forum SignWriting List Forum
  Message 134  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index
From:  The Watsons
Date:  Thu May 21, 1998  1:55 pm
Subject:  Re: Introductions?

Ben Karlin wrote:-

> Alright, I stood up and told about myself. How about some of the rest
>of you taking your turns? Maybe Valerie should go next and the rest of
>you would follow suit. It isn't like we can just look around the room
>here or ask a friend to introduce us to each other. So far you all seem
>like charming people INCLUDING you non-prescriptive linguists.
>Ben Karlin / St Louis, MO USA

It's been really great reading all about the talented people on this list. I'm
afraid I'm not one of them! However, I'll tell you who I am anyway.

I was born and brought up (quite well) in Scotland and immigrated to Canada in
1989. I have three sons (12, 6 and 2 1/2), the older two are hearing and our
youngest is deaf. We have been learning ASL for a year (badly) but our son is
doing extremely well, far better than us. This morning he made a four word
phrase, and I was pretty excited! ("eat more waffle syrup" - he knows all the
really important things!)

My most important achievement is definitely my family, but apart from that, I
trained as a speech pathologist in Scotland, and I was particularly interested
in working with children with developmental disabilities. I had a little
exposure to British Sign Language, but mostly to a sign system called Makaton,
developed specifically for children with disabilities. I haven't yet found
anyone here who is familiar with it, but it was a much simpler language than
BSL and worked very well with these kids allowing them to communicate everyday

Before we adopted our youngest a year ago (ie. when I used to have spare time) I
was a volunteer with the Victoria Order of Nurses, visiting hospice patients in
their homes. It sounds weird, but I really enjoyed it. I also worked
extensively with the local theatre group - I've done everything! I go on
stage, I work behind the scenes (I"m rather partial to running the sound
system) and I've been on the exec more times than I care to think about.

Over and above everything else (except my boys) I have a deep love for language
and the written word. I speak French, German and a tiny bit of Spanish, though
I would like to learn properly. I am fascinated by ASL and it's conceptual
form. I wish I had more access to native speakers so I could practise. Talking
to a 2 yr-old is not quite the same! I try very hard to use facial expression
as I notice when watching some non-deaf users that it is liking listening to
English in a monotone. It's much harder to grasp meaning too. I got into
SignWriting because I was searching the web for as much info as possible on
ASL. I feel it is a basic right for my child to learn to write in his own

So that's who I am. Not an expert academically speaking, but I need to become an
expert of sorts to help my son become all he needs to be.

Cheers! Shiona.

Shiona M Watson

Acton, Ontario

  Message 134  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index