Saturday, July 31, 2010

Read my face

When we were at Deaf Expo we really didn't have a list of must dos. We just went with the flow. There were two things though we wanted to do. The first was to have my son get the chance to meet Bernard Bragg.

On the first day we didn't see him. We had to fly out the second day so this was a disappointment. A friend texted me that night and wanted to know if we had met. She had told him we would be looking for him and was confused about why I didn't text her to help find him. Then it hit me. We had to at least try. The story of how we met him will follow. Right now I am thinking of something else.

I have been watching Bernard's DVD "Bragg on Bragg". Of course I ordered it as soon as we got home.

He talks about how some folks don't feel comfortable signing. How it takes a long time to learn. I agree and remember how we struggled at first. Then I discovered the gift of my face. He talks about this in his DVD. I would hope every hearing parent would buy it. I will respect him by not saying to much (BUY the DVD). I was so startled to see him talking about how just the facial expression can encourage a child. I hit pause and looked for my family.

I walked out to my family. I watched my son and husband. They took turns "talking". My husband would sign. My son was nodding and smiling. My son would sign, husband was making facial gestures, nodding, smiling. Bernard makes such an important point. My son's face is always moving. So is every member of my family's.

I remember how much we would make our language physical because we didn't know if our ASL was OK. Looking back I am so happy we were nervous. Now we can be comfortable with our facial grammar.

He talks about how we all sign different. We all learn based on how we are raised. He also sends the message that we are all "right".

So read my face,
I want to talk to you.


  1. How absolutely true! Animation of the expression is so important.

    In fact, when we were teens in school and weren't allowed to chat during class, we would use tiny facial expressions to carry on the conversation, mainly remarking on people in the room or what the teacher was saying.

    A mere nose twitch, a curl of the lip, an arch of an eyebrow, even a slight one-shoulder shrug can say so much. Key was minimal and subtle, so to be overtly unnoticeable. Often just the look itself was meaningful.

    The risk was cracking up in laughter at inopportune times.

  2. I can't find this DVD...where did you order it from?

  3. That's so true how some people are not in their element when required to use facial expressions that are essential for expressing the ASL signs.

    I can't help but picture those actresses with too much Botox - an example to me of how crucial facial muscular expressions are for eliciting a character in a film or stage.

  4. Keri,
    This is his new video on DVD from DawnSignPress. I wish I knew how to link it. He has a very friendly way of connecting with hearing parents. I am going to use this a lot with folks I work with.

    Dianrez..... ha ha ... we do that as a family! We have a way of communicating so that deaf people won't know what we are saying! I am happy to say we live in a world where that is a point.

    Gina. ...Botox! Yea so not Deaf friendly..haha