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Mom Learns Son’s Language

Mom Learns Son’s Language

LSC-CyFair’s Interpreting Program Opens Lines of Communication for Family
Mom learns son’s language and finds possible new career

Cypress, Texas (August 26, 2011) There was a time when LaMonica Benton said
everyone in her home could communicate with her son, Shannon, except her and
that wasn’t fair.

“It’s not fair to him because I’m his mom,” she said. “He’s suppose to be
able to come to me to talk about whatever is on his mind, but instead he’s
got to go through his siblings and vice versa.”

Why? Because Shannon was born prematurely and hearing impaired. However, his
older brother took American Sign Language classes and his younger sister
just caught on quickly. And Benton learned some signs from Shannon and her
children, which was fine for a while.

“But it got to the point where one day, he got so frustrated and began to
cry because all he wanted was ice cream and I did not know the sign for ice
cream. He was very frustrated and it made me upset so I began to cry. That
was the turning point,” said Benton, who had originally gone to college to
become a pharmacy technician. “For two years I saved money because I wanted
to go back to school full time and I didn’t want to have to work, too.”

So this time she enrolled in Lone Star College-CyFair’s Interpreter Training
Program (ITP) and is now on track to complete her associate degree this

“When I initially started, it wasn’t to become an interpreter. It was
because I wanted to learn some of the language to communicate with my
son,” she said. “I thought once you learned ASL, the language, you were okay
and could communicate. But when I started taking interpreting classes, I
learned there was difference. You can know the language, but can you put it
out there in an effective manner?”

Now she can hold conversations with her son and help him with school work.
Now Shannon, who will be 10 in October, feels more comfortable going to his
mom with questions and even tattling on his sister.

“Before I learned about Deaf culture, I really didn’t feel my son was
normal. Now I know more about Deaf culture and I know that deaf people have
a hearing loss, but they still accomplish anything in life they set their
minds to,” said Benton. “I am the driving force behind my son. I believe we
are as normal as anyone else. He does everything he wants, football,
baseball, basketball, all the things a normal child does, he just has a
hearing loss.”

Her ITP experience at LSC-CyFair has been wonderful and joyous, she said,
because of ITP instructors like Jonathan Leach, Toby Welch and Leyel Hudson
who make learning fun, are interesting and are “really, really patient.”

“LSC-CyFair has instructors who want you to succeed and do what they have to
do to make sure you understand the information,” said Benton. “They answer
everybody’s questions. The only reason you won’t get an answer, is if you
don’t ask and I really, really appreciate that.”

Benton said she wants all her children to understand no matter how old they
are and what obstacles they face, education is the most important thing and
they can overcome and achieve like she has done. After graduation this
December, Benton plans to pass the interpreting state certification test,
continue her education to earn a bachelor’s degree and possibly begin an
interpreting career.

In addition to the ITP, LSC-CyFair offers ASL as a foreign language credit
as well as an ASL Communication Skills Certificate to help enhance people’s
resumes. ASL is also offered year round in a variety of formats such as full
semester courses, 14-week or 8-week courses and day or evening courses.
Introduction to Deaf Community, Deaf Culture and Introduction to the
Interpreting Profession courses can be taken online.

For information on ASL or ITP, go to http:/www.LoneStar.edu/interpreter-training-tech
or contact Hudson via e-mail at [email protected] or at

About Lone Star College-CyFair

Lone Star College-CyFair is the 5th comprehensive college in the Lone Star
College System. Lone Star College-CyFair is a comprehensive campus at 9191
Barker Cypress Road. Lone Star College-Fairbanks Center is located at 14955
Northwest Freeway. For more information about Lone Star College-CyFair and
its programs, call 281-290-3200 or visit the Web site at
http://www.LoneStar.edu/cyfair .

About Lone Star College System

With more than 69,000 students in credit classes for spring 2011, and a
total enrollment of more than 85,000, Lone Star College System is the
largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the
fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is
the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of five colleges including
LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball,
six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery,
LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and
LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.



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