Flutterby™! : Disneyland

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2006-03-16 16:36:13.951929+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Although she's dropped it because of everything else we had going on, Charlene[Wiki] started taking a sign language class this semester. She's already got some of the basics, it helps to have another communication system when working with autistic kids, but part of sign language is the culture in which the language is spoken. Although it borrows a lot, ASL[Wiki] isn't English. So one of her class assignments involved going to various deaf cultural events.

One of those options was a "deaf day" at Disneyland, and she signed up to take Alan[Wiki](yes, the timing relative to Tuesday's events wasn't lost on anyone). So last weekend we went through the snow over the Grapevine in Tejon pass (both going and coming) to spend a day in "the happiest place on earth".

It rained while we were there, which was just fine, 'cause it cleared out the lines a bit, and we got rainbows.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Handicaps & Disabilities ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-16 16:48:54.834155+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, and as a result of that trip I now know the signs for "store" and "candy". I know individual letters, too, and am working on fingerspelling, but it's different to know what the sign is and be able to pull it from muscle memory at a speed which makes it usable for spelling out words.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-16 18:37:29.879294+00 by: Diane Reese

I spent several years studying sign language (ASL) while in college, and briefly considered going to graduate school to learn to teach deaf kids. I can still sign, with a rudimentary vocabulary, but it's harder for me to "read" others' signing. What I found was that the most effective sign communicators were almost performers, using their face and body along with the rudiments of ASL, and usually mouthing cue words at the same time. (Which, as you might guess, made me something of a natural, once I had the basics down. ;-) The construction of sentences in ASL is quite different: as I recall, it can most easily be described as "here's the subject, over here's the action, here's how they work together", visually defined.

Practice finger-spelling everything you see while riding on a bus someday. The more you do it, the faster you'll get and the more you'll stop thinking about it and just do it. (I got the same feeling once I learned Grafitti on my old Palm Pilot: after a while it just flowed out, I didn't have to think about it at all, like touch-typing or cursive writing.) Too bad we aren't closer, I'd love to brush up my signing again!

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-16 18:55:46.799642+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yep, that's what I've been doing. Any time I have my right hand free. I still fumble my "R", "S", "A" and "E", for some reason, other than that it's mostly about speed. And I need to get some practice reading...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-16 19:47:08.397347+00 by: Nancy

oh, I LOVE disneyland. The storybook canal ride is my very favorite and they don't have it in Florida. One of my greatest fears in life is that they might get rid of the ride before I have a chance to see it again. (ha ha - that shows you just how cushy my life is, eh?)

The storybook canal might not be Alan's cup of tea, though.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-16 20:00:16.154842+00 by: Dan Lyke

It's hard to tell what is and isn't his thing, sometimes I felt like he was just going on the rides because we were excited about it. Mostly he wanted to meet the characters. We stood in line for a looong time to meet the assorted characters.

And got stuck in the Winnie the Pooh ride...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-16 22:28:38.25788+00 by: topspin

Diane, my ex learned ASL in college and was told to practice finger-spelling while riding, as you suggest.

Once, while riding in a van on a "field trip" with several deaf folks, she was dutifully practicing spelling signs, business names, etc. One of the deaf ladies saw her and began playing the game, but with a twist. She would look to her right and sign things she saw with her right hand, then back to her left and sign things she saw with her left hand.... often signing simultaneously with both hands.

She offered this notion to my ex, who found it nearly impossible of course, while some of the other deaf folks simply did it few seconds, shrugged, and went back to whatever they were doing.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-17 19:07:08.994611+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hey, that's really cool. The scary bit is that I do this better with my left hand than I do with my right.