Understand the Word of God
- Think in Pictures – How do Special Needs Deaf (SND) think? SND and those who are completely non-verbal cannot think in words, since they do not know words. The answer is obvious: They think in pictures.
To teach SND, we must learn to go into their world of non-words. In fact, this picture thinking method is vital to all the other methods mentioned later. You must learn picture thinking to both teach and understand SND.
I think this is one of the hardest things for hearing people to grasp and to master. Hearing people are verbal. We talk, think, communicate, socialize, teach, learn, rebuke, praise, decide, and imagine everything in words. Words are how we live every day. However, SND do not know words. They cannot understand even the idea of words. They think and see the world in pictures, ideas, and concepts. No wonder hearing people have a hard time understanding and being understood by regular deaf, but especially non-verbal deaf. This world of picture thinking is something most hearing people have a very hard time grasping. It is hard to understand or appreciate because it is so far outside our everyday experience.
To do this, let’s try to think in pictures only. Below is a sentence. Read it and then put down this paper and try to think of this sentence WITHOUT words. Think of the action, the actor, and the result. Think of the sentence in pictures.
The girl ran fast.
See the girl in your mind. See her running fast. It should take only a few seconds. But use NO words. Picture it. Now that you see that picture, communicate it without words. Only sign “girl” and act out her running fast. There you go! You have taken your first steps into picture thinking. Remember many deaf live that way every day. To really communicate with this type of deaf, you must learn to think and communicate the way they do – with picture thinking.
By the way, try this method with Deaf people who have good language skills. Storytelling like this is very helpful! Look for more methods in the next newspaper.