My family is normal to say the least, I have a mother, a father and siblings. At a very young age, I knew that I was different because my siblings were speaking words and full sentences and I was learning sign language from my father while my mother was researching why her two-year-old wasn’t talking or making vocal noises as a sign of being close to talking. One doctor’s visit after another my parents were told that I would speak when I’m ready but a visit to my grandparents house changed it all. My mom was talking to my grandparents then my grandmother asked,
“Do Finley turn her head when you talk to her”.
My mom thought for a minute then said,
I turned my head when my mom said my name then my father looked at my grandmother then signed,
“How did you know I was mute?”.
My grandmother thought for a minute then said,
“I think Finley is mute”.
My mother spent a few hours crying and my father was blaming himself for passing his muteness to his only daughter. When we went back to Los Angeles Me and my father went to an appointment with his doctor that diagnosed his muteness when we walked in we signed hello, The doctor said hello. The doctor asked me and my father questions that my dad was already asked before so I know the doctor was just testing my sign language. The doctor ordered testing for muteness and all of them came back positive but all the tests for deafness were negative. My father and I went home and he signed to my mother,
“The doctor ran tests on Finley and she is mute then the doctor ran tests for deafness and they were negative, then he asked her questions in sign language and she did well.”
I found it amazing how my father can communicate with sign language and as I’ve been getting older the more people look at me strangely. When I went to school people didn’t understand me as much as my close family.
The first two weeks of school were frustrating and I was stressed because every time I wanted to communicate I had to use a pen and paper and the other students were making fun of the girl that never talked. I had enough of being made fun of so I used sign language to tell my father. My father wasn’t mad by me telling him this because he said we are going to the school for a talk tomorrow. The “talk” came quicker than I expected it and I went in, I felt for the first time in my life that I was different. The principal could sense that we were tense then said,
“I know sign language please don’t be tense.”
This calmed down the mood a bit then my father used sign language to say,
“Finley said she felt uncomfortable that she has to write on paper to communicate and the teachers and other students don’t understand her.”
The principal thought for a minute then said,
“I will get the teachers to learn sign language So they can talk to her.”
The meeting went better than I expected for the principal to not understand sign language and to yell at my father.
For not making sense and when he wrote on a piece of paper the principal would ask him what he was doing.
Nothing like this happened at all.