outsider questions, hope I don't offend
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|Fri, 08-31-2007 - 2:23pm|
First I have to say that I understand there are certain terms that go in and out of favor within small communities, so I am really sorry if I use any of the wrong words here!
I went to grade school in a school that was the "mainstreamer" school for our district, so I had classmates that had various degrees of development isssues. Also had a few classmates (for part of the day) that were hearing impaired. From that experience, I fell in love with sign language, when you move your hands and face and body to speak, I just find it beautiful (I am also one of those "weird" english teachers in training who finds many languages to be beautiful, so that is just me I guess)
anyway, from this experience I learned a bit of sign, though I knew lots more back then than I do now!
so now I am the girl scout leader for my daughters troop and there is this girl that was always watching us when my girl scouts came up to talk to me after school (they attack me, like a mob!) and you can just tell this girl wanted to be a part of the group. her mom always seemed really shy to me, if I smiled at her she just barely smiled and them looked away. so I didn't really invite her daughter into our troop (they don't have to be invited, they get a flier home, but with some families it helps to ask the parents out right). last year I realized (how I didn't know before, i don't know) that the mom is hearing impaired. I saw her kids signing to her and figured it out...
so I went online to a site that shows sign language words in little video clips to learn how to say a few things to her: my name is... I am the girl scout leader... do you read lips?... I would love J to join our girl scout troop... we meet on monday nights... I will send a paper home...
we had a very tiny conversation (which I am so proud of, I can't believe I learned how to say all that, it may seem silly to you, but I learned it all in an afternoon during my youngest dds nap) and yesterday after school I felt a tap on my shoulder, it was her (the mom) and she was smiling, which I don't see too often. we had a mini conversation and I told her I was learning more sign so we could talk more.
so my question- she is bringing an interpreter with her to the parent info meeting. do I explain to the other parents why the int is there, or just let it be part of the meeting?
since we won't always have the int, I want to be able to talk to her myself, so I am learning more. (I might sign up for a class at the community college, but first I have to see what it costs). so when we are doing the parent meeting, can I sign what words/phrases I have already learned, or is that weird since the int is there?
can I ask her what her sign for her dds name is so that I don't have to spell it all the time, or is that a family thing? (that sounds incredibly stupid, but I really don't know and I don't want to be rude, I was told once long ago that a name was created based on a personality and it was part of the signing community, so I am not sure if I am part of that)
is there any other etiquette that I should know of when talking to this mom? I know she is just a regular mom, but I also know that she belongs to a group of people who use her language, just like any other language has their customs and I want to be respectful of that. I am so sorry if anything I am asking here is rude or off base, it is just that my only other experience with having friends who signed was as a kid and as a kid, who cares if something is rude? kids are kids and don't think of it. I would love to be friends with this woman, she seems incredibly nice, so I think if I can learn enough sign we could get along great! I just don't want to do anything stupid to start off on the wrong foot. I know she is a woman and mother first, hearing impaired second, but I still wanted to check- ya know???
thanks in advance!