Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cuing until I can't spell straight

Tim and I have completed six weeks of cued speech instruction.  The first couple of classes made my brain hurt.  I can't remember the last time I learned something new.  As time went on, and we practiced, it got easier.

Now we can cue anything.

Cued speech is pretty neat once you've got the hang of it.  It is impacting my daily life in unexpected ways.  I can't spell right anymore.  In fact, at least once in each sentence, I spell something phonetically.  You cue sounds and not letters, so my brain has apparently switched over. 

I'm also really cognizant of the way I talk.  Cuing requires you to cue the sounds exactly as you say them.  Your hand shapes have to match your mouth.  I can hear myself every time I say "yer" instead of "your".  It's like that "er" is extra loud.  It's making me feel like a hillbilly.

We're working to gain speed and proficiency by cuing Shel Silverstein poems to each other.   That was my idea.  "If you're a dreamer, come on in..."  I can cue that, but of course I say "yer"!

The next trick will be to teach Julia to understand our cues.  Then she'll be able to understand us when she has her hearing aids out.  I won't have to yell anymore.  We tried to cue while we played Yahtzee with her.  She was not amused.  Mommy and Daddy still have to talk way too slow when we're cuing.

This is the great accomplishment of our summer.  I'm really proud of us and hopefully by next summer we'll be cuing away at the beaches and swimming pools.  If you're in the Pittsburgh area and would like to learn cued speech, send me an email (bigteethclouds at gmail dot com).  I can connect you with our instructor.  She is terrific!

More information is available through the National Cued Speech AssociationCue Camps and instructors are available to help you learn.  Click "find an instructor" under the "resources" tab.

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