We ran into a wonderful and brave post on the blog Birds, Bees and Bloom called “‘L’ is for Language and Love” that shares a mothers journey in learning to communicate with her deaf child. Her story began 24 years ago before baby sign language was mainstream before youtube had sign language tutorials and before books of the sign were widely available in libraries or bookstores. Through the help of her pediatrician, and the work of Gallaudet university she quickly learned that language, spoken or signed, was the key to opening up the world to her daughter, and she tirelessly worked to find resources and tools to help her learn American Sign Language (ASL).
“Teaching our daughter language via ASL gave me a new perspective on how one acquires the skills of communication and understanding. Have you ever given any thought to how we teach a child to understand the concept of “WHY?” or time, or thoughts, feelings?… I just wanted to be able to talk to my girl just as I had to my son when he was a baby.”
As we get closer to Valentine’s day, we reflect on our positions as audiologists and speech-language pathologists, and the opportunity we have every day to help others learn to communicate through the use and comprehension of language, be it spoken, signed, written, symbolic or gestured. We feel fortunate to be a part of patient and families understanding and development of language. It’s our hope that we portray that “L” is for both language and love!