A New Language: Fun, Challenging, and a Blessing for the Whole Family 

My name is Emily. I am the wife of a very busy medical student and a mother of two amazing daughters. My oldest daughter Lottie Belle is 3 years old, and her little sister Poppy Rae is 9 months old. Poppy was born with permanent bilateral hearing loss due to misshapen cochleas. As of right now she has “mild” loss in one ear and “moderate-severe” in the other. There is a chance that Poppy’s hearing loss is progressive, but time will only tell when or if she will lose more hearing. Amongst all the unknowns of Poppy's hearing loss, I have been completely sure about one thing: "My family needs to learn ASL." I'm so grateful for this language.

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I was introduced to Rachel’s website mydeafchild.org through a close friend who told me about SignIt. Learning a new language is challenging, but I never thought it would be this fun. The lessons in the program are paired with well thought out and hilarious skits. I love all the repetition, songs and ample amount of opportunities for you to practice. As a soon to be 30 year old, I was terrified to learn a new language. We all know that it is more difficult for adults to learn a new language than for children. SignIt has given me confidence and a child like perspective. I stop feeling self conscious, I have a desire to play in the language and I’m willing to make mistakes because in the end it helps me learn.

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It’s safe to say that at the beginning American Sign Language was a priority solely because of Poppy. It became another way for me to advocate for her and to show her that she's not alone in this journey and never will be. Yet, it quickly became so much more to our family. My oldest daughter has a severe speech and language delay. I truly believe that signing was what started to break down this barrier that had been preventing Lottie from communicating. From "Baby Signing Time" to "Rachel & The TreeSchoolers", Signing Time is on constant repeat at our house. ASL took away our frustration and replaced it with fun in our lives. Lottie is becoming so much more confident and social and it is one of the most beautiful things I have seen.

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Finally, as a former educator, American Sign Language gave me an opportunity and outlet to continue learning. I'm so grateful for this language. It connected me to some of the most amazing and inspiring people I have ever met and I'm forever blessed by their friendships and encouragement. ASL changed the direction of our lives, and I can’t wait to see where it will take us. ♥ #wewillnotstopsigning

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