Angelica with best friends Miguelito and Maricruz
Being a girl in her preteen years usually means dealing with many “growing up” challenges. With Angelica these challenges don’t appear quite so obvious, at least on the surface, although having the challenge of deafness might be the one factor that overrides all others. Angelica will turn 13 years old on the 28th of August. She had a late start to school, arriving at Escuela de Educacion Especial (EEE) two years ago with very little sign language or reading skills. For children who are Deaf these skills are inexplicably entwined.
Without the introduction of language at an early age, usually between the age of two and three years, all children will begin to loose the ability to advance to the reading stage of development. As time passes, the gap continues to grow. As we all know, hearing children learn to talk by listening to and mimicking others. Likewise Deaf children who have others communicating with them in sign language are also able to develop the ability to process language, and if this is achieved at a young age, they too will learn to read and later to write. Getting an early start with sign language is essential to achieving future academic success.
Angelica may not have had this advantage but we know she has many other talents, that if nurtured, will brighten her future. In addition to providing an education, teaching her important life skills and introducing vocational training at the appropriate time will help her become more independent as she moves into adulthood. An enthusiastic and caring child, Angelica loves school, learning new things and spending time with her friends. Angelica attends primary classes with younger children but fits in well. Her best friends are Miguelito and Maricruz, both eight year olds. They happily help her to learn new word signs and with arithmetic. EEE provides Angelica with the opportunity to spend time with others who understand her and can communicate with her. She comes to school with her mother by bus from a community nearby. She has two sisters and her father works in the United States and she hopes to visit the United States someday. Angelica loves to draw in her spare time and wants to be an artist when she grows up. Her favourite subjects at school are arithmatic and Spanish and, not surprisingly, her absolutely favourite thing is to be with her school friends.
Please join us in helping to bring more children to Escuela de Educacion Especial so they too will have the opportunity to learn Mexican Sign Language and to read and write Spanish. Education and vocational training are these children's ticket to living and working more independently as they grow into adults. I’m sure you will agree, all Deaf children deserve the opportunity to succeed and live a fulfilling life.