Another place to use ASL

by Candy Gatlin

(Santa Rosa CA. USA.)

My oldest is dislexic, a teacher taught her the alphabet in ASL, she learned how to spell right, knew the difference between letters, was feeling good about herself and about learning.

We moved, she changed schools, second school said she could not use her hands to spell words because that would be cheating in class. I asked why, they said if other students learned ASL alphabet she would be giving them the answers, thus cheating.

My daughter lost interest in school, dropped out and could not tell you the difference between was and saw by sight, unless you finger spell the words to her.

She still remembers the teacher that taught her how to learn. A true teacher will find a way to teach a child in a manner in which they can learn. We all know the ASL alphabet.

When I’m older and lose the rest of my hearing I’ll still be able to enjoy my children and grandchildren as we all are learning the whole language. My family thanks her.

Comments for another place to use ASL

Nov 01, 2011

A Few words of Encouragement

by: Mary Swingler

Hello Candy,
Your story touched so many emotions in me all at the same time. This gift that your daughter was given by her former teacher is worth cherishing. It is the key that unlocks her heart and her mind. She has the opportunity to communicate, to express her thoughts and feelings, to learn and ask questions. Just because she is not permitted to use this language tool at her new school, because of narrow-minded, biased, misconceptions, does not mean she can’t enroll in another school that fosters learning, encourages language development and enhances the potential of every student. This is one of those unavoidable bumps in the road, but not an engulfing quagmire.
You and your family can overcome any injustice that arises, if you trust in God and stand firm in the face of adversity. God will bless your families endurance.


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  • My best friend is Dyslexic and fingerspelling is something that the two of us learned together in high school to help him with his English assignments. He had the same problem, in which he was told he was not allowed to finger spell during a test. I asked him why the teacher didn’t just put him in the back of the room so no one could see, but he didn’t have an answer for me. This was only last year. It really is stupid when a teacher refuses to allow students such a small thing so they can grow to their full potential.