Heidi P. (Clearwater, FL US)
My father in law is deaf. He became deaf as a complication of a medication. Needless to say, I needed to find a way to communicate with him. I learned to fingerspell and a couple of simple signs to help me. When my hubby and I found out we were going to have our first baby, I knew we would need to teach him/her to sign. My FIL’s wife bought us the Baby Signing Time videos. We started using them when our daughter, Jordan, was 8 months old. She started signing at 10 months. As she has gotten older she has continued to sign. Our second daughter started signing at 8 months, eager to be like her sister.I loved the videos so much and become fascinated with not only the language but the deaf culture and community. I am an elementary teacher. I discovered Power Teaching (www.wholebrainteaching.com) and thought it would partner perfectly with ASL. I began teaching using ASL during my reading instruction,especially my vocabulary lessons. I watched as my student’s word knowledge and use of words improved and test scores rose. I currently teach fifth grade and we are going a mock Middle School. It seemed the perfect time to introduce my students to ASL and the deaf culture. I designed power points to teach the alphabet, taught them family signs and used the song, In a House to reinforce those signs. In four weeks my students have learned about 100 signs and are able to introduce themselves and start very simple conversations. Signing Time has changed my life as a mother and educator. I can’t wait to learn more and teach more sign!!!