Today, regional and group differences are beginning to fade. Affordable air travel brings large numbers of deaf people together for sports events, festivals, and conferences. Sign dictionaries are becoming a part of every deaf person's life, and signing on cable television has helped homogenize sign languages within national borders. Still there will always be regional differences despite the trend to uniformity, much the same as regional dialects will always exist in spoken languages.
Most parents of deaf children know only fingerspelling and a few signs. To become proficient signers, both parents and children need role models such as Deaf adults, older deaf children who are fluent signers, and other parents who have learned to sign well. Your best role models may be the people who inspired you, either directly or indirectly, to open your home and heart to sign.
You want to sign the way Deaf people do so that the conversation in your home can flow freely. You arm yourself with a course or two and set off into the Deaf community. But they sign so fast! And they can talk about anything and be understood. "Oh," you think, "that's what our family needs." There is no dimension of thought that cannot be expressed through signing. That's one of the keys for you in choosing to sign with your deaf child-you want unhindered communication with your child.
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