My name is Eric, and my wife and I recently just had a baby boy! :D
I am an American Sign Language (ASL) Tutor with experience working as an ASL Teacher, and I'm Deaf. I was born hearing, but at the age of 18 months, I was diagnosed with Spinal Meningitis, and became paralyzed for 2 weeks. By the grace of God though, I survived. My hearing was lost as a result, and so, I grew up orally (using my voice to speak) for 15 years with English as my first language.
It wasn't until the summer before 8th grade when I was enrolled into a program for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) that I started learning American Sign Language from my Deaf peers. I fell in love with Sign Language, so much so, that when I graduated to College, I completed every course in ASL (ASL 1 - ASL 5), along with studies in Deaf Culture and ASL Linguistics. I use ASL every day in my life because my wife and I are Deaf, and it is the language we use to communicate. My wife is from Costa Rica, so Spanish is her first language, whereas English is my primary, but ASL is our natural language as Deaf people.
I am fluent in both English and ASL, and although I'm Deaf, I am able to read lips and communicate verbally (I've been told I have a German accent!), and unless you have a mustache like Luigi from Super Mario Bros, we will have no problems communicating! Just kidding -- Even if you did, we'll still be okay communicating. There is always the written or typed method.
Prior to teaching ASL at a university for 3 years, I have experience working as an ASL Tutor for Chaffey College, and prior to that, I actually tutored English to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people. In addition to that, I have years of experience translating concepts from both languages, so any famous idioms you throw my way, I can translate no problem.
My teaching philosophy for ASL is that in order to give you the best results, we will not be using our voices. This is to stimulate the part of your brain that is not used to visual simulation. "But how can I ask you questions then, Eric?" Don't worry. Even if you have no experience AT ALL with Sign Language, I will teach you the basics so that you will be able to ask me any question you want to.
Thank you for reading my free response section, and I look forward to tutoring you!
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