Teri and I were able to visit a Special Needs School while in Samoa and it was quite a treat. They have kids separated by their year, and years one and two are together, and also years three and four and so on. Kids who are deaf, have Autism, Down's Syndrome, and any number of physical or development disability go to school here. I learned enough Ausland sign language to tell the kids that I flew here from the United States and that I was leaving Wednesday.
If you want to spell out your name in sign language for the rest of your life that's fine, but what you really want is for a deaf person to give you a "sign name". Only a deaf person can give it to you, and then instead of everybody spelling it all out, you get this little sign and it's just for you. Tonga gave me my sign name. It's the letter K, which is basically like a peace sign with your thumb in the middle. Then you take the 'K' and move it across your forehead, in the sweep of my bangs. Cute, huh? I felt so honored. I like the sign too and that makes me feel spesh!
So here are some pics of the kids and their teachers. They were excited to meet us and I wish I had more time. I would have loved to spend the day there.
The little boy laying on the floor is called Frances, and he has Cerebral Palsy. His aide showed me his spelling test and he's quite smart. He wasn't feeling well that day so he got to lay down. Look how he smiled when I asked if I could take his picture!