Sunday, June 6, 2010

With All Due Respect

This is a Deaf culture question.

My son has a really special teacher. He has tremendous respect for her. Some of the other teachers at school get sign names on the fly. Their names are picked because of a physical attribute or characteristic. The problem we have is my son's teacher wants a sign name.

When he refers to her he uses her last name, respect. When I refer to her I finger spell her first name, signifies our relationship.. so she wants a sign name and my son feels it is too special. Her sign name will be a gift.

We sat and talked about all the things he thinks of when her name is mentioned. We worked with her initials and attributes trying to find the right name. Nothing worked for my son. She is too special.

I was talking with his other theater teacher in the office and she mentioned a Deaf actor my son knows will be working near us. She told us to go see him.

As we were walking to the car he said, " Maybe Howie can help me give Averre a sign name".

So my son wants a person who is Deaf to help him give this gift of a name. I don't know if this hearing teacher understands what this means to him but I do know this teacher has given him a gift.


  1. Sometimes sign names are based on the meaning of the name. It can be a pun, a synonym, or its actual meaning. Obvious ones are Brown, Bowling, Starr and Baker.

    With Averre I thought of "aver" a legal word meaning to assert, to say or announce. The A-hand to the mouth moving out slightly and firmly.

  2. In all honesty, I don't think Howie will be able to help come up with a name sign unless he knows the teacher, Averre, well. Averre seems like a French name so here's one suggestion: 'A' with the same movement as the sign for FRENCH or 'A' sliding to the right to become a 'V.' It's important that Averre knows that to get a name sign from a Deaf person is very special...she needs to be patient. =)

  3. I love your suggestions! Thank you I will pass them on both fit her perfect. I have a feeling Haddy is just a little nervous on this one because he respects her so much. Your ideas are awesome.