Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Somewhere We Belong...

It's so easy to fall in the "Let's go to the Mall/Target/Buy Buy Baby so we can get out of the house trap" when you have a little one at home. Alot of the Moms that I know take their kids to the various music classes, like Gymboree or MusiKids. I would get a little teary-eyed when I would hear them talk about how wonderful the classes were, and their kids were dancing to the music. I WANTED THAT FOR CHRISITAN!

When we started researching activities that we could do as a family with Christian, my good friend Erika suggested Imagination Stage. Eri actually teaches at Imagination Stage, and I always knew it was a real special place for kids and their families. What I DIDN'T know was that it was an even more special place for Deaf and HOH families.

We signed Christian up for a class called Just Imagine: Musical Journeys Together. Sure, it's a great class for a toddler--lots of activity, different songs and not too much structure. What makes it SO WONDERFUL for our little guy is that Imagination Stage has provided an ASL interpreter for Christian. How awesome is that? Sure, buddy only knows a few signs here and there. But the fact that he is EXPOSED to the signing is what I love. And what I absolutely LOVE even more is how WELCOMING and EASY everything has been at Imagination Stage. FINALLY....something is easy for us. Our good family friendsalso are taking the class with their daughter( who is the spunkiest hearing toddler I know!), and I am really looking forward to spending some QT with them!


It ends up that Imagination Stage has an entire program, called DeafAccess for Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids and their families. After last weekend's class, I literally ran into an entire group of kids signing and laughing with eachother. It melted my heart. I had no idea that such a rich and amazing program was located literally right in my backyard. I am SO looking forward to having Christian take advantage of these classes and programs.

7 comments:

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Christina,
God, that is amazing! It's so important to find an environment where you are comfortable for your son, then he will LOVE everything about it. You are a wonderful person, Love, Jodi

Divided said...

Christina, I am familiar with Insight Stage and had forgotten about this wonderful place. You're doing great getting out and involving yourselves. This is a great way to meet up with other deaf/hh kids and families. You're smack in the middle of a large and wonderful deaf community there. I've lived in the area for over 30 years and have many many friends there. Feel free to ask for guidance, suggestions, etc. and I'll be happy to help. If you can email me...feel free.

hugs...Divided

Divided said...

Oops..I meant Imagine Stage....Mary Yeh is on the board and she is a dear friend of ours. Have fun!!

leahlefler said...

Wow - what an awesome program! We don't have anything here (not even Gymboree). Luckily Nolan is only moderate in loss so he can hear the music, though our playgroup stresses him out with all the reverberating background noise. Not sure what to do about that- he usually cries, I nurse him, then he goes to sleep and I turn off his "ears." I think he's learned to nurse so I'll turn his hearing down in those situations...

Jenny said...

We're having such a good time taking the class with you too, Tina! I'm really excited that we can learn right along with Christian so that we can be better at signing, too! I've been practicing "Christian" all week - can't wait to see him in person to say hello. Let me know if you need Steve's help in learning the words to "Happy Birthday!" Talk to you soon...

Divided said...

Christina,
Don't know if this may interest you but thought I'd pass it on. This was posted on Gallaudet University website extension courses. :)

Extension Programs course: 'Introduction to First Language Acquisition by Children'
Dr. Debbie Chen Pichler from the Department of Linguistics will teach a 1-credit course at CSD of Maryland in Frederick--Friday, February 8, 5-9:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 9, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
This course introduces students to the processes by which children acquire their first language, focusing on the major milestones of phonological and syntactic development. The course includes an overview of recent research in child language development. Some topics to be covered include babbling and early phonetic development by infants, acquisition of word order, questions, and word meanings. The acquisition of sign languages and ways in which deaf children's signing development parallels that of spoken language in hearing children will also be explored.

For registration, contact Jacqueline.mann@gallaudet.edu. Registration deadline is Friday, January 25.

Mother of Bilingual Deaf and Hearing Children said...

Glad you found Imagination Stage. My children and I (along with several of my neighbors and their children; our extended family) have enjoyed their Deaf Access productions/performances for many years. My daughter will be performing there this year. Yeah, I'm a proud mom.

Mother of Bilingual Deaf and Hearing Children