handicapped child - able to listen and understand - unable to speak

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Nov 12 18:04:26 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
November 12, 2006

> Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:
> Excuse me,  if somebody feels that this question is not subject to  
> SignWriting  ... I need your support. Last week I  met a 5 year old  
> boy in my classroom–  He is  physically handicapped. He can hear  
> and understand spoken language but is unable to speak a single word  
> and this will not change in the future. So he uses gestures as far  
> as possible. Now we are in the process to develop ideas – what kind  
> of education – program would fit his needs at best? He is able to  
> understand questions and to follow instructions given in spoken  
> language at his level of age without any problem. So he is  
> smart ... smile! In the long run he probably will choose to use  
> kind of computer software – to type his comments on a screen –  but  
> will this support his need for everyday – communication? His mother  
> has heard about  GebaerdenSchrift (SignWriting ) and she decided to  
> check out whether this could support her and her son to improve  
> their communcation. Believe it or not but this smart little boy was  
> able to identify the signs of a two pages GebaerdenSchrift-Document  
> after only a 45 minute session!  And even when I wrote some sign- 
> names at the blackboard he could understand and sign immediately  
> the idea : written names  - well of course written  SignLanguage. I  
> am wondering wether anybody who reads this message knows of a child  
> in an almost parallel situation. Would be great to get some  
> enriching ideas, comments, weblinks ... Thanks for your attention!  
> Stefan ;-)

Hello Stefan and SW List!
Thank you for this message, Stefan...It is a good message for this  
List...Using SignWriting with children who are not deaf, is still on  
topic for this List for sure! So please keep writing to us, to tell  
us of your progress with this young man...

There have been other teachers who have used SignWriting with  
students who are not deaf, but who use Sign Language for other  
reasons, such as being mute, or people who are mentally-handicapped  
and cannot speak. I also know of teachers using SignWriting with deaf  
children who are also multiply-handicapped, such as autistic deaf  
children. It is my understanding that in all cases, SignWriting was a  
useful tool. I will try to gather together the email messages sent to  
me on this subject, and get permission from the teachers to post  
their experiences and get back to you...

I can see that you are already making progress with your student,  
Stefan, so please keep us informed...I am very interested as to your  

Maybe later I can create a link on the Teacher's Forum, for working  
with SignWriting and the multiply handicapped...


But to do this, we would need permission from the parents of the  
students, to be able to post information as to their progress...

Thanks again for sharing and keep posting messages!

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at SignWriting.org

1. SignWriting
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2. SignBank
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3. SignPuddle
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4. SignText
Create Sign Language Documents

5. SignWriting List
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6. DanceWriting
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7. MovementWriting
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8. SymbolBank
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9. Non-profit Organization
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SignWriting Literacy Project
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Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
P.O. Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038, USA
tel 858-456-0098   fax 858-456-0020
D-Link Videophone:
Skype Name: valeriesutton

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