April 15 is National ASL Day

My reflections about American Sign Language (as shared on Facebook today)

As a parent of a 1 year old, deaf child, I was told, "Don't bother trying to learn ASL, it's too hard and you'll never learn it." (Parent Infant Program - Early Intervention Worker)

2004: As the parent of a deaf child, who just woke up from cochlear implant surgery, I was told, "You need to stop signing with her." (ENT surgeon)

They have been adamant. It's time WE are just as adamant.

"If they sign, they will never speak," IS A LIE. ASL is the BEST option for deaf children. It will never fail. It DOES NOT cause language delays, and it never has. Language delays come from living in an environment WITHOUT language. The kind of environment where you can't hear anything, and people just keep talking at you. We will not stop signing! #wewillnotstopsigning

I invite you to share YOUR #wewillnotstopsigning story with me in the comments below. Here are a few of our favorite responses from Facebook: 

I have a beautiful HoH (mild-mod loss) daughter who will be 2 (!!!!) on Saturday. As we sat in the audiologists office after her first ABR we were told we wouldn't "need" to sign because with her hearing aids she could be "hearing." They couldn't tell us however if her loss was progressive. We still don't know. We started signing immediately and now have a bilingual toddler with language skills far above her hearing peers. We don't know what the future holds for her hearing. But we know that she will have full communication no matter what. #wewillnotstopsigning ~Karli H

My daughter speaks, but she signs as well. We chose to give her everything. We chose to give her a way to communicate in all situations. Her twin brother has autism, and ASL has been an amazing way for him to improve communication. We decided that we will not pick a side, we want it all. ASL has been a gateway to amazing friendships and support in our lives. #wewillnotstopsigning ~Nicole S

As the parent of two "mild" Hard of Hearing babies the audiologist looked at us like we were crazy when we said we were going to sign with her. Just recently the school district looked at us like we were crazy when we said we wanted our daughter in a bilingual environment that gave her full and complete access to her education. Some day my daughters will be responsible for their own educational choices, until that day comes, #WeWillNotStopSigning we will always fight for equal access. ~Johanna W.

I used sign language with my hearing babies. They were using signs before speaking words. Communication is imperative. I love ASL. Such a beautiful language ❤ ~Jen D