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A person writes:
Hello Professor Vicars,
... When I was a child I never took up English for whatever reason, I simply just didn't speak. Both parents are fully hearing and so are my siblings and I was the only one to not pick up English immediately. Up until i was 4 years old I simply never spoke at all so my mother taught herself sign language (she used to be conversational in it and had to relearn it) and taught it to me which I picked up just fine. At some point I started speaking English and was at my age level in terms of sentence structure and comprehension so it's a mystery why I never spoke: what does a 4 year old really have to talk about anyway?
From then on I never had a reason to use ASL and I never progressed in learning it but I always wish I took the time to learn it again. Over the past few years I've been on and off learning ASL but life happens and I never could put the time into it I wanted to. Over the past few months I've been using your website to relearn it more vigorously. It oddly feels like signing was a missing part of who I am.
I've gotten to teach some signs to my mother so that's been a blessing as well. Going from her teaching me when I was 4 to me teaching her when I'm 21, where she tells me all the stories of her teaching some signs to my kindergarten teachers and me signing as a kid is simply a beautiful gift.
This email is simply a thank you for your work in making the website and YouTube channel available and so incredibly comprehensive, all for free. I wish I could donate to you because I feel so grateful for your website. I hope this email reaches you and if you get a chance to respond I'd greatly appreciate it.
Thank you Professor Vicars.
- Jordan Williams
[Note: Minor edits and name changed to protect privacy.]
Thank you for the very nice email. I appreciate you taking the time to share your story. It reminds me of a joke (?) my dad told:
There was a little boy who never spoke. Never said a word. The doctors checked him out and there was nothing physically wrong with him. Years passed and the little boy never said anything. Then one night at the dinner table he took a bite of food and then laid down his fork and said the words, "These peas are cold."
His parents were ASTONISHED and flabbergasted. "You can speak!" they gasped, "Why haven't you ever said anything before?" The little boy replied, "Well, up to now everything has been just great."
Oh hey, don't worry about the "no money to donate" thing. Your "thanks" and your story are worth much more to me than money.
- Dr. V
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