Of Skiing and Signing

Well, the trip was canceled, so I have a chance to catch my breath this week! Maybe we will have opportunity to visit Grandma in March.

I wanted to take opportunity to explain our involvement with the skiing program we traveled to last weekend. Jeremy has been working with a ski program for the physically challenged for 6 years. The program uses trained ski instructors and volunteers to assist people with various disabilities to learn to ski in whatever capacity they are able. They work with everyone from children with Downs Syndrome to adults who have been paralyzed by an accident. All ages, all disabilities, they find a way to help these people enjoy the slopes. Several years ago, Jeremy studied and took the test to gain his Professional Ski Instructors of America Level One Adaptive Certification to teach. His specialty is working with the sit-skis that people who are wheelchair-bound use to ski. This year he has decided to work toward his Level Two certification, which would make him qualified to also teach blind, developmentally disabled, and more competitive disabled skiers. We will be traveling to Stowe Mountain in Vermont in March for him to test for his Level Two.

Our involvement in the ski program is something we both have a heart for – it is a ministry. I volunteered as soon as I learned to ski, and Anja and Olivia have joined us as well. Now Jesse is coming to the lodge, hanging out with the gang, and someday he’ll be on the slopes, too.

This is one of the reasons we are teaching him sign language. We want to give him a second language that he can use to reach out to the many people in our country that only speak with their hands – the deaf.

In babies, it is often the motor skills that develop before the verbal skills, so sign language also gives him a way to communicate as early as 8 months. He rarely whines for anything he wants, because he can TELL us. It’s awesome! You can read more about why and how we are teaching Jesse signs here.

4 responses to “Of Skiing and Signing”

  1. Trina Avatar

    ooh – early swimming lessons – I like that idea! learning to swim before they've developed a fear of the water – we will definitely get the boy in the lake as soon as it's warm enough

    Hi, Corrie! thanks for stopping by! To answer your question, Jesse does have about three words, but only uses them occasionally. I think he's right on the verge, though, of realizing it's another effective form of communication. I'm not worried – his daddy was a late talker. ๐Ÿ™‚

    He has been making a little "ks, ks" noise when he does the sign for skiing – it's very cute. We always say and sign simultaneously, so it was neat to see him imitating us that way.

  2. Laney Avatar

    Monica was telling me that along with the signing, they also teach babies to swim as soon as they learn to walk! She's all ready signed Ashton up for the summer, and he's only 3 months!

  3. rahraht Avatar

    My sister started doing this when she had her second. It did cut down on whinning ๐Ÿ™‚ He was motivated to learn new words because we all thought it was so cute.

  4. CVO Avatar

    Hi there, cousin! Just catching up on your blog. What does Jesse say these days, verbally & otherwise? I remember from my lifespan development psych class that kids start saying (verbally) anywhere from 3-60 words at that age. Must be an exciting time!

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