1. Please tell me about your hearing loss journey-were you born with a hearing loss?
We don't know. We highly suspect it began around the time I had either the Mumps or a bit later when I had the Measles. I had recurring ear infections all my life since childhood. In Jr. High, I was sent to speech therapy. Sounds were beginning to be missed in my speech. I suspect I lost more hearing during that time from a high fever that came with an illness that year. People don't realize even a fever can cause hearing loss or deafness.
2. Did you have hearing aids growing up?
No. When I was pregnant with my first child, the man I was married to at the time sent me to an audiologist who diagnosed me with progressive hearing loss, moderate degree. He prescribed my first pair of hearing aids.
3. When did your hearing get significantly worse?
When I was in college, I became ill with yet more fevers and more ear infections and lost another significant degree. It turned out that wearing my hearing aids for more than a couple of hours a day was the cause of repeat infections. It's ironic the thing that can help me can also harm my hearing further.
My husband noticed these past couple of years that my hearing continues to worsen. He is so FABULOUS, he took some ASL classes last year. I'm hoping he can take more soon. One of his work schedules has made it difficult to do that lately.
4. What prompted you to learn sign language?
By learning to sign at college, I was being proactive with my hearing loss. I also took a course learning how to read lips, facial expressions and body language. All these classes were FREE to citizens at our small community college on the Southern Oregon Coast who needed them.
5. What got you interested in teaching sign language?
It sort of fell into my lap. When our son's Kindergarten teacher found out we used signs, asked if I would be interested in teaching her class a few. The children wanted more than just one class, and the First Grade class wanted to learn, too. It has been a joyful experience, and the school now boasts that the students learn Sign Language, as well as Spanish and English.
6.. Tell us about Xpressive Handz and how it is a part of Signing Time.
I am a certified instructor through Signing Time Academy. I LOVE the materials and songs Rachel Coleman wrote that help children and parents learn the signs. The Signing Time products are wonderful! To learn more about Signing Time, visit http://www.SigningTime.com
You can visit my Signing Time Store at: https://leapingbrain.com/modshop/?shop=684
7. Who do you teach?
I teach preschool and early elementary school children. I also tutored an amazing home school family of 10 children. Recently a pregnancy center asked me to consider teaching a Baby Signing Time course. I'm considering taking on this new opportunity. I love babies!
8. Do your children sign?
Yes!! My daughter took the Sign Language classes with me at the college. My son was signing to me when he was 8 months old, but he doesn't sign as much these days - I'm told it is a passing phase of many CODA's (Child of Deaf Adult) at this age.
9. What are some of the biggest myths you have encountered from people about signing?
People don't realize Signs, like spoken language, have accents depending on where one lives. For instance, I learned an entirely different sign for "birthday" out West than what I've seen here in the East. In fact, here in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area, I've seen five different signs for "birthday".
I love that Signing Time brings a consistency of the signs. Children around the world are learning the very same basic
ASL signs from our instructors, whether they are in Japan, Africa or the U.S.
10. Please share anything you would like to about your company. How we can reach you,etc.
I can be emailed: firstname.lastname@example.org
My website is http://www.xpressivehandz.com
My Signing Time page is: https://www.signingtimeacademy.com/instructor/directory/viewprofile/?user_id=433
My Signing Time store is: https://leapingbrain.com/modshop/?shop=684
You will find many videos and various information relating to Sign Language, hearing loss and deafness where I occasionally blog: http://xpressivehandz.blogspot.com/