When you see a 8-year-old girl actually reading the whole book of Deaf Cinderella all by herself, it is simply amazing, isn’t it? Annelies Smith, a 3rd grader at Toliver Elementary in Danville, KY, is a hearing CODA of a single Deaf father who is currently working as a president of Kentucky School for the Deaf Alumni Association. Annelies is a true bilingual — she had acquired ASL/SL at an early age, before she even learned English —and skips one grade or two (possibly more) above the average reading level. Annelies is one of the best examples…especially since she is reading at fifth grade level!
It is critical that all Deaf babies start acquiring ASL/SL as soon as they were born. Including not just hearing CODAs, but all hearing babies who are strongly encouraged to acquire ASL/SL before they start speaking their native verbal language. There’s no harm in doing so! ♥️