Our decision to use Signing Exact English was really quite simple -- we want our son to be literate in the language our society uses as its primary means of communication, English. While respecting and nurturing his deafness and the deaf community in which he is a part, we found SEE a perfect choice for us to facilitate Hob's language acquisition and education. This system works! It is "user friendly," allowing English speaking family and friends to naturally express their thoughts. Even as this book is being printed, our son has over fifty signs and frequently uses two and three word expressions. Compare that to other 17-month-olds!
There is no reason why you shouldn't be signing in exact, authentic English and there are thousands of reasons why you should. Those reasons have names like Jennifer and Kayla and Tony and Daniel, they go to your school, and they are deaf. Signing Exact English has made it possible for our parents and staff to be consistent in the way we communicate with the students.
Our son Christopher, born with a profound hearing loss, was not diagnosed until he was two years old. Immediately we all began learning SEE signs. Within six months he had a vocabulary of several hundred signs; within a year he was signing such long sentences so quickly that we had to slow him down to read his signs. Now Christopher is six, is reading at the seventh grade level and has been mainstreamed since preschool. We feel emphatically that SEE sign language. which we will always refer to as Christopher's first language, provided the basis for his amazing success with the English language:
The Umatilla County Education Service District has used Signing Exact English since 1979. Many of our students who have been raised with SEE since infancy are performing at or above grade level. They are English users. In rural America, SEE provides deaf students with the English that is so necessary to interact with hearing people in their home community. We have found that it is relatively easy for hearing people to learn SEE, which expands the deaf child's communication network. Our deaf, English using students, find themselves capable in both the deaf and hearing worlds.
Signing Exact English is the only sign system that would allow us to share the richness of the English language, while not losing any of the beauty and expressiveness of American Sign Language. In time Signing Exact English has proven itself. We now have a child who has wonderful reading and writing skills because of the extensive use of the English language, while his hands and face express the poetry-like motion of American Sign Language. To us, Signing Exact English is the best of both worlds.
I am very glad to say that SEE is one of the sign systems I rely on most to serve the needs of many students and parents. The system is consistent with spoken English and provides a complete language model. It also employs the visual features of sign language to complete the delivery of a model that is as beautifully pictorial as it is linguistic. 1 have seen much success come from the combination of the system, the users, and the commitment to provide complete communication.