Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New Sign Language Class

Tonight was our first sign language class at the Center on Deafness in Northbrook. We're really glad that we ended up taking it. It's a lot different from Harper, but it's good to get a different perspective. Harper goes at it from a much more academic standpoint. This class is much more laid back and geared toward real life use of sign language, it seems. In some ways, I think that it's probably not as good for pure ASL, but it's good to have this other perspective. We are thinking that it would be nice in the future if we could take both this class and the Harper class.

We also talked to several people about early intervention and about services that are available for Noah once we get home. They told us to call when we get Noah home and they will help connect us with the proper people. One of the women used to interpret for the school in Vernon Hills and she told us a lot about it. The only thing that I'm not crazy about is the fact that they use something very close to signed exact English. She said that when the kids are young, they even use signs for "ing" and "ed", etc. I don't really think I like that. Scott said that after talking to her, he felt more reassured about it (she explained that mainstreaming is their main goal and that they use the special signs so that the kids will really understand English grammar), but I still don't feel very good about it. I just don't see how throwing English letters at the end words in a visual language makes much sense. I would really like to see some actual data on how Deaf kids learn best. All I've heard is anectdotal stuff. Of course, both sides insist that their way is better.

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