Thursday, June 5, 2008

Great Tate

We are winding down our homeschool year...
and what a year it's been!

Tate deserves a big pat on the back for his progress in many things, so let me be a bragging mom for just a minute.

Although we are homeschooling, Tate still gets "services" from our local school (IEP). Due to his progressive hearing loss, we decided this year to begin focusing on learning Sign Language.

We're not ASL purists, given that English is his first language. (ASL - American Sign Language - is NOT just putting the same words in the same order into sign language.) The goal being to keep exposing him to an alternative way to communicate, to give him options when he can't wear his HA (like in a pool, or at night), to support what he CAN hear, and to prepare against the day he may not hear at all. (God forbid.)

So, at the beginning of the year, our teacher tested him, to see what we were beginning with. Every time she signed a word, he had four pictures to choose from to identify the sign. He scored 52 our of 130 (about 40%). He was frustrated and very unsure of himself. But...

When she tested him last week, he identified 96 out of the 130 words (about 74%)! Big improvement, especially when you realize that she had NOT been teaching from this list. He actually correctly identified several signs he has never been exposed to!

She signed "tree", which he knows, but three times... "tree, tree, tree", and he answered, "Forest". Good job. But here is one that blew me away (I was watching). The sign for school is the right hand clapping on top of the left hand, which he knows. She clapped her right hand on her left, and then spiraled it up like a miniature tornado. He immediately said, "College." Why? "Because it's school at a higher level."

Bingo! He's getting it! I am so very proud. :0)

And, the other day, he invented his own sign language joke, involving the letter B, and a bumble bee, and getting stung. Okay, so it wasn't as funny as "Bob's House", but I was impressed!

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