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Communicating without words - Closeups
June 2013 Issue
It is Easter and Christopher Patterson is dyeing eggs with three of the foster children he and his husband Stephen have had since March. Patterson teaches them the word in sign language for each color. The oldest, 10, asks how to sign “tea,” his favorite drink. Patterson uses his hands to mimic the act of brewing a cup of hot tea. One hand appears to hold a cup, while the other motions as if it’s steeping a tea bag in the cup of water. It has been a tough sign for the boy to master since he drinks iced tea, not hot tea. The lessons are a necessity for the children—a newborn and two 1-year-olds in addition to the 10-year-old—if they want to effectively communicate with their foster, and possibly permanent, parents. Patterson is deaf. “The earlier any child is exposed to and begins to acquire language, the better that child’s communication skills will become,” he explains. Patterson teaches American Sign …
Read full article at http://uga.edu/gm/ee/index.php?/single/2013/06/1871/.
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