"An unexamined life is not worth living."
by Socrates

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"The benefits of American Sign Language as proved by professional Psychologists."

A Psychology course I took last year taught me the significance of communication from infancy up to six years of age. Having been born Deaf and raised orally without any access to ASL, I can vividly recall as a Deaf child not being able to communicate with my parents, my teacher, nor my classmates, which is one of the reasons why I strongly support American Sign Language as an unequivocally valuable language for alleviating communication barriers.

I ended up doing intensive research on the topic of the Psychological factors of a Deaf/Hard of Hearing child raised without ASL and a Deaf/Hard of Hearing child raised with access to communication via ASL.

Here is a sample of my essay that proves that ASL does advance the Deaf/Hard of Hearing child's developmental process - when the neurons are developing the fastest.

"The first data that indicated to me that there are significant effects underlying the gradual development of a DHH child raised without access to sign language concerned the neurological connecting process. When you ponder how the neurons are connecting and progressing the fastest during the most critical segment of a child's development following birth, especially from three to six years old.

Edmondson (2006) emphasized in his article how there are crucial neural developmental activities that occurs during reciprocal communication that enhances neural connections in a four year old child’s brain, which is delayed in DHH children raised without sign language: “Consequently, one might hypothesize that many Deaf children's lack of early access to conversation, and in particular social facets such as speculation and comment about thoughts and states of mind, would severely limit their conceptual development” (p. 167). Edmondson illustrated how significant communication is to a DHH child’s neurological development"
(Edmundson, P. (2006). Deaf children's understanding of other people's thought processes. Educational Psychology in Practice, 22:2, 159-169. Retrieved February 11, 2010, from the Academic Search Premier database).

Segments of an essay written by Gina Dyson

Sunday, August 1, 2010

She pointed behind me..."There are men following you!"

Something strange happened last night!

It was just starting to get dark as I walked into Safeway to get some groceries. I scrolled down to the bread section mulling over which loaf of bread to get when suddenly a woman, in her 30s, walked up in front of me, her mouth rambling a mile a minute, her eyes looking worried, until I pointed to my ears signifying I'm Deaf.

Her facial expression altered into one of an, ah, no wonder I couldn't get your attention look combined with a genuine concern as she pointed behind me and articulated as vividly as she feasibly could, "There are men following you!"

Paranoid, I looked behind me, down every isle - the coffee isle; the soup isle; and the cereal isle, but didn't see anyone. I didn't know what to reply, except express my gratitude to her for her willingness to inform me - she feasibly saved my life!

Though I have to be more alert than the average person, it's nice to know that there are hearing people that are willing to help another person, whom isn't aware that she is being followed.

However, the question remains at the end of the day, who are these men, and why were they following me in the grocery store?

Overall, this experience has taught me all the more to be extra cautious!