Wednesday, February 14, 2007

There is more than one way to voice an opinion!

Having a funny voice and a twisted neck doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy settling into a great new year! The only problem has been limitation of speech and a big pain in the neck. However, that is all under control. Not only has botox therapy relieved the tight spasms of speech and the pains in my neck and shoulders, I have returned to sign language classes. I must admit, I do need to ‘reframe’ many of my signs or should I say gestures? Sheer frustration gets the better of me most of the time and my signing means something else altogether!

Returning to Auslan (Australian Sign Language) classes offers me significant hope of managing the frustration associated with difficult voice and a body that just does not go into the shape it is meant to. Like riding a bicycle, lots of signing skills came flooding back into my mind. The problem with that being my dreadful clumsiness and inability to coordinate my fingers and hands mean the signs I intend to make actually mean something else at most inconvenient times!

People suffering from Dystonia including spasmodic dysphonia will know exactly what I mean. In coming weeks I will write about my journey along a pathway of discovery as my son and I travel further into that wonderfully diverse world of language.

Before we get too far along the adventurous path of signing, I would like to tell you a little about symbolic interaction theory, otherwise recognized as the development of society through the limitless interaction between individuals. Tomorrow, I will write about symbolic interaction as a way of explaining communication. Until then, you may recall a favorite book or movie that has impressed you with examples of different kinds of communication.

For those reading buffs or even movie fans, Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel is a good example of using communication very differently to how we commonly think of communication.

Leaving you with food for thought.

Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.

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