Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat Apr 10 02:13:35 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
April 9, 2004

Dear SW List and Nancy Cole in New Mexico!
Many thanks for writing to the List about your work with SignWriting, 
Nancy. There are some List members who use SignWriting regularly (like 
yourself!) who rarely post to the List, but who are there, reading, in 
the background...It is nice to know you are there with

I am impressed with your work with a Deaf/blind autistic 
student...People ask me about who benefits from SignWriting...You are 
one of several people who have used SignWriting now with autistic Deaf 
students, and it seems to make them happy...and in some cases their 
vocabulary in different languages improves, because the SignWriting 
stimulates their interest in you said...your student got 
up and danced - ha!

I am glad to know that your husband uses SignWriting too...I forgot he 
is Deaf/blind family has a lot to contend with...I 
hope the teachers in NM will give us more of the ABC stories to 
post...we have a few and I will write again to tell you where to 
download them...

And thanks for telling us about the conference in New Mexico...I heard 
it went very well - I think that is great that your Deaf friends didn't 
realize it was SignWriting and therefore learned a little about it...Do 
you think they have become interested now? smile...

Please send my best wishes to your family and fellow teachers!

Val ;-)


On Apr 9, 2004, at 10:27 AM, Nancy Cole wrote:

> Hi, everyone!
> I haven't posted in awhile, and had forgotten how to do it!!  But 
> Valarie asked that I share what I've been doing with signwriting.  I 
> read all the posts that everyone writes, so I'm still here...lurking 
> about:)
> Anyways, recently we had a Deaf conference, called Casa D/HH 2004 in 
> Albuquerque, NM at the Marriot Hotel.  We had a wonderful time, and 
> the theme was based on Literacy.  Lorraine and Cecilia presented the 
> Signwriting bit (also another person, but sorry I forgot her name:( 
> ).  Some of my friends who attended the workshop were not at all 
> interested in Signwriting, and didn't know that the workshop class 
> taught about signwriting (the title hadn't mentioned it), but became 
> curious afterwards.  I explained to them what I have done with it and 
> how it has helped, not only me, but my husband and family as well.  
> Signwriting encourages writing, it really does, and I'll explain why.
> I work at the high school in Belen, NM with a Deaf/Blind CHARGE 
> syndrome student.  She never had any previous writing experience and 
> had alot of behavior problems.  I just started working with her last 
> year.  I found she has autistic characteristics and needed a very 
> structured classroom.  She understood symbols very well, and picked 
> them up quickly.  She can see shapes, large lettering and colors.  So 
> in using Boardmaker, symbols and signwriting she was able to learn the 
> word.  She never writes the symbol or signwriting, she writes the 
> word.  Since she is also autistic, she does not express herself like 
> people expect.  But she is slowly coming out of the shell and has what 
> I call "Helen Keller" moments.  The first time I presented signwriting 
> to her she was sitting down drawing the handshape (flat hand with half 
> shaded) she all of a sudden signed "know" then jumped up, did a little 
> dance and obviously proud of herself and continued to write.  Now, she 
> fingerspells everything and every word she wants to learn.  She loves 
> to read and write.  I use writing with pictures and signwriting to 
> explain to her things that happen along with signs.  She memorizes it 
> very quickly, and it helps her not only learn the word, but understand 
> it.
> My husband who is also Deaf/Blind (Ushers' Syndrome) loves to use 
> signwriting with his A-Z stories and number stories.  My children who 
> are hearing also like to read it.  My son has severe ADHD and it helps 
> him with visual cues in reading since his first language is ASL. 
> Anyways, that's all I have for now:)  Thanks to everyone who presented 
> Signwriting at the Casa D/HH conference!  You all did a super job!
> Smiles everyone and have a happy Easter!!
> Nancy Cole
> Nancy a cole

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