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Our experience with Family Sign Language

Published Date: 30 Nov 2023

We have always had very mixed messages from a range of professionals about whether to sign with Isaac or not. Isaac has severe to profound hearing loss and wears hearing aids, but his current chosen method of communication is oral language. His aids are currently working well for him, but when swimming, bathing or during the night we’re starting to use more signing to communicate.

Initially Isaac showed little interest in sign, but as he has grown older and is more aware of others using it, he has shown a willingness to learn. So we searched for how we could expand our knowledge and came across the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Family Sign Language course online.

We signed up via a form online and were given a great resource pack to review before the course started. It included visual resources to help us along the way.

Each week was a different theme such as emotions, food, numbers, colours, and animals. We would first come together and Sean, the host, would talk about a topic, such as deaf role models, technology, or careers. We would then go into breakout rooms to learn our regional signs for that week’s topic. After, we would come together again to share a story together practising our signs.

It was a fun way for all of us to learn more signs and use them together as a family, practising each week. We had lots of fun, and there were lots of jokes and toys shared via Zoom. Isaac really enjoyed when Sean played his trumpet for us all too!

I'd highly recommend it as a great, fun way to start exploring the world of sign language!


Emma is mum to Isaac (8), who has a severe hearing loss and wears hearing aids. She also has Ethan (3), who is hearing.