Secret Signs: Part Three

PART ONE: In which Alice learns about a new Deaf Student PART TWO: In which Alice meets Wren, a Deaf Boy who teaches her some ASL Secret Signs: Part 3 By J. Parrish Lewis By the end of the week, she knew how to make the alphabet with her hands, just like Wren could....

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Secret Signs: Part Two

PART ONE: In which Alice learns there is a new Deaf student at school Secret Signs: Part Two By J. Parrish Lewis She saw his backpack first, outside the speech therapist’s office where kids who had speech therapy were always directed to drop them. It was worn around...

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Secret Signs: Part One

Alice. The girl does not move. Her gaze remains fixed on the particularly bright line of green that she has drawn to represent the horizon. A vibrant green, it makes her smile. This is her favorite color and she will use it again, often, and with abandon. This is a...

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Make what you do matter to you

I think a lot about how to use the minutes and hours of my life in meaningful ways, at least meaningful to me. Like anyone else, I both use my time well and I waste time. I work toward shifting my choices toward using the time well, though it seems that’s not...

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Teach your deaf child to be thirsty for knowledge

I am asked by parents of deaf children for guidance on how to help their children succeed in life. I’ve already written plenty about the need for completely accessible language at home, with American Sign Language as the foundation no matter what else is chosen...

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Grief

Grief catches me in the back of the throat. That’s where the pain resides. I don’t know why this was, but that’s what I felt, trying to hold myself together while my grandfather lay in bed dying in his apartment in Seaside, California. I arrived two...

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Preaching to the choir in the echo chamber

Yeah, I know, that’s kind of a weird title for someone who is deaf, since I can neither hear a choir nor an echo chamber. But I’ll use these words because it’s the best I have available to me. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have been...

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Snapshot: Shadow puppets and funny faces

This is just a snapshot, a short glimpse into a moment of my life.  Monkey wanders over to me, dragging his blanket, the one that’s white and fluffy on one side and black and velvety on the other. It is mid-afternoon, and his homework is done, so he is wearing a...

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I am looking for peace in washing dishes

Some time ago, I noticed that when I do the dishes, I am automatically tense. I breathe more shallowly, and my shoulders and neck are taut with tension. I realized that this has been the case for a long time, perhaps since I was young, but I never really examined this...

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Into the wild backyards

When I was a kid, fences seemed unimportant. Boundaries never really crossed my mind. I reveled in the freedom to explore not just my own neighborhood, but all the neighborhoods in walking or biking distance. When I was 5 years old, growing up in Columbia, Maryland,...

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When the deaf community takes over the world!

/////This is TOP SECRET. Do not share.///// Here’s the plan, Stan. World Domination by the Deaf Community (includes EVERY country, not just America) will commence during Deaf Awareness Week this year. It will be swift, requiring only that we hypnotize all...

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Your deaf kids and the dinner table

This is a post for hearing parents of deaf children, who have not learned to sign. I write this knowing that you love your children and that you try very hard to make the best decisions you can for your children. This is not a post to bash you for your choices, but to...

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The writer in the current

The writer sits on his green couch, keyboard poised on the soft pillow resting on his lap. The blank screen intimidates him and will not back down from his insistent stare. He wonders what will come forth, if anything will come forth, for doubts have multiplied of...

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Plugged in and disengaged

I should write this post on a typewriter. I’d even be satisfied with the word processor I had back in high school, an awe-inspiring machine which had this tiny screen that showed two or three lines of text that you could EDIT. I mean right there on that minuscule...

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