speak, taught by hearing people, not from deaf people...so why can't you or others accept teaching ASL without voice by deaf people? we the deaf aren't qualified? if so, how do u know that? have you tried that yet? care to explain why you feel that way? and yes it warms up Wed & Thurs in 50's :)

Candy said...

Rachel,

I have been told that Bi-Bi consists of ASL (signs) with instruction in writing English. I am not sure if spoken English is included in that. I am aware that every deaf residential schools DO offer speech therapy as an option for the kids that wants to learn to speak. I do not know for sure if some or all or any of the schools for the deaf actually offers AVT, I would think so since many CI kids are in a deaf school.

But, I'm not sure if Bi-Bi philosophy includes spoken English. I think it is offered in addition to written English.

Bi-Bi is a fairly new concept. We do not know for sure if and how much of it really will work.

I was not educated in a bi-bi environment, it was more of a TC environment for me at school and ASL at home. I picked up SEE along the way and eventually use PSE most of the time and can use ASL exclusively if I wanted to, but, I don't. It would depend on who I am talking to. So, yea, I do change my signings based on who I'm talking to. You'll find me sign and voicing to a hoh person and not voicing to a deaf person. It all varies.

I think it would be great if we had a lot more input from experts in the field of bi-bi, TC, AVT, AO, and what have you's. We can include all that information as a way to present to parents all the options. It has to be beyond the readers/commenters/bloggers. There are experts in these fields that we need to consult with.

Anonymous said...

CherylfromMA,

It may be that hearing parents (because they're more attuned auditorally) prefer a hearing person speaking the word/term while demonstrating the sign. They may grasp the training more readily than trying to read captioning and then the corresponding sign. To them both captioning and sign may be too much visual overload, lol. Hearing the word and doing the sign correlates more closely to the way hearing parents would interact with their deaf child, even though the baby may not have been implanted or fitted with hearing aids yet.

I haven't anything against a deaf person demonstrating the sign along with captioning, but that's probably because I'm more visually attuned than auditorally, being deaf myself. Have to try to understand it from the hearing parent's way of seeing and hearing words, not from our deaf and more visual view. Need to make it as easy as possible for hearing parents to learn the baby signs at the beginning with their deaf baby. Hopes this helps answer your question?

Ann_C

Ann_C

Anonymous said...

Rachel@CIOnline...

I believe that I agreed it is important to give parents all the available information out there. In the meantime, while they have this few week old baby...how would you propose they communicate for the next 6 - 12 months while they continue to explore or wait for CI or to determine what avenue they'd like to go with? ASL can easily be dropped from the get go once they decide they want to go the route of CI/Oral/Lipreading....or whatever else.

In any case...it's never easy to come to one solution or one way to give information. It will require a village to provide information, guidance and support to the parent of a deaf child. That village needs to incorporate various methods in a very positive way without implying that one method worked better than another. What also would be nice is to introduce parents to other children who has had various success using different methods. Again, one must take into account the type of hearing loss, the degree of hearing loss, etc. before one can make an informed decision. All of this takes time to process. A baby does not have a moment to waste when it begins its language development.

Cheers,
Sharon

Anonymous said...

CheryLfromMA,

I was not implying that a deaf teacher could not do this...oh no, never. I agree that when it comes time to teach parents ASL that a deaf teacher is the best teacher.
All I was trying to say is that some of the early intervention programs make their initial contact with parents by having 1 deaf and 1 hearing person to meet with the parent...to get them to feel comfortable since the parent may have never met or spoken to a deaf person before. It is to minimize parent's fear of not knowing how to communicate with a deaf person. Ann C said it perfectly too.

Some of the ASL video I saw on DawnSignPress did not appear to be an easy video for new parents of deaf baby. I may have overlooked some. But I will continue to search and if I find some I will let Jodi know about them. You can do the same.

Cheers,
Sharon

CheryLfromMA said...

Hi Ann & Sharon, thanks... I do understand...but you & others really can learn ASL by deaf without getting help by hearing person..you need to think about us that learned to speak by hearing people without getting help by deaf....i don't mean to offend you but i feel it's cheating...just please be careful how you say it...the way you described, made me feel that we aren't good enough educating & teaching ASL to hearing people...it's time to stop thinking that way...hope you care enough to understand how we feel about this...we can do anything except hear...very simple as that :)

CheryLfromMA said...

Hi again...Sharon, i work with hearing parents & families & hearing workers, lawyer, nurse, doctor,etc...u name them...every ten weeks...they always scared at first but then second time, they immediately feel comfortable around me with NO VOICE at all times...with my teaching there, none of them gave up learning ASL....so why can't you try that without assuming it? smile...

Anonymous said...

CherylfromMA,

Forgot to mention that I was thinking of online videos, Cheryl, like SigningTimes for those parents who may not have direct access to resources such as you, a deaf person in person, along with a hearing person for the first meeting. No offense was meant. There are many areas where parents either are not near such resources or cannot afford the expense of traveling to get such. Hence, the online videos that are probably more accessible. Sorry for the mix-up.

Ann_C

MKChaikof said...

Two points -

There is no such thing as AVT in a deaf school because, by definition, AV includes mainstreaming. So, the only way AV could be offered at a deaf school is if the parents go for an hour or two a week with the child for a therapy session and then leave. Children who are students at a deaf school may be getting auditory training, but they are not AV.

Second, I love this "follow the child's lead" thing. In how many other instances do parents do this? There are many things children would rather do or not do when they are toddlers and young children. Rachel fought me terribly when she was little about taking medicine. Should I have followed her lead and not given it to her? Our role as parents includes having experiences and knowledge that puts us in a much better place to make a decision about our children's future than they are. My husband and I made the decision to change Rachel's school for middle school. She was very upset with us. She didn't agree. After her first week in her new school, though, she was ecstatic.

Similarly, Rachel was always a visual learner. She has an amazing visual memory. She probably would have picked up sign and run with it. However, my husband and I did a great deal of research in choosing a path for Rachel. We met with families and their deaf children and with deaf adults and visited three schools and programs. We concluded afterwards that Rachel would lead an easier life if she could learn to hear and speak well. Some of you may not like that we reached that conclusion, but it was our right to do so. Not only that, but Rachel is here now, many years later, saying that she is grateful that we made that decision for her.

The issue is not about raising a deaf child to learn sign and be part of the deaf culture. Rather, it's about raising a deaf child who can communicate with ease, be happy socially, and succeed academically and, eventually, in a career. If a child achieves this without ever learning ASL, why should that be an issue? Are any of you really going to tell Rachel that her life isn't what you think it should be? As she said, some have, and I just don't get it. It's tantamount to my telling some of you that you'd be better off not signing and hearing and speaking. This debate is about respecting the choices of others. It's not about stereotyping hearing parents and our attitudes. Hearing parents who are suddenly thrust into the world of deafness are always going to react with grief and even fear. To us, for whom hearing and speaking is an intrinsic part of our lives, it represents a loss for our children. That is not wrong. It's simply an emotional reaction and an understandable one. Calling those of us who react this way audists or flinging accusations at us is only going to achieve one thing - to chase us further away. It's part of the reason that my husband and I made the choices we did many years ago.

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Melissa,
I understand the point you are making with the let the kids lead statement...and I agree with your reasoning, as well. Had I let Jordan "lead the way" at his speech therapy lessons, we would never be where we are today.
1. Not all kids are the same as Rachel and Jordan.
2. Not all parents are the same as you and I.
Jodi

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

I don't know if I interpreted "follow your child's lead" right or not. When I thought of this quote, I was thinking that parents should choose what is best for their children, as my mom as been doing for me all throughout my life. An example of a scenario that I was thinking is that I know that there are a few hearing parents who choose to adopt deaf children just because they want to be part of the deaf culture. To me, that's not following the child's lead because the parents are doing it for themselves rather than for the deaf children whom many of them could really do well with cochlear implants and AVT or AO.

Another example is that my siblings and I have never attended the same schools all throughout our life. My mom could have chosen to send all three of us to local public schools or one same private school just to make her own life easier so that she is not driving all over the town. However, she chose to send us to different schools that best fit us as an individual, and she's willing to take the time out of her own life to drive all the time.

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

"In the meantime, while they have this few week old baby...how would you propose they communicate for the next 6 - 12 months while they continue to explore or wait for CI or to determine what avenue they'd like to go with? ASL can easily be dropped from the get go once they decide they want to go the route of CI/Oral/Lipreading....or whatever else."

I realize that I have not answered your question, Sharon. Parents can lipread to their children or use Cued Speech to if the choose to do so.

Anonymous said...

Rachel@CIOnline...
Babies cannot respond back by lipreading, Cueing...which is why signing is a very good option. Research have proven this which is why I encourage signing from day one.

Cheers,
Sharon

David said...

To CherylfromMA & Sharon,

Sorry for the delay - we seem to have different windows when we are at our computers. Anyway, you seem to have worked out what I meant. Teaching ASL formally really only works well without voice, otherwise what comes out is an ASL-English pidgin. More on that in the next comment.

The Deaf community and all the signing teachers of the Deaf that I have met or corresponded with recognize a need for a good command of English to move in American Hearing culture. I have never met or heard of anyone who advocates ASL as the *only* language mode for teaching Deaf children.

The only time I have seen "ASL only" mentioned is when an oral-only or AVT advocate talks about "ASL only" as the alternative to their preferred method. As in, "We chose (method) for our child because we did not want him to be limited by a sign-only program." (This is not a direct quote, but an amalgamation of many conversations.)


David

David said...

There is a lot of confusion about "natural language". While this is used casually to mean something like "easy to learn", it has a more specific meaning.

"Natural language" is also a specific term that is close to "living language". It is a language that someone currently living has learned as his or her *first* language. THe brain of a child molds the language he or she learns in definite ways. That is how Hebrew and Gaelic have changed from dead to living languages.

So, "natural language" means that there is a community of users somewhere who grew up with that language as first language. This shifts the language toward the way human infants learn language, which makes the language more accessible to another infant learning the language.

Signing while speaking results in something that is neither ASL nor English, but a contact language that shifts with the circumstances. No specific conventions of grammar emerge and so on. That is characteristic of a pidgin or contact language, and is less accessible to an infant learning first language.

David

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

Sharon,

There is a research study stating that children do not learn/pick up sign language during the first six months of their life because they can't track visual information. So, no visual language is better than the other. I'll find the research study and post it.

Anonymous said...

Rachel@CI...

Here's some info/research...

Parents should introduce deaf children to language as early as possible. The earlier any child is exposed to and begins to acquire language, the better that child's communication skills will become. Research suggests that the first six months are the most crucial to a child's development of language skills. All newborns should be screened for deafness or hearing loss before they leave the hospital or within the first month of life. Very early discovery of a child's hearing loss or deafness provides parents with an opportunity to learn about communication options. Parents can then start their child's language learning process during this important stage of development."

The above statement is from the Web site of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and reflects perhaps the one thing that the entire field of deaf education agrees upon: Early language support is critical.

Cheers,
Sharon

Anonymous said...

more information can be found on this site at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center...it has a lot of good information & research there for parents who are new to deaf baby...

http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/Clerc_Center/Information_and_Resources/Info_to_Go/Help_for_Babies_(0_to_3)/Language_Development_for_Babies/Visual_Conversations.html

Cheers,
Sharon

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

I find it thoroughly exciting that my blog is becoming a wealth of resources thanks to the incredible people that post here...kudos to all of you and thank you so much for caring enough to find the links and post them...really.
Hugs,
Jodi

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

Sharon,

Here is the website that states that baby signs should not be started until six months or even later - http://www.babyclassroom.com/article-success-baby-sign.html

I guess that if an organization wants to give unbiased information, they can show the studies that you posted and this website and others that are available, and let the parents make the decision themselves.

Anonymous said...

Rachel@CI...

Checked it out and (I'm not looking to argue...) it is a site put out by a hearing Mom for hearing babies. She has no background nor cites any research that supports her statement. Deaf babies rely on visual cues from the time they can see...facial gestures and eventually makes connection and does babble in sign language...it's been documented and proven (I'll get that site--contacted a friend, Dr. Beth Benedict who has done a lot of research on early infant program, etc at Gallaudet University).

In any case...I would go with information that has researched, documented and validated their studies that we can cite. This is what I base my comments upon as well as my personal experience in the deaf world. I think it's great that you can provide information and so can I. Parents need to hear of it.

The website I copied and posted previously...you need to copy it and go to Google...paste it there and it will take you to the site and you can click on it. There are so much info. out there...perhaps Jodi can organize a block of space on her blog and dedicate it for new parents of deaf babies.

I think that "Info to go" at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center has pretty good resource of information (CI, hearing aids, communication methods, early intervention, etc).

Cheers,
Sharon