So, I still have lots more to share about our weekend at ASL camp!
Miss Kat had a great time hanging out with the other kids, but....ummm....she wouldn't really sign! She enjoyed the classes and the ASL skits and games, but in her moment to moment communication, she still insisted on speaking. Before we left we had discussed where we were going, and why. She was nervous (as I explained before) but she seemed excited. When we arrived she was a little overwhelmed and would check with me for clarification or explanation when people would sign to her. (I would just sign back what they said to her and she was fine. I just think it was a case of the nerves.) But as she started to get comfortable, you could see her facial expressions and body language sort of "return" to her. (She has always been a super expressive kiddo!)
So, when we first arrived, we went to our dorm room and Miss Kat was chatting at me. I told her that when we were alone, it was fine, but that when were with others, I would be signing and I would expect her to do the same. She said she understood. Yeah, that didn't happen!
Most people were very nice about Miss Kat not signing, or very poorly signing. They were patient and encouraging. That helped her a lot. But, when she felt like it was "down time", like at lunch time or just hanging out, she reverted back to speaking. When we were in classes, or doing an activity (or when we did our presentation of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "The Three Billy Goats Gruff") she signed. Her face and body are so expressive, I just love it! There is one more snafu though...she would often try to sign exactly what she was thinking in English...including "am", "the", "is", etc....yikes!
There was one incident at lunch was was a little crazy. Miss Kat was sitting next to me and she kept talking. There was a Deaf adult at the table. The Deaf woman finally turned to Miss Kat and said "Why won't you sign? Your mom is such a fluent signer. You are so lucky! When I was little, none of my family could sign at all. And now, I'm Deaf, and I can't understand when you talk. We need sign. I see that you say "What?" a lot (which actually wasn't true, she asked me to voice other people's ASL WAY more than she struggles with understanding people speak, but that is neither here nor there), you need to sign because you are deaf." At which point Miss Kat said, "No, I'm hearing.".....oh crap!!! That is the first and only time she has EVER said that! She knows she's deaf, she is around d/Deaf adults and children and has never once expressed that she wishes that she wasn't deaf or that she wants to be hearing, and then all of a sudden she decides (at Deaf camp none the less!) that she IS hearing?! I wanted to hide under a rock!
So, we had a great time. I feel like Miss Kat gained some confidence in her ASL, we were able meet some families, and hopefully encourage them. Our next great adventure begins tonight...AG Bell here we come! (Oh, and you KNOW that Miss Kat is going to decide to do nothing but sign this weekend!)