handicapped child - able to listen and understand - unable to speak
chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Nov 14 04:56:08 UTC 2006
I would like to point out for historical purposes that the Sign Language of the Plains Indians was not developed for deaf people but for hearing people of different tribes. It was specifically created so that people could learn a common language even if their spoken languages differed and it became the "lingua franca" of the Plains Native peoples for more than 500 years. Though they did not write their language down, the pictographic system used on the Navajo/Dine "talking" blankets had a one-to-one correspondence with the sign language.
Chinese, as well, is a writing system with multiple spoken languages reading the same "symbol" for the spoken word. One can learn written language without necessarily agreeing on how it is "spoken."
Sign Writing can help bridge that gap for those whose first language is sign language, or whose first language is a spoken language which for any number of reasons they cannot speak clearly. It is one way to start with symbols and work to the primary writing system of a given country, without giving up the primary sign language or its unique grammar in the process.
So, far from being a "stop gap", I believe that Sign Writing can be liberating to help open up minds to a way to express their beautiful languages.
Valerie Sutton <signwriting at MAC.COM> wrote:
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 with
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 effective
indeed. In case this boy were deaf, I would definitely recommend Sign Language
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 Language
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 discourage
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,
Part 2: Dear Valerie, I'd like to take the opportunity to communicate that:
1) the 3rd edition of our Libras dictionary was distributed to 33,000 deaf
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 Dictionary
4th edition with additional 2,500 brand new signs, complete with SW rendering
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 whole
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, perseverance,
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 this
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.
fernando.capovilla at pesquisador.cnpq.br
Citando Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com>:
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
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!
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
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!
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
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