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Simplifying Scripture Memory

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    Simplifying Scripture Memory

    Does anyone have experience with translating church services into sign language?

    I am working on scripture memory with a non-verbal child using a communication device. I asked about translating into sign, because our therapy team suggests following sign translation guidelines for this. Apparently sign translation is not direct word for word, but focuses on phrase meaning and they feel that would be best for talker use too.

    My son is almost four and in SC Level B. We have been working on Psalm 23:1 for nine weeks. Below is a link to a video of his work this morning using his talker. I simplified my expectation of the verse to be two separate phrases GOD MY SHEPHERD, I NOT WANT because of the limited vocabulary on his device. Normally he does the whole verse as well as he did the last part. He was slow getting motivated. But overall, I think we are ready to move on to the next verses. Problem! Referencing the Bible translations our family typically uses, the only word in Psalm 23:2-3 that he already has open on his device is GREEN!

    He has about 600 words open currently. Current speech goals include combining two and three words into simple phrases, specifically agent/action, use of negation, and (very new) being aware of verb endings. Considering this and the idea of sign language translating phrases, I thought of doing LORD HELPS ME REST as a summary of the entire second and third verse. Thoughts? Does that over simplify the meaning?

    Even that simple phrase would challenge him from a language perspective - he would have to add the morpheme 's' on his verb and we would need to open the word REST and learn where it is. We can open about five new words a week, but much more than that causes motor plan difficulty even in finding words he previously knew. (Think of it as going back to your hometown that has changed a lot in the decade you've been gone... you struggle to find what was once familiar.)

    Another option would be to go much slower and open/teach the vocabulary on the device as needed. I could work on LORD HELPS ME REST, then add IN GREEN GRASS after he gets the first part. Going this route, I would then do BY QUIET WATER... but I don't know how I would simplify "He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

    Sorry so long... would love any and all input as our therapy team is unfamiliar with this sort of task.

    Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HJi5HPQR_E
    Wife to Rich - 27 years.
    Step-Mom to DS age 33 years, 30 years. Mom to DD 26 years old and DS(s) 23 years, 22 years, 21 years, 17 years, 3 years.
    Grandma to baby girl due June, 2016.
    Began homeschooling in 1992. Graduated 6. Use a mixture of curriculum for DS (Senior year '16-'17). Use SC for 3 year old.

    #2
    Re: Simplifying Scripture Memory

    Hi Kim!

    Your Boy is getting so big! What a sweet and handsome one you have! So glad to see him doing well.

    I love this post for a variety of reasons:
    Your love and diligence are so evident.
    You exhibit the amazing complexity of neuro-physical diversity and how well you are overcoming challenges with creativity and perseverance.
    You are pressing the rest of us to think on our feet for innovative solutions to a puzzle that not many will face.

    This is such an interesting post! And, if my oldest has not become verbal at five, I would have been right here with you, asking very similar questions.

    ASL:
    I know how daunting it can be to learn ASL (along with everything else you have to do), but don't worry. ASL is quite easy, once you get the hang of it. And most signs are simple, direct, and intuitive. Some resources specifically for learning Scripture/ASL:

    Signing Savvy https://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/BIBLE It's an audio/visual dictionary of Sign. I had a membership for a couple of years. INVALUABLE. There are thousands of Signs on the site, and each one is illustrated via a short video so you can see how to make each one correctly. The word in this link is "Bible".

    Valley Bible Church's - ASL Dictionary of Religious Words (With a DVD upon request) http://www.valleybible.net/DeafMinis...dictionary.php

    Psalm 23 expressed in Sign on YouTube (search their site with "'chapter and verse' in Sign Language" and you'll get a ton of videos) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RLKBEHVMS0o This version is slowed for learning has the text at the bottom for visual reinforcement.

    "Learning Sign Language Through Bible Memory" http://gretchenlouise.com/learning-s...-bible-memory/ A blog post on a mom teaching her (verbal, hearing) children ASL specifically for Bible memory/church services. Lots of resources included, especially reference to "Signing Time", which was a staple at our house when my oldest kids were young.

    All of the above will certainly help you along the ASL path. Keep in mind that as good as ASL is for communicating, it is not a "poetic" language. It is a functional language. There are no signs for words like "thee" and "thy" (as far as I know). The beauty of the gesture becomes your signature when you are ASL-fluent. Just as someone has good posture, focus, diction and fluency while speaking, so too do ASL-speakers need to develop poise and exactness. That becomes their "benchmark for excellence" in the absence of a vocal language.

    Receptive Language, Ear Training, and Fine Motor Planning + Execution of Written Word:

    Since your son is still in SCB and also quite young, I (personally) would not expect exactness at this stage. Familiarity with Scripture, ear training for the beauty of the Word, exposure to concepts, beauty and holiness are all things that take priority over *exact* recitation. Of course, his expressive language is important -- hugely!. But he has plenty of time to get it right. And with the SC program, he will have lots and lots of practice ahead. Depending on his fine motor capabilities, reinforcement of the Word will also come through writing in his copybooks. Once he learns to print, I suspect opportunities for memorization will take off. It will be much easier to "recite" then, albeit in a non-traditional way. In the meantime, ASL is likely going to be your best bet for expression without the cumbersome task of trying to employ new keys on his communicator. I wouldn't abandon that goal, however. I just wouldn't focus too hard on it.

    Keep us posted!
    Last edited by Anita; 10-13-2016, 07:36 AM.
    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
    ~Pope St John Paul II

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Simplifying Scripture Memory

      Originally posted by Anita View Post

      All of the above will certainly help you along the ASL path.
      Wow! What wonderful resources Anita, thank you for pulling these together for me. We've been trying to do some sign for songs and hymns - picking a hymn a month for our whole family to learn in sign. These resources will be helpful.

      Sadly, despite trying to incorporate sign into his language development since he was a baby, it likely isn't the best option for Nathaniel expressively. He has numerous hand issues. He had one surgery already to re-position a digit that was a fifth finger and create a thumb out of it. That was a huge surgery involving relocating muscles and tendons from his pinky to the thumb side of the hand, cutting bone, etc. We spend a ton of time daily on OT hand exercises trying to get that hand to work even a little bit and really struggling. He might need more surgery; we've wanted to give it a few years first. His "good" hand isn't great. Lots of work needed there too. His therapy team has advised that until the hands work better, sign shouldn't be our expressive option. All signs end up looking very similar. For example, there is no differentiation between Daddy, horse, cow, or any sign done at the top of the head. Even those around him daily can't figure out what he's saying with sign. By the grace of God, this little guy was blessed with an amazing isolated index finger point which helps with the device.

      My hope was to use the translation rules of spoken English into sign to govern what we would aim for with expressive on the talker for scripture memory. I was told sign tends to be phrase based translation and wondering what words someone would sign for Psalm 23. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear originally. Love your encouragement to saturate him with hearing the Word and giving time for expressive to grow incrementally. That reminder is good. I need to print that and put it on my fridge so I remember it daily! Thank you again for such edifying words!
      Wife to Rich - 27 years.
      Step-Mom to DS age 33 years, 30 years. Mom to DD 26 years old and DS(s) 23 years, 22 years, 21 years, 17 years, 3 years.
      Grandma to baby girl due June, 2016.
      Began homeschooling in 1992. Graduated 6. Use a mixture of curriculum for DS (Senior year '16-'17). Use SC for 3 year old.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Simplifying Scripture Memory

        Originally posted by kimrankin View Post
        Wow! What wonderful resources Anita, thank you for pulling these together for me. We've been trying to do some sign for songs and hymns - picking a hymn a month for our whole family to learn in sign. These resources will be helpful.

        Sadly, despite trying to incorporate sign into his language development since he was a baby, it likely isn't the best option for Nathaniel expressively. He has numerous hand issues. He had one surgery already to re-position a digit that was a fifth finger and create a thumb out of it. That was a huge surgery involving relocating muscles and tendons from his pinky to the thumb side of the hand, cutting bone, etc. We spend a ton of time daily on OT hand exercises trying to get that hand to work even a little bit and really struggling. He might need more surgery; we've wanted to give it a few years first. His "good" hand isn't great. Lots of work needed there too. His therapy team has advised that until the hands work better, sign shouldn't be our expressive option. All signs end up looking very similar. For example, there is no differentiation between Daddy, horse, cow, or any sign done at the top of the head. Even those around him daily can't figure out what he's saying with sign. By the grace of God, this little guy was blessed with an amazing isolated index finger point which helps with the device.

        My hope was to use the translation rules of spoken English into sign to govern what we would aim for with expressive on the talker for scripture memory. I was told sign tends to be phrase based translation and wondering what words someone would sign for Psalm 23. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear originally. Love your encouragement to saturate him with hearing the Word and giving time for expressive to grow incrementally. That reminder is good. I need to print that and put it on my fridge so I remember it daily! Thank you again for such edifying words!
        Oh my goodness, Kim! Your boy is so blessed to have a mama in you. Wow. Cheryl will weigh in soon, I expect, with more creative options. But in the meantime, you're welcome -- though I'm not sure how much I helped! It sounds like your little guy will be using a communicator indefinitely. What a miracle technology has turned out to be for sweet children like your Nathan. How on earth would he had communicated without a device? Amazing.

        You, my lady, will have to be a pioneer on this front. Given what you've shared, I'm supposing that typing would be his only avenue for *exact* expressive communication (until IT has figured out a way to telepath information, lol). For now, though, you need whole-word communication... Yes, I can certainly see how that would feel limiting.

        I will defer to the end of my previous response then -- the one that resonated with you the most, it seems. Just because Nathaniel cannot express himself in a typical fashion does not mean that he does not receive it in a typical fashion (assuming his hearing and processing are not impaired). So yes, ear-training, exposure, enrichment and tactile-visual stimulation are going to be a Big Deal for him. Wow, Kim... My hat is off to you. Such a special child; such a special bond. (How is his trach tube issue? I remember that was quite worrying to everyone the last time or two you posted.)
        Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
        Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
        Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
        Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

        “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
        ~Pope St John Paul II

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Simplifying Scripture Memory

          Originally posted by kimrankin View Post
          Wow! What wonderful resources Anita, thank you for pulling these together for me. We've been trying to do some sign for songs and hymns - picking a hymn a month for our whole family to learn in sign. These resources will be helpful.

          Sadly, despite trying to incorporate sign into his language development since he was a baby, it likely isn't the best option for Nathaniel expressively. He has numerous hand issues. He had one surgery already to re-position a digit that was a fifth finger and create a thumb out of it. That was a huge surgery involving relocating muscles and tendons from his pinky to the thumb side of the hand, cutting bone, etc. We spend a ton of time daily on OT hand exercises trying to get that hand to work even a little bit and really struggling. He might need more surgery; we've wanted to give it a few years first. His "good" hand isn't great. Lots of work needed there too. His therapy team has advised that until the hands work better, sign shouldn't be our expressive option. All signs end up looking very similar. For example, there is no differentiation between Daddy, horse, cow, or any sign done at the top of the head. Even those around him daily can't figure out what he's saying with sign. By the grace of God, this little guy was blessed with an amazing isolated index finger point which helps with the device.

          My hope was to use the translation rules of spoken English into sign to govern what we would aim for with expressive on the talker for scripture memory. I was told sign tends to be phrase based translation and wondering what words someone would sign for Psalm 23. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear originally. Love your encouragement to saturate him with hearing the Word and giving time for expressive to grow incrementally. That reminder is good. I need to print that and put it on my fridge so I remember it daily! Thank you again for such edifying words!
          What a beautiful video! Thank you for sharing!

          Cheryl is on vacation through this weekend, but I am sure she will respond once she is back next week.
          Michael
          Memoria Press

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Simplifying Scripture Memory

            Originally posted by Anita View Post
            Just because Nathaniel cannot express himself in a typical fashion does not mean that he does not receive it in a typical fashion (assuming his hearing and processing are not impaired). So yes, ear-training, exposure, enrichment and tactile-visual stimulation are going to be a Big Deal for him. Wow, Kim... My hat is off to you. Such a special child; such a special bond. (How is his trach tube issue? I remember that was quite worrying to everyone the last time or two you posted.)
            First, thanks for the compliments. We've had a couple days where even the simplest things (and it seems everything) is difficult for Nathaniel. Encouraging words are appreciated.

            Yes, hearing is great. Praise the Lord! And receptive language and processing seem to be at least consistent with his general global delay if not even at age level. I am very thankful for those two strengths. A kindness from the Lord to this little one.

            Thank you for asking about his medical health. Nathaniel will have his tracheostomy for life. I can't remember when I updated last on those conditions, but we spent a year receiving evaluations and treatment at Cincinnati Children's (where airway reconstruction was pioneered) and they advised it was in his best interest to separate the trachea from the larynx. (Surgery is called a Laryngotracheal Separation.) Nathaniel will be a neck breather for life and will never have use of his vocal cords. His only option for making utterances (until IT figures out that telepathic stuff!) would be esophageal speech, which is difficult even for adult laryngectomy patients who once possessed the ability to speak. At this time we have not found anyone with the skills to work on esophageal speech with a child despite using university based children's research hospitals for his therapy. The surgery did make Nathaniel's airway a bit safer - we have a longer response time now to reinsert his tracheostomy tube when it comes out, though he still requires diligent monitoring. Another benefit to the surgery is the clearance to eat a little and so he is getting to do some tastings finally. His 4th birthday next month will be the first that he will have the freedom to have a little cake. We are excited for the little gains.
            Wife to Rich - 27 years.
            Step-Mom to DS age 33 years, 30 years. Mom to DD 26 years old and DS(s) 23 years, 22 years, 21 years, 17 years, 3 years.
            Grandma to baby girl due June, 2016.
            Began homeschooling in 1992. Graduated 6. Use a mixture of curriculum for DS (Senior year '16-'17). Use SC for 3 year old.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Simplifying Scripture Memory

              Originally posted by kimrankin View Post
              Does anyone have experience with translating church services into sign language?

              I am working on scripture memory with a non-verbal child using a communication device. I asked about translating into sign, because our therapy team suggests following sign translation guidelines for this. Apparently sign translation is not direct word for word, but focuses on phrase meaning and they feel that would be best for talker use too.

              My son is almost four and in SC Level B. We have been working on Psalm 23:1 for nine weeks. Below is a link to a video of his work this morning using his talker. I simplified my expectation of the verse to be two separate phrases GOD MY SHEPHERD, I NOT WANT because of the limited vocabulary on his device. Normally he does the whole verse as well as he did the last part. He was slow getting motivated. But overall, I think we are ready to move on to the next verses. Problem! Referencing the Bible translations our family typically uses, the only word in Psalm 23:2-3 that he already has open on his device is GREEN!

              He has about 600 words open currently. Current speech goals include combining two and three words into simple phrases, specifically agent/action, use of negation, and (very new) being aware of verb endings. Considering this and the idea of sign language translating phrases, I thought of doing LORD HELPS ME REST as a summary of the entire second and third verse. Thoughts? Does that over simplify the meaning?

              Even that simple phrase would challenge him from a language perspective - he would have to add the morpheme 's' on his verb and we would need to open the word REST and learn where it is. We can open about five new words a week, but much more than that causes motor plan difficulty even in finding words he previously knew. (Think of it as going back to your hometown that has changed a lot in the decade you've been gone... you struggle to find what was once familiar.)

              Another option would be to go much slower and open/teach the vocabulary on the device as needed. I could work on LORD HELPS ME REST, then add IN GREEN GRASS after he gets the first part. Going this route, I would then do BY QUIET WATER... but I don't know how I would simplify "He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

              Sorry so long... would love any and all input as our therapy team is unfamiliar with this sort of task.

              Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HJi5HPQR_E

              Hi, Kim.

              Sorry for the delay. My family enjoyed a few days of R&R together.


              Thanks for the video! [Btw, did everyone notice Kim's tidy weekly calendar in the background? I especially like her movable arrows for teaching yesterday, today, and tomorrow.]


              This is very good:
              "His receptive language and processing seem to be at least consistent with his general global delay if not even at age level. I am very thankful for those two strengths. A kindness from the Lord to this little one."

              So then the question is whether you want him to memorize the verse receptively in his mind, as it is written, or expressively in a modified way, ... or both! I would lean toward both.

              Nathaniel's hearing, receptive language, and processing seem to be strengths for him, so he can enjoy the beauty of the 23rd psalm as written, receptively, in your family's preferred translation. But then maybe he could have his own expressive "summary recitation" for those parts that 1) retain meaning and 2) can be expressed via his device.


              I like this idea, if you do:

              Another option would be to go much slower and open/teach the vocabulary on the device as needed. I could work on LORD HELPS ME REST, then add IN GREEN GRASS after he gets the first part. Going this route, I would then do BY QUIET WATER...



              As for this:
              but I don't know how I would simplify "He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.",

              I think that's ok. That could be your part! Such portions could become a family recitation, as in the video, where your husband prompts Nathaniel's turn. Then you and your husband say your part. We did this with hymns when our children were little. Their turn was the refrain. They still heard the stanzas, but they sang the refrain.


              Or, if you wanted him to recite each portion himself, you might use Bible Gateway to search paraphrase translations. Even though you might not use a paraphrase for most theological purposes, a paraphrase might be helpful for finding simple synonyms that keep the meaning.

              Or, whenever the linguistic structure of verbs and sentences outpaces his readiness to learn parts of Scripture, you might teach short-word associations, rather than sentences. Example -- you say "Lord", he finds "my Shepherd." Then you say, "Yes. 'The Lord is my Shepherd.'" In this way, you would not need to create word-by-word sentences right now, yet he would receive the comforting reminder that the Lord is, indeed, his shepherd. You wouldn't need to expect that he provide a summary of every line, especially those that might become confusing semantically.

              My high school honors English teacher used a two-word association to teach us advanced vocabulary. Rather than memorize long definitions, we had a one-word synonym for each word. The same principle might be helpful in some places.


              You could combine any of the above. Just remember that the main reason for Scripture memory is internalizing truth for the soul. You don't want the limitations of the device or the strategies to hinder his perceptions. For example, our mutual friend (Carole P.), blind from infancy, says that when she learned the Braille, "I shall not want," in Psalm 23, it translated for many years in her confused mind as, "I will not want the Lord." This always troubled her. She says she realized only years later that this meant the Lord provides for her every need!

              Of course this could happen for any child, not just a child without speech or sight, but the point remains. Whichever strategies you choose, just remember to pay attention to the meaning in his mind, more than a word-by-word recitation. And again, for the sake of truth and comfort, a particular verse might need to be spoken as written, even if you and your husband are the ones to provide that part of the recitation.




              That was sort of a jumble of ideas. Here are a few resources that might help more:

              DeafBibles.com

              Deafleaders.com - check these for accuracy before using.




              Anita is right. You are trailblazing! As you find (or create!) helpful resources, please continue to share. We're fascinated and encouraged, and we're behind you 100%!

              Cheryl

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Simplifying Scripture Memory

                Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                Anita is right. You are trailblazing! As you find (or create!) helpful resources, please continue to share. We're fascinated and encouraged, and we're behind you 100%!
                Thank you Cheryl. Lots of wonderful suggestions here. Much to pray over and try on. I am very thankful to be a part of this community.
                Wife to Rich - 27 years.
                Step-Mom to DS age 33 years, 30 years. Mom to DD 26 years old and DS(s) 23 years, 22 years, 21 years, 17 years, 3 years.
                Grandma to baby girl due June, 2016.
                Began homeschooling in 1992. Graduated 6. Use a mixture of curriculum for DS (Senior year '16-'17). Use SC for 3 year old.

                Comment

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