Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Learning A New Language To Speak To My Child

I suspect that parents of teenagers would tell me that all parents have to learn a new language to communicate with their children. And they're probably right. However, I'm facing something a little more extreme.

Yesterday, my wife and I enrolled in an American Sign Language course. This was motivated by frustration on our part and the part of our child with communication. My daughter signs want, eat and more but we don't know the signs to be able to teach her to tell us what she wants more of. So the need to learn an entirely new language was born.

Once a week on Wednesday evenings a sign language mentor will be coming out to our house to teach us ASL. The teacher is deaf and although she can read lips, she will be requiring us to sign so we can learn more efficiently. She says she will take things at the pace that my wife and I learn, but I'm a little apprehensive.

I speak Spanish already. I picked it up as a missionary in Argentina ten years ago. And I understand the principles of mastering a new language. You've got to immerse yourself in order to get enough practice to make that new language stick. It's really hard work.

I have a huge desire to really communicate with my daughter. And obviously that desire will overcome the daunting task of learning an entirely new language. But I have to admit that I'm apprehensive about the whole thing. I hope it works out. First class is a week from tonight.

3 comments:

bella said...

I just wanted to tell you that I was so excited to find a blog (or any information, for that matter) about 1p36; my 18mo daughter was diagnosed last summer (hers is even more rare, as she also has a 16q trisomy replacement of the missing 1p information), and we spend so much time feeling isolated, with the lack of information out there.

I also glanced at your family blog, and was genuinely surprised to find that you are LDS also... so are we!

I am bookmarking your blog, because I would love to be able to watch your little one's progress!

--bella
http://tulips.fluidnature.com/

Nate Hanson said...

Hi bella,

Thanks for dropping in. It's exciting to find someone else who has had some experiences like mine. You're only the second person I've had contact with whose child has a 1p36 deletion. It's just so rare that isolation comes with the territory.

I stopped in at your site just briefly this morning. Your daughter is beautiful. I hope she is doing well.

It's been a while since I've posted here but I do plan on getting back to it soon.

Hunkston said...

I’m due to finish university in a year or so and am considering going backpacking across Asia, iv heard the countryside is beautiful and the people are so spiritual I think it could be an amazing opportunity to see the world. However I can only speak English and basic French, does anybody know if I would need to learn Hindi? Another problem is how to go about learning Hindi, or any other language that I would need! Is there any good language learning software available that’s pretty cheap?