Yesterday I saw a picture posted on my son's facebook. It was of him and a Senior sitting at a table engaged in a conversation the hearing boy was signing. The caption read,
"I have no idea what they are saying"
That got me to thinking. Since my son started mainstreaming this year I am often shocked at how detailed his conversations are when there is no interpreter in sight. The only time he wants an interpreter is in class. Somehow during his social time he manages just fine with his friends. I do know several take ASL classes but many of the kids who hangs out with haven't. They learned quit a bit of ASL during the run of a show he did but the detail he reports doesn't match the skill level. As I stare at this picture I see something I saw during rehearsal. His cell phone was open on the table.
When my son is chatting with friends they sign and if they need more language they use the text screen on his phone. Brilliant! I remember in the beginning of the year finding tons of notes in his backpack. Now I rarely find them although he did recently come home with a conversation written on his arm. Yuck.
Yesterday the interpreter didn't show up for dance and it was no big deal the kids stepped in to interpret. Of course it is bad that he didn't have services for class but I am amazed at how easily he navigates communication at school. He still relies on notes with teachers when no interpreter is present because teachers text slowly.
So I used to think kids shouldn't have cell phones until they could pay for it but time and time again it has come in handy. We have unlimited text and the only time he uses the phone is when he pocket dials. Sometimes he phone will call me and I hear muffled voices and the swish of his walking. If it happens more than once in the span of a day I will shout into the phone,
"If you are standing next to Haddy tell him to stop calling me!!"
Of course no twelve year old wants the mom shouting from their pants pocket. I am his mom and part of my job is to embarrass him.