AC, ASL & Eyeth Day

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.  Life has been crazy… but, good.    AC is finishing up 6th grade, his first year of middle school.  He’s done remarkably well.  We had his 504 plan meeting last week, and basically will just repeat it for next year.  The main thing it entails is the use of the FM system, and some basic consideration.  Right now, it seems that is meeting his needs.  AC actually won two awards last week at the awards ceremony – one for being on high honor roll with distinction all year, AND the other was a math award.  We’re very proud of him.

Next year, he will be in 7th grade, and will take ASL (American Sign Language) as his foreign language.  He’s looking forward to that.  I just finished up a little beginner ASL class for staff where I work.  I learned a lot, but feel like I have so much to learn.  ASL, and the Deaf culture in general, are Continue reading

ASL as “Foreign Language” for Hard of Hearing Children

Apparently, ASL (American Sign Language) is a very popular choice for kids to take at my son’s public school as their “Foreign Language”.  So popular, that they do not guarantee any child can take it.  

My son, AC , is in 6th grade now and mainstreamed.  His school recently sent home a standard form for kids/parents to state preferences for class choices for next year.  They made it clear to pick more than one option for Foreign Language, as there were no guarantee’s to get into your first choice.  ASL is one of the most popular choices.  A separate topic all together I’d like to explore more sometime…

We really wanted our son, AC, to take ASL as his “foreign language” next year since he’s hard of hearing.  Is just makes sense and seems like an obvious placement for him, right?  I mean, it’s not like he just WANTS to take ASL for the fun of it (although he does really want to take it, and thinks it will be fun).  He has obvious good reasons for taking ASL rather than Italian or French, right?  Well, like many things, I’ve learned that when you are dealing with a “mild-moderate” hearing loss – not much is obvious. 

So, the school asked me to put in writing my request explaining why I was so adamant about him taking ASL,  and return it with the form – and they would do their best to accommodate.  So, here’s my letter and top reasons on WHY I think my son, or really any hard of hearing child, should take ASL for their Foreign Language…

Hello XXXXXX,

I’m writing this letter regarding my son, AC, and his language preference for 7th grade. I understand that students will not necessarily get into the language preference that they want, and that is going to be assigned. I’m requesting that, if at ALL possible, AC be placed in ASL for his language due to the fact that he is hearing impaired.

As you know, AC has a mild/moderate bilateral hearing loss. He wears hearing aids, and is using the FM system in school. He’s having great success so far this year and we are thrilled with his progress. We look forward to his continuing in accelerated courses next year. Because of his hearing impairment, ASL would be the logical, most beneficial, and possibly essential, language for him to learn. I would really appreciate it if you would consider the following reasons/explanations for this request.

1) AC’s hearing loss could be progressive, and should he ever lose more of his hearing (which we hope will never happen – but is impossible to know for sure) he could really use adequate ASL skills in order Continue reading

Happy New Year in ASL

Happy New Year everyone! 

I mentioned before I’m taking an ASL class.   I’ve learned a little so far, but mostly learned that I have a LOT more to learn!!  It’s a bit intimidating.  But…. I took 3 years of French  back in High School and never really could speak French very well – so, I don’t know why I should think ASL will be any easier.  I am enjoying the class…. and hope to continue on with it.  It is fun.

So – Happy New Year everyone!

And, now… for your viewing and learning enjoyment…

Starting an ASL class tomorrow

I can’t wait!

It’s just an introductory course… but, still… it will be fun. 

I hope I can do it!

Next year, AC will take ASL as his language in 7th grade.  We have both been wanting to learn it for a while.  He’s hoping I can teach him a few things so he can get a head start. 

One of my hopes is that if we learn ASL, it will open more doors and opportunities for AC in social situations, etc.  We haven’t been able to find any other Hard of Hearing kids that AC can really relate to, but we live in one of the largest (if not THE largest) Deaf populations around.  It was explained to me that being HOH – is sort of like being born to a bi-cultural family.  It’s in the child’s interest to learn a bit of “bothe worlds”.  In order for us to do that, I think we need to embrace ASL as well. 

Here is a good article about that: a dual identity for hard of hearing students; good for the world, good for the. deaf community, critical for students.” By Donald A. Grushkin

Deb