Learning disabilities and SignWriting....

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Fri Apr 23 19:34:34 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
April 23, 2004

  Louis-Felix Bergeron wrote:
> Mmm... My 2 years old daughter is deaf and has Down syndrom. I would
> like to know more about these experiences you are talking about.
> Shortly after my first child has born (4 years old hearing boy, who
> has a non-specific pervasive development disorder (some kind of very
> mild autism)), I began wondering how it would be to teach SignWriting
> to my children (their mother is Deaf) so they could be literate models
> in their native sign language. I am very curious to know more about
> how does SignWriting works with that kind of children.

Hello Everyone and Louis-Felix-
We can find a number of discussions about different kinds of learning
disabilities benefiting from SignWriting...not all are autism...but
some are. So let me find some for you, one by one, and then you can
consider trying it...The truth is, if you don't try it, you will never
know, because every person is special and some learn differently than
others....Here is an excerpt from teacher Nancy Cole in New Mexico...

Nancy Cole in New Mexico wrote:

 >>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
problems.  I just started working with her last year.  I found she has
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
word.  Since she is also autistic, she does not express herself like
expect.  But she is slowly coming out of the shell and has what I call
Keller" moments.  The first time I presented SignWriting to her she was
down drawing the handshape (flat hand with half shaded) she all of a
signed "know" then jumped up, did a little dance and obviously proud of
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 to learn the word,
but understand it.
My husband who is also Deaf/Blind (Ushers' Syndrome) loves to use
with his A-Z stories and number stories.  My children who are hearing
like to read it.  My son has severe ADHD and it helps him with visual
cues in
reading since his first language is ASL.

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