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

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon Nov 13 22:22:18 UTC 2006

From: Fernando Capovilla <capovila at usp.br>
Date: November 13, 2006 2:14:42 PM PST
To: Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com>
Cc: List SignWriting <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>, Capovilla  
Fernando <capovilla at usp.br>
Subject: 2 parts: handicapped child & 4th edition
Reply-To: capovilla at usp.br

Dear Valerie, Stefan, Charles and colleagues,

Thank you for the message.

This message has 2 parts. Part 1 refers to your message (Stefan's  
boy). Part 2
brings an update on very good news for SW.

Part 1: Over the last 20 years I have had the opportunity of working  
cerebral-palsied children, many of whom deaf or blind, and some deaf- 
blind. I
have accumulated extensive experience in Augmentative and Alternative
Communication techniques, devices, and theoretical models. I have  
developed a
number of procedures for literacy acquisition that have proved quite  
indeed. In case this boy were deaf, I would definitely recommend Sign  
and Sign Writing. But since he is hearing but merely anartric, I  
would not
recommend neither of them, unless he is in close contact with a Sign  
community. Even if he were in that contact, since he is hearing, I would
recommend close contact with a hearing community as his primary language
source. I would like to suggest a visit to ISAAC, the International  
Society for
Augmentative and Alternative Communication. But I would definitely  
semantographic systems such as Blissymbols because the main focus  
must be using
AAC techniques as a temporary resource until literacy acquisition  
takes hold.
The ultimate objective must be assistid writing-talking system, such  
as our
Brazilian NoteVox or the American system used by S. Hawking. I am  
sure there
must be a German version. Best regards for you and Stefan and Charles,
Fernando Capovilla

Part 2: Dear Valerie, I'd like to take the opportunity to communicate  
1) the 3rd edition of our Libras dictionary was distributed to 33,000  
students of all 27 Brazilian states last March (this has given SW  
even greater
2) we are wortking hard on the conclusion of the preparation of the  
4th edition with additional 2,500 brand new signs, complete with SW  
of each sign. All the sign illustrations have been made, all the  
2,500 new
signs have been written in SW, all signs have been described (sublexical
structure). Now I am working hard on the morphologic analysis of the  
corpus of 7,000 signs. I have identified 20 specific molecular  
morphemes, in
addition to more than 200 molar ones, and I am describing the morphemic
composition of each of the 7,000 signs, sign by sign. Patience,  
endurance, and love. The good news is that if everybody did love the 1st
edition as they did, I am positive they will indeed fall in love with  
brand new unabridged and awesome and precious 4th edition. Of course,  
I will
send you a copy as soon as it gets published, which must happen by  
the middle
of 2007. When that happens I would love if you could post the good  
news in your
SignWriting site, ok? Thank you very much, in advance.
Much love,
Fernando Capovilla
fernando.capovilla at pesquisador.cnpq.br

Citando Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com>:

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...


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

Fernando Capovilla, Ph.D., Livre Docente
Professor Associado, IP, Universidade de São Paulo
Av. Prof. Mello Moraes 1721 São Paulo SP 05508-900

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/sw-l/attachments/20061113/f0e3d843/attachment.htm>

More information about the Sw-l mailing list