What's Happening?

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Signing Stars

GraceSigns is happy to announce "Signing Stars" - a new program (sponsored by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation) to employ individuals with Down syndrome. Candidates are encouraged to download GraceSigns free apps and learn signs (either words or sentences) and send in their photos and/or videos of themselves signing.  Participants will be paid $25 for each photo and $50 for each video.

Show your stuff and be a 

Signing Star today!

Email: Valerie@GraceSigns.org

 6 Steps to De-Stress

1) Smile. It is free to give and receive.
2) Sing. When you feel crazed, try singing -
it is a great way to take the edge off.

3) Be mindful of overstimulation,
overindulgence and overdoing it. 
  
4) Be considerate about the needs and challenges of others. Being kind feels good.
5) Laughter lightens all.
6) Take time-out to recharge yourself.
 
 

Smiley
Emojis
Smiley

Let's Learn Some Summer 
Signs 

Flower

It's Summertime!

CLICK to

learn some fun

Summer

 Signs 

Who Uses Sign Language?
(Not what you expect)

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March 2022

By Jamie Berke

It is not just deaf and hard of hearing children who use sign language. Another large segment of sign language users are hearing children who are nonverbal due to conditions such as down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, trauma, brain disorders or speech disorders. For parents, sign language provides a means of quick communication, particularly for those whose attention spans may be very short or language very limited. Or it may be a tool for language development prior to developing spoken language. For children, it is a means of expressing themselves so that they are less frustrated.

A resource for reviewing this: Using Sign Language to Support Speech

Aphasia

Aphasia is a common speech disorder. It can be developmental or sometimes caused by a stroke or brain injury making a person unable to speak. Sign language can be a communication aid for people with aphasia. Some resources:

Sign Language and Aphasia from the National Aphasia Association

Communicating with someone with aphasia from the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Autism

Sign language is frequently used as a communication tool with children with autism. One resource discussing sign language and autism research is "Acquisition of Picture Exchange-Based vs. Signed Mands and Implications to Teach Functional Communication Skills to Children with Autism" in the Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship from December 2016.

Cerebral Palsy

Some hearing children with cerebral palsy may be unable to speak because the cerebral palsy means they cannot control the parts of the body needed in producing speech. Sign language gives them an alternative means of communication.

 

Down Syndrome

The experiences of parents and children with Down syndrome in using sign language varies. Some parents of children with Down syndrome find that using sign language reduces the incentive for children to speak, ​as signing is easier for them. Others have found that using sign language encourages the development of speech in their children with Down syndrome and that the children drop the signs as they learn to speak. A resource for using sign language with children who have Down syndrome is:

Sign Language Instructional Video from the Down Syndrome Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Sign Language can be an incredibly useful tool for parents and children with speech challenges.

Image by Mayur Gala
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Why Learn to Sign?

POETRY CORNER

I Am Deaf

The silence of sound

doesn't silence me.

To hear nothing

is something opening

and expanding.

Everything is exposed.

I am exposed.

I am expanded and empowered,

purposeful, present.

I am deaf.

By Zachary B. Hart

One

One small dandelion-

 

Smiles up at the sun.

Floating in a sea of grass,

Buoyed by her beauty,

The sun shines down on Her.

 

She blooms.

by Anonymous

Invisible

 

 

Do you see me?

Sitting in a wheelchair.

Struggling but strong.

Here I am.

 

Do you see me?

Hiding under wrinkles.

Young in my soul.

Here I am.

 

Do you see me?

Clutching my belongings.

Hoping for a home.

Here I am.

Do you see me?

Standing in my skin.

Beautifully blemished.

Here I am.

 

Do you see me?

Chanting to myself.

Broken by reality.

Here I am.

 

Do you see me?

Here. I. Am.

 

 

By Cecelia D. Brown

This, hope.

In the darkness, 

there is light.

In the silence, 

sound.

Lonely, alone.

Tears of madness

and sadness.

In life, 

there is death.

In death, 

life.

 

Even in the abyss,

there is this,

hope.
 

by Valerie R. Carter

Poetry is a beautiful form of self-expression and GraceSigns embraces language in all formats.  Share your poetry! We will showcase your creation here in our Poetry Corner.  Send your short poems to us through our contact page here .

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Waiting at Bus Stop
Image by Trust "Tru" Katsande

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