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Sign language for Sam: The end of isolation

Sign language for Sam ended his isolation and his severe language deprivation. A cochlear implant alone was not enough.
Photo shows a young boy from the lower half of his face through his torso. He is making the sign for "baseball".

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Until he was eight, Sam had severe language deprivation. In other words, he knew no spoken, signed, or written language. Sam’s cochlear implant was not enough to help him learn language. His teacher explains how she taught him sign language. Sign language also helped Sam learn to read and write. Thus, sign language was the end of his isolation.

Author Kimberly Sanzo published this article at Leader Live in 2018. Leader Live is an online publication of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This web page has some accessibility barriers for people using screen reading software. For example, links do not have labels to say where they go. Also, images do not use alternative tags to describe them.

Learn more about the benefits of sign language for Sam and other deaf children.

Click here to show & hide the transcript with descriptions


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