Deaf preschoolers and hearing family members learned sign language in a 5-year intervention project. Once weekly, each child met with a teacher who was deaf. Parents, siblings, and other relatives met about once monthly to study sign language, and all families in the project signed together about twice yearly. The present study addressed four questions asked of parents about the project: (a) How did the children learn to sign? (b) Did both the parents and the children benefit from the project? (c) What was the position of sign language in the family? (d) Did the project have some impact on the family's social network? The families indicated satisfaction with the project; they learned to sign and their social networks expanded. Parents favored bilingual education: Sign language was the main language but learning Finnish was also important. Learning sign language was not easy, especially for the fathers. The families that were most actively involved in the lessons learned the most.


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pp. 366-374
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