Sign Language

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Iron Horse, May 7, 2002.

  1. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse The luckiest man
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    I am looking for a good sign language (ASL) text book and/or video that is easy to use for self-teaching. I have a deaf patient I see and I want to be able to communicate directly with him, instead of through an interpretor.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. Castro Viejo

    Castro Viejo Papa Clot Buster
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    Just out of curiosity, how long do you think your patient's going to be there?
     
  4. pipper

    pipper Member
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    Wow good for you for taking the initiative to learn some ASL. I took a course through Galladet (sp?) to learn to better communicate with some of the people that I work with. We used the text "Learning American Sign" by humphries and Padden. It is OK, but mainly geared toward general conversation not much medical stuff. I have also referenced "The joy of Signing" with some luck as the book is a little better with pictures that actually help you learn the signs. I find the easiest way to learn some signs is to ask the person and then write yourself little notes to remember the sign. I don't know about videos, but I will ask my collegues if there is anything they recommend. Good luck and hope this helps.
     
  5. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse The luckiest man
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    The patient will be coming to this office I am at indefinitely -- he's 16 and I am working with his FP for the next 2-3 years as part of our curriculum. He is somewhat troubled and has been manipulating his blood sugars at times for effect. I made a deal with him last week; he controls his sugars better and I'll learn some sign language so we can talk directly. His grandmother said they have only found one MD who knew sign language, and it made a tremendous difference to the PT.

    Pipper, thanks for the suggestions. Another person I have asked also recommended "The Joy of Signing" . I'll look it up.

    Any other suggestions are welcomed.
     
  6. Kellishka

    Kellishka Junior Member

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    Yes, sounds great that you're gonna learn some sign! I took lots of classes in college, and I find that it helps with the deaf patients, people with mental disabilities that don't communicate verbally, and anyone that doesn't speak English actually. (The non-verballness of sign language is universal.) My suggestion- classes are the only real way to learn how to communicate effectively. The pictures in books are often hard to figure out and nothing substitutes for actual conversation. Plus, much of signing is learning how to use your facial expressions and body language, which is hard to get from a book. If you can find time for a class, I think you'll find it really worthwhile. Good luck!!!
     
  7. Chris_P

    Chris_P Senior Member
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    A great resource for learning sign language is the ASL browser from Michigan State university. You can easily look up words and it gives you a little video clip of how to sign them.

    <a href="http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm" target="_blank">http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm</a>

    Hope its of use

    Chris
    ----------------------
    <a href="http://www.dissectionroom.com" target="_blank">www.dissectionroom.com</a>
     
  8. tBw

    tBw totally deluded
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    also

    <a href="http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/index.htm" target="_blank">http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/index.htm</a>

    for free practice
     
  9. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse The luckiest man
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    Thank you for the replies. Those web sites seem helpful -- I especially like the MSU site. I ordered the Lou Fant phrase book and "The Joy of Signing".

    I would take a course (an elective is offered at my school) but I will be seeing my patient next Wednesday and want to be able to sign a little bit by then to demonstrate my interest and commitment. I'll continue to teach myself until the elective is offered again.

    Thanks again for everyone's suggestions and thoughts.
     
  10. MeGrowTall

    MeGrowTall Member
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    First off, I am impressed at your commitment to learn ASL. That is absolutely fantastic.
    I am close to fluent in ASL. My parents are both fluent in ASL and active in the Deaf community, so I grew up learning it. Plus, to fulfill my language requirements, I took ASL in undergrad too. (Easy A's. HA!)
    I think the best resource out there is the Signing Naturally series. It comes with a workbook and videotapes so that signs are easier to pick up. The level 3 workbook/tape set even has a section on medical terminology. The only problem with the series is it is a little low on vocabulary since it is meant to be used in a classroom setting with the teacher filling in some of the info. You might want to pick up an ASL dictionary to supplement it. The Joy of Signing would be an excellent choice for this as it also has a good deal of grammar in it.
    I'm in a hurry, otherwise I'd type more. If you have any questions or comments about ASL or Deaf culture, I would be happy to discuss them with you. If I don't know the answer, I can easily find it out.
     
  11. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse The luckiest man
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    Thanks for your feedback and the reference. I'll check it out and get in touch when/if I have some specific questions. I really appreciate your offer to help.
     
  12. aspiringdoc

    aspiringdoc Junior Member

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    I like Barron's "American Sign Language The Easy Way" by David A. Stewart.
    I am hearing impaired, and am teaching myself ASL. I have found this book very helpful.
     
  13. Megalofyia

    Megalofyia 425 lbs and growing
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    I am taking an ASL I class this semester. However, I actually learned sign from working with children who use sign to communicate and going to deaf social events with a deaf friend of mine.
    My suggestion would be to try to get involved in the deaf community when ever you can for practice. We have a deaf night club that's alot of fun to go to and great for learning ASL.
     
  14. hotbovie

    hotbovie Member
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    As with any language, you really can't learn it from books/tapes. You can get some basics from those, though. I was fairly fluent in sign many years ago, and learned it from being involved in the deaf community. I only took one class to get some basics. I haven't used it for years, and have forgotten a lot (as with any language).

    The most important thing you can learn is how to ask what the sign is for X and to be able to do the finger spelling. That way, you can learn as you need to, so you will retain it better. And then READING the fingerspelling is another challange altogether.

    If you have time to participate in some activities with the deaf community while in medical school, great! That will help you a lot.

    I'm not sure it's realistic to expect that you can put enough effort into it to be able to conduct an entire office vist without an interperter (while also doing well in medical school). However, your patient will appreciate you being able to get through some basics with you.

    I'm going through the same thing trying to learn some Spanish now. My short term goal is to be able to get through some basic H&P stuff. However it will be a long time before I will be able to do without an interpreter.
     

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