Saturday, July 12

6th & Final Day At SEE Conference

Yesterday was a sad day. The conference has ended and now I am out on my own again. On our breaks and at lunch I had lunch with 2 ladies who will/and will be interpreting for my daughter at her school. They are both ASL interpreters and I learned so much from them. There are things with SEE that drive me batty and do no make sense to me. That's why in our house we are not pure SEE, we mix things up a bit. Compound words in SEE make me insane. Some of the compound words like SomeTimes are just one sign even though in SEE you would pointless as 2 signs : point and then less. Seems to me that sometimes should be the same : some and then times, but it's not sometimes has the same ASL sign as sometimes and is not broken down. There are many examples of this and it makes it really confusing to me to know which one is correct. When in doubt if I know the ASL sign I use the ASL sign in our house. The next time I get a chance I look it up and sometimes :) it is the ASL sign, but others it follows the compound word rule. I then tell my daughter the next time I use that word that she may also see "word + word" for that. I hope that made sense. It's really difficult to describe a language in type.

We did great on our Footloose song. I survived!! It is a really fast song when you are signing every word and every suffix. Get me off of my knees. For example : Get is got with a past tense marker and knees has an s at the end. C'mon C'mon let's go...let's is with an apostrophe s so it is an "s" that is turned in and then go. My hands and wrists got a good workout.

I'm sad that the convention is over. I learned about 200 new signs in a week. Where else can I do that? If you would liek to know if there is a SEE convention in your neighborhood visit

As a side note, I think that as a parent of a Deaf child you cannot just have 1 language that you are teaching your children. There are many signing systems and I want to expose myself and my child to as much as I can. SEE and ASL are the two prominate signing methods in our area. We also see signed engish, CASE and occasionally Rochester method. I would like to be profecient and learn as much as I can about sign language, NOT just SEE, NOT just ASL - but any and all sign language.

The reason I took the week off of work and went to the SEE conference is because it is what is being taught at my daughters school. If ASL were being taught I would have attended an ASL conference. Please do not bash me for wanting to better my skills in any language. We need to be flexible and understand that in this world my daughter is not just going to encounter ASL or just SEE - I do not want her to be ignorant or think that only 1 way is the right way! My goal is for us to be able to communicate with each other and with others. If that means that I need to learn 4 or 5 methods - I'm willing to do that. Right now, I feel like it is most important to give her language so that she can be caught up with her classmates. How can we do that quickly???? I think the answer is by signing what they are signing to her at school and that means that I learn SEE and sign as much SEE at home as I can so that she understands what is being signed to her at school.

Do not judge me because I sign SEE. I also know some ASL and will learn more and more as time goes on, but for now SEE is what we are using with some ASL flavors thrown in. SEE is not always conceptual and ASL sometimes clarifies what I mean. ASL is a beautiful language and I know that one day I will also sign ASL. I will not keep Rebecca from ASL, it is definately something that she needs, but SEE serves a great purpose as well.


Dianrez said...

It is better to be consistent, whatever sign language you use, but personally, I think the key variable in learning language is by reading.

Read, read, read to your children, and encourage them to read on their own.

Then the sign language becomes less important as a vehicle for learning language, (especially at the age your kids are at now) and more important for keeping a flow of communication in the family and preparing your kids for communication in the wider community.

Anonymous said...

The sooner you learn ASL, the better. I was in your situation many many years ago.. Once day I saw the hearing preschool teacher trying to tell a Deaf mother that the class put together a puzzle today. The teacher used the sign for "puzzled" x on her forhead. The Deaf mom had no idea what she was talking about.
SEE is a coded system making it easier for hearing parents to think that that are providing their deaf child with sign language in order to learn English. The facts are that SEE is not a language at all and doesn't make sense to visually oriented people.
Please please get with Deaf adults. Sign up for some classes in ASL and learn your child's real and natural language. You will be surprised at how much faster your child will pick up English after he/she has a good base in ASL.
You can't do this alone, your child needs deaf peers and role models. Your family needs Deaf mentors.
Beleive me....been where you are many many years ago....

Anonymous said...


Not sure if I was successful in posting earlier so am attempting again ;-}

My name is Edgenie Bellah and I am the family support person with the Texas Deafblind Project, which is housed out of TX School for the Bind and Visually Impaired. I would love to connect with you to chat about the community and supports in Texas for families with children who are deafblind. You are welcome to call or email me anytime!

Edgenie Bellah
Family Support, Texas Deafblind Project
Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired,
1100 West 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
512-206-9423; fax: 512-206-9320