Hearing partner can’t learn asl

mypjpants

Member
I have a partner that has a mental disability, as well as developing arthritis, not allowing him to learn very much sign language, or at least not enough to have a simple conversation with. I’m slowly losing my hearing and have almost gotten to the point of severe hearing loss and I’m worried that there’ll be this terrible language barrier that will ruin our relationship if ever I lose it all. This is truly the man I want to marry and I need a bit of guidance on this issue.
 

mypjpants

Member
can you use AVA?
I’ve used it before and it’s okay, but it bothers me to talk through a screen. I can get on board using it for public places and such, but to talk to my partner in life I’d prefer a more intimate(as to say, better connection) option. Of course I’d like if he could still learn to sign somehow, if maybe there is such a dialect in asl.
 

mikemike

Member
by mental disability, you mean what?

I have a partner that has a mental disability, as well as developing arthritis, not allowing him to learn very much sign language, or at least not enough to have a simple conversation with. I’m slowly losing my hearing and have almost gotten to the point of severe hearing loss and I’m worried that there’ll be this terrible language barrier that will ruin our relationship if ever I lose it all. This is truly the man I want to marry and I need a bit of guidance on this issue.
 

mypjpants

Member
by mental disability, you mean what?
he has ADD making it very hard to retain short term memory and turning it into long term memory, as well as being slightly on the spectrum. His great grandfather was his mother’s father as well, so I’m sure that contributes in his limited learning, especially in the verbal and language learning aspect. He isn’t as well spoken as I am and I can tell it would be very hard for him to learn a language like that, despite it being a relatively easy language to learn at least the basics of. All I want is to just be able to sign to him and read his lips if I have to, I just want him to know enough because I don’t really feel comfortable speaking and I have to in the family I’m in right now. All hearing, mostly too old to learn enough type deal.
 

mypjpants

Member
I really need advice on this if anyone can give some insight. My hearing has gotten so much worse since i’ve been with him and I don’t know if I can handle this constant struggle of trying to understand spoken word. I’m getting really disheartened because even though I’ve known sign language long before I knew my hearing was going (I wanted to be an ASL interpreter in high school) it’s so hard to teach any of my partners and I’m afraid I’ve gonna have to leave him for his lack of ability as well as care for learning my language.
 

mypjpants

Member
Also I do not have access to hearing aids at the moment, I am trying to achieve them through insurance and government means if I can, or at least get them from another doctor(I’m going in for another hearing test to see how I’ve degraded). Hopefully then I’ll get the okay for them to be prescribed.
 

Nita Thomas

Active Member
Also I do not have access to hearing aids at the moment, I am trying to achieve them through insurance and government means if I can, or at least get them from another doctor(I’m going in for another hearing test to see how I’ve degraded). Hopefully then I’ll get the okay for them to be prescribed.
If you are working check with the unemployment agency for handicapper services. I got mine through them -- more than once. Also the lions club helps to finance them. Depending on your own health insurance, some may partially cover the costs.
 

Nita Thomas

Active Member
I have a partner that has a mental disability, as well as developing arthritis, not allowing him to learn very much sign language, or at least not enough to have a simple conversation with. I’m slowly losing my hearing and have almost gotten to the point of severe hearing loss and I’m worried that there’ll be this terrible language barrier that will ruin our relationship if ever I lose it all. This is truly the man I want to marry and I need a bit of guidance on this issue.
I know you love your partner, but reality can hit very hard and this may not be something that you can truly live with as you get older and communication issues get worse. Communication is essential to any relationship. As for arthritis, there are so many ways to treat it that it should not stop him from learning ASL. ASL does not just use fingers, it uses the whole hand. I use natural remedies to assist my arthritis problems.
 

zephren

Active Member
I have a similar situation. I have a progressive hearing loss. Soon after I met my hearing wife, she tried to learn ASL. This has been a challenge because she has a brain injury from a car accident before we met which makes it difficult for her to remember things. She also gets overwhelmed with too much visual stimulation and it can send her brain into a freeze. We can have a conversation in the morning and maybe teach some new signs. By the afternoon, not only does she forget the signs but she might not remember we had a conversation at all.

We communicate by any means necessary - writing, lip reading, drawing, acting out, speech-to-text apps, text message and signing. After seven years she is roughly an intermediate signer but it fluctuates. A big help was to change from teaching ASL to Signed English. It was too much for her to both remember the signs AND remember ASL syntax.

This relationship requires a lot of patience and work on both sides. Both of you need to be very committed to make this work. Actually that is true for any marriage really.
 
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