By Jennifer Thorsen, SLP – winner of our Facebook Success Story Contest

As a speech-language pathologist, I am no stranger to signing. I use signs as part of a total communication approach with my clients in early intervention, to facilitate communication with my own children, and with my elementary-age students who have limited verbal communication skills. However, I’ve never had a student quite like Yadi. Yadi’s ability to express herself verbally is extremely limited, and she mainly uses signs and gestures to communicate her wants and needs along with a communication device. She is also bilingual, which posed another challenge for us. While her device is programmed in Spanish and English, she is still learning how to use it and doesn’t always choose to use it. Signing is her most efficient means of communication at this time, and she always tries to say the word as she signs it. Unfortunately, not only is she difficult to understand but her parents don’t know all of the signs she will use at home with them. With the language barrier between me and her parents, it is difficult for me to communicate with them so we can work as a team and give her more support at home.

When I saw the Facebook post for the contest on the Signing Time page asking people to “Share what is your favorite Signing Time Product to give as a gift, who you like to give it to and why,” I couldn’t help but think of Yadi. I immediately went to to browse through products, and imagine my excitement when I saw that several of the DVDs now had Spanish play options! I knew that this would be the perfect thing for Yadi and her family. Now her family could learn the signs and Yadi could learn new signs in a fun and motivating format at home!

Signing Time and Baby Signing Time have also been very helpful to me as they have increased my professional skills and my skills as a mom. Thank you so much from Yadi, her family, and me!