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Holly Claus

Special Needs Children....

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Holly Claus

Hello to All the Mrs. Claus' out there..... 

I had a thought today, as I was surfing through Clausnet. When visiting with your Santa, at "meet and greet" events, how many of you have had experiences with special needs children? 

How many of you have experience with sign language, when communicating with the deaf children?

My husband, Kris Kringle Kevin is fortunate enough to have had training in American Sign Language,

and it's a wonderful thing to see him as Santa, and signing with a deaf child, or even a child that has not found their voice yet.

To see that child's' eyes light up, when Santa is talking to them, on their level and being able to help them open up about their wishes or dreams. 

In the Santa & Mrs. Claus' schools, do they train you to use sign language, or do you just learn as you go? 

I look forward to any and all replies, from Santas, and Mrs. Claus' alike. 

Just my two cents. 

Holly

 

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Santa Marty

ASL would be an asset to any Santa dealing with the public or otherwise.

I have never attended a Santa school that trains for ASL, I do believe there have been workshops at large Santa gatherings where breakout sessions have dealt with ASL, but more of an awareness of the need to learn.  Even key Christmas phrases in ASL would be helpful, I have not used it because my knowledge is so limited, it wouldn't be long before it was discovered I as Santa didn't "really" know ASL.  My fear would be that Santa would go from HERO to ZERO in a minute, if he did not know it well enough to reasonably converse in it.  For years now, learning ASL has been on my "improvements" list, but it has just not happened.

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Santa Bill Reiller

From my experience if you want to learn ASL you have to go to a ASL school.  There is not enough time in the Santa schools to teach a lot of sign.

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Felix Estridge

With the Lone Star Santas, we have different people come in during our Roundups to teach ASL.  One of our Santa members teaches it quite often at any time we ask him to do so.

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Santa Marty

We can't all be Lone Star Santas.... 

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SCSanta

I regularly appear at schools and classrooms specifically for children with autism. I have received training, and my daughter who is a trained teacher in divergent learning has helped me develop additional methods.

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Santa Charlie G

I took it upon myself to learn ASL. It is actually pretty simple. I enjoy communicating with the folks in ASL. It is very rewarding for me and they are surprised also. I see it as 2 things, 1-a tool for Santa, 2-it is another language that is very helpful. I use the videos online and practice as much as possible so to stay in practice and the more you use it, it becomes easier. I have taken an ASL CLass at a local Vocation al School and ASL is very useful. I have used ASL a few times and it is amazing.

P.S. Tell Kevin Hello!!

Charles from Missouri.

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Holly Claus
On 7/13/2017 at 3:55 PM, Santa Bill Reiller said:

From my experience if you want to learn ASL you have to go to a ASL school.  There is not enough time in the Santa schools to teach a lot of sign.

There are actually some good basic lessons on YouTube, if you look for them. They take you through the basics, and then there are some more advanced lessons, if you continue on. 

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Holly Claus
20 hours ago, Santa Charlie G said:

I took it upon myself to learn ASL. It is actually pretty simple. I enjoy communicating with the folks in ASL. It is very rewarding for me and they are surprised also. I see it as 2 things, 1-a tool for Santa, 2-it is another language that is very helpful. I use the videos online and practice as much as possible so to stay in practice and the more you use it, it becomes easier. I have taken an ASL CLass at a local Vocation al School and ASL is very useful. I have used ASL a few times and it is amazing.

P.S. Tell Kevin Hello!!

Charles from Missouri.

Hi Santa Charlie G, You are right. The videos are awesome. I know that Kris Kringle Kevin watches them often, to refresh his memory. I can finger spell, and I know a few basic signs. However, I do not think I could hold my own in a conversation with someone that only uses ASL and no voice, lol.  Yes, you are correct in that the children's faces light up when they see that Santa knows ASL and can communicate with them. I've seen it for myself and it's a wondrous thing! Kevin says "Hi" back. Have an awesome day! 

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Santa Charlie G

It is a wonderful thing. and if you don't use it, you will lose it. It takes some practice and using it quite often. but, that one time when you warm the heart of a child and parents. It all well worth it. 

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SantaKyle

I actually had visited many children and teens with special needs last year. One moment really stood out when I was doing an elementary school visit. The assistant principle took me into a room and told me that this was a very special classroom. There were 2 children inside the classroom and another child had come through. He had his arm up to his chest, and had a bit of trouble walking. The teacher he was with had pointed to me and said "Look, It's Santa!". The little boy looked at me and walked to another group of teachers and hid behind them. After many failed attempts by the teachers to get the child to say hello to me, I got down on one knee and asked him if he would like to feel the fur on my suit, it's very soft. He slowly walked up to me, and felt the fur on my arm. Then he came closer to Santa and gave me a kiss on my beard. I gave a jolly Ho-Ho-Ho and thanked him. We talked for a little bit after that, but that experience brought me to tears when I got to my car after the visit. It was my first year being Santa for anyone other than family and friends.

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Santa Charlie G

That is what being Santa is about.....making Wonderful Memories!

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Santa  Kevin

It sure is!!  Anytime you can make a Child and their Parents feel the Magic, it is well worth while indeed!!

 

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Holly Claus
On 7/17/2017 at 9:48 PM, SantaKyle said:

I actually had visited many children and teens with special needs last year. One moment really stood out when I was doing an elementary school visit. The assistant principle took me into a room and told me that this was a very special classroom. There were 2 children inside the classroom and another child had come through. He had his arm up to his chest, and had a bit of trouble walking. The teacher he was with had pointed to me and said "Look, It's Santa!". The little boy looked at me and walked to another group of teachers and hid behind them. After many failed attempts by the teachers to get the child to say hello to me, I got down on one knee and asked him if he would like to feel the fur on my suit, it's very soft. He slowly walked up to me, and felt the fur on my arm. Then he came closer to Santa and gave me a kiss on my beard. I gave a jolly Ho-Ho-Ho and thanked him. We talked for a little bit after that, but that experience brought me to tears when I got to my car after the visit. It was my first year being Santa for anyone other than family and friends.

Hi SantaKyle, two years ago, my husband; Kris Kringle Kevin and I were in a grocery store up north, in Vermont. It was before Christmas, and Kev was wearing his Santa hat, and we came upon a little girl, that had special needs. She was with her Mom. The Mom said that her daughter had not found her voice yet, but did know ASL. Kevin started signing to her, and at that moment, that little girls face lit up, and a big smile came out. She hugged Santa (Kevin) and me too. By the time we got out to our car, we both were in tears. That little one, even though she was not able to speak yet, had such a gentle soul, and was full of wonder. She touched our hearts and we have not forgotten her since.  It truly is one of lifes' beautiful lessons! 

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Santa Charlie G

That is wonderful story!! Its all about making memories. 

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Florida Kris Kringle

I have learned ASL in 2 different schools, and watching YouTube videos. The problem I experienced was none of the schools provided any handouts. If you don't use it, you forget.

There is a Santa who recently came out with a DVD specifically for Santas. I am not endorsing it as I've not seen it. I do however like the idea that it's specifically for Santas, and you can pop it in the DVD player or computer anytime for a refresher.

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Santa  Kevin

I've seen the ASL for Santas and it's great for specific how to videos!

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Santa Marty
1 hour ago, Florida Kris Kringle said:

can pop it in the DVD player or computer anytime for a refresher.

The technology of CD media is already out of date, many new computers are not being produced with a CD/DVD drives anymore.

Technology aside, the value of learning ASL is not diminished.  If anyone knows of good sources for learning, please continue to post a link here or start a separate thread on learning ASL.  We could add the links and reviews to CN resources for added value to this site.

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Santa  Kevin

Right you are Santa Marty! Yet another Great Idea and thank you for the heads up on the newer computers not having a CD/DVD drive...

 

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Santa Charlie G

I use the online videos quite often and the site is ASL by Bill Vicars. He is a very good instructor. Look it up online. ASL University Bill Vicars.   http://www.lifeprint.com  Also, this is all free of charge to view the lessons. 

Edited by Santa Charlie G
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