Talk to me by Carla216 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Hearing tests were not done at birth when my daughter was born, so I had no idea that she was Deaf. When I discovered that she was Deaf at five months, I knew I needed to do something on my end to ensure she lived a happy and productive life.
Ways to Learn
Using the available tools, I could find (books, puzzles, flash cards), I began using basic and sight words in American Sign Language (ASL) with her every day. By the time we started going to a local center that provided sign language services she knew how to communicate her basic needs.
I did not know how important early visual communication was for my daughter’s development at this time. When I decided to go to school to get my degree in Sign Language Interpreter Education, I learned that signing with my daughter during her early years of life provided her with a better chance at succeeding in school and within her different social environments. I have continued to learn and increase my knowledge of American Sign Language and the Deaf community for my daughter’s wellbeing and myself.
Harder Than you Think
To be honest, this journey has not been easy, learning a second language as an adult is difficult. Your brain does not function the same way it did when you were younger, so you have to work ten times harder to achieve your goal. There were several long nights of studying and countless frustrating days trying to figure out how to effectively communicate a concept clearly, but I can genuinely say it has all been worth it. There are many different options and avenues available to parents today to help them learn ASL. Sitting in a class with a Deaf professor worked wonders for me, this provided me with the opportunity to engage in active conversations with another Deaf individual. But some parents do not have the time available to attend classes, that’s where books, DVD’s, websites, Deaf adults and mobile devices can become an essential tool for parents wanting to learn ASL.