Sign language is a useful communication tool for many of our children. Some are able to express their wants and needs with gestures. We work with the students to turn these gestures into the correct signs. While the Rochester Center for Children teaches Sign Language, we try to use American Sign Language. However, because the majority of our staff and clients are hearing, we are considered to use “Contact Signing” and is not always true American Sign Language. To clarify, we are teaching where the two cultures and languages (Hearing/Deaf & English/ASL) overlap which tends to result in the development of a form of communication called "contact signing." Contact signing by its very definition is not ASL, however it has many signs and terms that are ASL. We may alter the sign using an initial or a simplified version of the fine motor movement. There are also cases in which we create a sign specifically for a student to be able to communicate his/her wants and needs. To further bridge this possible communication gap, we are constantly in communication with the client’s family and support members so there is less of a communication break. Because RCC uses Contact Signing, there may be a few signs in the videos and descriptions that are unfamiliar to the Deaf Community.
For more information on the importance of sign language, click here.
The Rochester Center for Autism wants to provide you with all the help and information you need when it comes to a diagnosis with Autism. Rochester and the surrounding Southeast Minnesota area have a wide variety of resources you need when it comes to your children.