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Activity and strategy

Homework Table

Tips on using a special table to make homework support more accessible to children who are deafblind

My son is deafblind and his first language is American Sign Language (ASL).  Receptively, he uses Tactile American Sign Language.  Simply put, his hands “track” the hands of the person that is signing to him.  
Ideally,  there is a “proper form” one should take when communicating with someone who is deafblind and that uses tactile ASL. With my son, I always try to be at his level and near enough to him so that I don’t have to pull him toward me or reach towards him while signing.  This helps to ensure accurate signs can be made; which supports clear communication (and helps model  language for my son as he is still learning to be proficient in his language). 
liam and his mom signing
My 6-year-old Liam, loves to do “homework”.  He gets homework from school or I will just make up some homework for him since he likes it so much. smiley  In the past, we would do homework at our kitchen table.  Homework at the kitchen table did NOT support proper form to assist my son with his homework and also sign tactilely with him.  If I sat across from him I was too far and we both had to reach across the table to sign to each other.  When we sat side by side Liam had to turn his body back and forth from me and his homework.  We usually ended up with me straddling the corner spot and Liam on the end of the table.  
This is where the idea for a homework table was born :).  I wanted a thin table (thin as in short in width across) so that it would fit Liam’s work materials and I could still assist him with his homework, while also easily signing to him with perfect form.  When I told my mother about my idea she happened to know of one that they sold at Menards for a very reasonable price ($35-$40)!  We bought two (Liam has a 3-year-old brother, typical vision and hearing,  who insists on doing everything his brother gets to do). My house has a limited amount of open space.  So these thin tables fit nicely flush against the wall and can be pulled out when they need to be used for homework.  I bought a foldable stool for me to use when the table gets pulled out and then can lean against the wall, out of the way, when not being used.  Liam (and his little brother Finn) both LOVE their new homework tables!  So does momsmiley
homework table collage



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