Monterey County Office of Education: Allow our son Elijah to be in a special ed classroom where the teacher is proficient in ASL to help him learn
Elijah is a 6 year old boy who has Autism. He was born with Epilepsy which caused severe developmental delays. When the seizures stopped about age 4, Elijah began to learn and started showing interest in just about everything. His intellectual development improved dramatically, but his speech has not improved. Elijah can vocalize sounds, but he is unable to speak any words at this time. My wife and I have taught Elijah almost 300 signs in ASL (American Sign Language) and will continue to teach him many more. Elijah has memorized the signs, the function of the signs and when to apply them. Elijah uses sign language for everything just like we use speech for everything. Sign Language is Elijah's means for communication. My wife and I have taken college sign language courses, my oldest son is already registered to take high school sign language and we as a family go to many deaf community events. We support the deaf community and are eager to learn ASL. The Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE) choose not to support Elijah's necessity for ASL instruction because he is a hearing student and push for him to talk to communicate. Other programs such as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center in Salinas or the Toro Park School for the Deaf are unable to help Elijah because he is not deaf. My son is a unique boy who is just waiting for the chance to be accepted.
"You don't have to do anything just to be accepted"
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