Grades K - 2

As the apraxic child enters elementary school, they discover the tremendous impact apraxia makes on their ability to learn. Apraxia can affect reading, writing and math skills – all crucial to academic success. For example, problems with recognizing or sequencing sounds will have an impact on a child’s ability to sound out words. Reading and writing can be a challenge for a child who has trouble with “crossing the midline”, or left-to-right progression. In an environment where children are expected to use their fine motor skills to cut and color, their gross motor skills on the playground, and their voice to sing, answer questions, and talk to their peers, the apraxic child is soon frustrated, angry and not learning.

Sign n’ Say K-2 addresses these challenges:
  • Communication is both sign language and oral speech, removing the pressure to speak and allowing the child to concentrate on learning.
  • By being in an environment where everyone understands sign language, the child can develop socially-the playground is no longer a scary place.
  • The classrooms are specifically designed to maximize language development during a time when, developmentally, a child’s brain is most receptive to language.
  • Speech therapy is provided, both through individual sessions, and as part of the curriculum in the classroom.
  • The curriculum is Montessori-based and the works are adapted to meet the individual needs of the students. Children with apraxia learn best with multi-sensorial, concrete experience, paired with Movement.
  • The shelf works in the classroom offer the students the opportunity to explore academic concepts and skills with multi-sensorial, hands-on experience. The works are leveled and the students pick works at a level they are comfortable with. The works are designed to ensure success. Each work has its own self-correct feature.
  • Sequencing, motor planning, and memory are areas of specific difficulty for children with apraxia. The Montessori-based shelf work is specifically designed to address these areas of concern
  • The class is designed to offer small group and one on one instruction, allowing the attention that is essential for the apraxic child to retain existing skills and learn new ones.
  • Special programs, such as Science Colab, allow apraxic and deaf students to work together, often compensating for each others needs.

The class has the Montessori Goals of Order, Coordination, Independence, and Concentration. Each of these four goals represents a significant challenge to the child with apraxia. The work in the classroom is designed to help the child develop in these four areas. Helping the child meet these goals is a team effort of teacher, parents, therapists and medical professionals. Sign and Say provides a place where that teamwork can happen, and where children with apraxia can succeed.

Why Teach Sign Language To Hearing Kids?

St. Rita Comprehensive Communication Resources
St. Rita School for the Deaf
"Teaching Communication for Life"
1720 Glendale Milford Rd. Cincinnati, Ohio 45215
513-771-7600 Fax: 513-326-8264

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