The life of a parent of a deaf kidlet and a Gifted mom learning #ASL (American Sign Language not American Soccer League) is so well explained in Once in a Lifetime, also known as Danielle Steel's book Once in a Lifetime, made into a 1994 television film directed by Michael Miller.
To best explain why the Gifted Children Community becomes polarized I can refer to this movie. You have to see the part where the boy really wants to play with the normal children, but they have to leave? That part is how Gifted Children leave their 2e mates behind, such is life. To understand that fully you have to be mom of an ASF, ASD, ADHD, Dyslexic, Blind or Deaf child. Not many of us are.
But as Deaf children still have problems, as they did 50 years ago ... Gifted Children certainly do as well. Advocacy is not easy. We can only teach about it.
The 2e ones with language problems certainly need very stubborn mothers, luckily they often have since mothers leave no stone unturned. We certainly have serious language problems in our home, and it is not only due to us being foreigners. If only that was the only issue!
People with Language Problems can as adults adapt faster, sometimes too fast for other people to follow. But we can be very stubborn, and easily misunderstood because we learned that in school. In school other children were accommodated for and we were struggling but had to survive alot earlier than other kids needed those skills! Language problems such as being deaf, blind or dyslexic are so often not understood or even missed by schools, even professionals unless the problem is profound like in that movie. In the same way Giftedness is often only noted if it is profound. If a kid is 2e aka Gifted with a disability then the kid can mask their problem alot longer and the solution is alot more complex.
The movie was just the thing for my neighbour secretly still looking for a mate, I enjoyed the handicap parts and my kidlet certainly enjoyed the being on the Hollywood set bits.
See, luckily for me the story had an amazing background setting about "being the mother of a deaf child" in a country that believed in institutionalizing children with handicap was the best practise.
Sadly, like where I am living, people still chose to institutionalize their handicapped children and municipalities enforce that without realizing we actually have the right to choose. People do not realize non verbal children due to autism also learn to sign at a very young age. In the Gifted Community mothers have realized their children can learn baby sign language before the children talk ... things can be very interrelated.
Although I read Danielle Steels books. A teacher forced me out of my comfort zone. She was an author I chose, by being forced into it, for my book reports in about 1987 or so. I must admit it was really hard to find any Author that year, and I would never ever have read her books, but as a teacher forced me, I did what I had to do. See, our English teacher, that I babysat for once, made it a tough book report year - she gave us a stern "not these authors talk" and over into the romance category. Pretty much like our school psychologist is re enforcing public school at the moment, and meeting me stubbornly not complying.
So being pushed right out of my comfort zone, 3 isles down from my normal area I found myself, wandering around. I swear the librarian stared that day since it was an area that definitely did not contain any authors I had been reading, and I had my ways at the time not heard or seen until I needed something. I was, already then, not an easy customer to please. I think due to her being forced to allow me to read adult material at an early age she kept an eye on me. Just watching from her desk.
I was a keen reader and had been a fan of authors such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Douglas Adams since I was 12 or so. All of them were only in the 16+ area and I had to have a note from home in order to get access, as the librarian never ever forgot. Neither did I - I wonder if my Gran had refused if I would have been forced to reread the childrens section or would I have become a socializing brat? I think my Gran realised to rather keep me reading than to let me loose in town on my own.
And there I was - forced at 16 to read for school? Ok, better late than never that our school made us read. Many of my classmates never ever read anything out of school, but they knew when surfing was going to be great without google. I don't think the teachers, excetp for one understood how to find them before they stayed for and extra surf.
Knowing how the other kids must feel not normally reading, I felt their pain having to find a book from the non-sci fi / horror section. I almost feel sorry for the surfers today and wonder who they called in for "help" with that book report since that teacher was sharper than most - they were certainly handing in homework that year! Even I was making more effort than I had for some time. The headmaster was trying to keep our school afloat I realise today, and luckely the school survived, sadly the sense of community and making sure the local school is great politicians forget.
Our local #Muizenberg library was well stocked in the old days as it was a superb holiday destination visually similar to Turkey, France, Myrtle Beach ect ... so there just before giving up I found Danielle Steele.
Who would have thought I would be taken back to my childhood 30 yrs ago, by a movie of an author I read once? My children need to come with me to see where and how I grew up - and meet my community - they might be able to bring some of that to #odense. Not many of us live in Muizenberg today, but we have never forgotten our beach with the pretty huts, that at a bit Norwegian, Greenlandish as well as Danish Summer houselike!
As Muizenberg was a very popular destination 30 years ago, Danielle Steel must have been popular since I found a little section that stood out. Being pressured for time, busy with my own stuff as kids choose when school is of no interest, it was fast reading with a report due the next day.
I must admit it gave me the least effort for an A, a first for English on my report card if my memory serves me correctly. I always got an A for Maths, but never lifted a finger in order to do so, as well as for Afrikaans as a second language where effort was not needed.
Differentiation was then like now - no time for enrichment. But English as a first language coming from a German/Afrikaans home was just a bitch. I have still not figured out grammar, but that is due to dyslexia so I might solve the problem teaching my kid his grammar.
So funny to see her movie and note how well researched her novel was. ASL grammar is unrelated to that of English, but I noted her saying it was related to French!
In the movie they clipped that it was actually related to French Sign Language (LSF), not French as such. ASL was created in this situation of language contact, as a bridge language, common language, trade language or vehicular language influenced by its forerunners but distinct from all of them. Pretty much as Afrikaans was developed in South Africa and a language that made it easier for me when I needed to learn Danish - all I needed to do was not to learn language from book systems. As a child I had met many foreigners coming to Muizenberg, some even retired there.
The French Signing interest sidestep i beacuse my kidlet is an avid French and ASL learner ... I noted this, as her spare time hobby influences our home. If you need more wikipedia has an very informative start ... youtube can teach ASL via music, movies ect but this "once in a lifetime" movie can explain how it works for 2e families.
I saved som links on #pinterest ... and see the new function ... finding visually similar results. Now, learning is pretty much applying the findings for similar results. More on that another day.