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

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sun Nov 12 18:36:32 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
November 12, 2006

Charles Butler wrote:
> I believe that part of Fernando Capovilla's work in Sao Paulo is  
> specifically addressing this kind of situation.  He is working not  
> only with the Deaf but with people with speech impediments and  
> specific physical handicaps where speech is difficult.

Hello Charles and Stefan....
Yes...that is true. Dr. Fernando Capovilla has used SignWriting and  
also works with multiply-handicapped people....

Perhaps you can write to Dr. Capovilla, Stefan?...

You can read more about his work at the University of Sao Paulo here:

SignWriting in Brazil

Val ;-)


> 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 progress...
> Maybe later I can create a link on the Teacher's Forum, for working  
> with SignWriting and the multiply handicapped...
> http://www.SignWriting.org/forums/teachers
> 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
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