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Thank you for accepting me

Cathy Shields

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My name is Cat.  I am 47 and married.  I have been interested in ASL for a while.  I come from a city (Olathe, KS) that has a large deaf community.  I feel that ASL is a more helpful language to learn than spoken languages, because there are phone translators available for spoken languages.

I have had success using signs to help my foster sons learn to talk.  I had a two year old who went from grunting and head-butting to "mimi eat me"  I am currently building my vocabulary for my granddaughter and myself.  I know this sounds weird, but I have an inner child who is mute.  I don't have multiple personalities, but I do feel like there are pieces of me that got stuck at certain ages, because of childhood trauma.  The littlest one (I call her sweet pea), is from before I started talking at age 3.  I am teaching myself lullabyes and words like "sleep" and "safe" to learn to express that part of myself.  Please don't be offended if you do not believe in this.  I realize it may be cultural appropriation.  I just want to be able to open up that part of myself so I can heal.

Also, when I return to Olathe, I want to be able to hold better conversations than just "please" and "thank you" with members of the deaf community.  I would like to eventually be able to translate as a volunteer.

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