Saturday, February 17, 2007

Signing Time

Noah is a Signing Time addict. We originally got the movies to teach us sign language at the recommendation of our first speech therapist. Noah is not currently learning sign (we're going the AV route since he's getting an implant), but we would like to teach him eventually. We started watching the videos when he was too young to care about the TV (and too deaf-blind to notice it). But then he got older... and got hearing aids... and his vision improved. Somewhere along the line he got hooked. Now he will watch Signing Time at any opportunity and if Mommy says no TV (which is typical) he will happily stare at the DVD box and have long conversations with Rachel and Alex and Leah. I was convinced for the longest time that "Rachel Coleman" would be his first word. He will blow her kisses when she's on the TV or kiss her picture on the DVD box and if we say "Do you love Rachel Coleman?" he chortles and gives a big smile (Yes, Rachel Coleman is one of the 15 words that he understands... go figure). Signing Time Live came to Richmond in the fall and we really wanted to take him, but it was the week after we were told to go back on lockdown so we had to skip it. I have friends whose babies are addicted to The Wiggles or The Doodlebops, so overall I'm thankful for this Rachel Coleman addiction. But it does cause us some problems. Our AV therapist would have a fit if she knew the regularity that Noah is exposed to sign language. Our audiologist said that we should bring Noah's favorite movie to his first implant mapping (March 14). Is it a sin to bring a sign language video to a cochlear implant mapping? It is his favorite, after all. Oh well. We love you, Rachel Coleman!


Rachel Coleman said...

Wow! Your post brought tears to my eyes! To be so loved by such a sweetie~ Thank you for sharing that!

Now, you are not going to hear this from your AV therapists, but please consider this, first from a mother of a deaf child and second from Rachel Coleman herself :-) sign language and cochlear implants are NOT mutually exclusive.

Infact the signing will help Noah adjust to his implant. Think about the benefit for all of you to communicate and explain and describe the world he will begin hearing. Signing will not impede his speech IF he is able to develop speech with his implant, signing can help clarify the instructions for making these new sounds. Sometimes it happens quickly and sometimes it takes awhile - do not deprive him of language while he learns the SKILL of speech.

Leah is living proof of these words. She is bi-lingual - she is fluent in ASL and she also is a fabulous reader and writer of English and now her speech skills are tremendous as well. She has it all! Yes she has an implant too.

Tami said...

Seneca also LOVES Signing Time. When I first started sign language with her at 6 months she just stared at it, but once she started communicating verbally (after signing of course) she asked for her "Signing movie mama" every chance she got, too. Not Elmo, not Spongebob, or some other fake character; Rachel Coleman. And who can resist letting her learn more signs. The problem I've had is if I don't watch the video with her she starts signing signs I haven't learned yet. A problem I am happy to live with.