CSD of South Dakota's Deaf Mentors
Peer Support Program
CSD of South Dakota provides many services to the deaf and hard of hearing community throughout the state. One such service is their peer support program. This connects deaf and hard of hearing individuals of any age with a CSD deaf mentor who will help promote personal growth by sharing experiences in group settings or through one-on-one meetings.
In these sessions, our peer mentors facilitate personal and social adjustment skills, communication skills, educational activities, and more.
The Impact of a Mentor
Recently, the mother of a mentee reached out to CSD of South Dakota to share the impact that MaKenzie, his mentor of four months, has had on her son. Keep reading to see what she had to say.
The very first day you came to our house and started signing with Isaiah, he looked at me, his eyes filled with excitement. He could hardly contain himself- running around, giggling, jumping off the walls. Filled with so much wonder and curiosity, all the while his eyes fixed on you.
At the end of our first class, as I was closing the door behind you, I felt a tug on my shirt. I looked down to see my son’s eyes begin to well up with tears, his body suddenly still. He looks at me, tears slowly moving along his cheeks. A shaky, thankful voice said “Mom, I’m not so different anymore.” My heart melted as we stood there hugging, watching through the front door window as you got into your car and drove away.
You have transformed our lives, brought so much hope and wonder into our son’s world, and offer great encouragement to us as a family as we learn together. We see so much difference in how Isaiah views the world, he is signing more and more, now curious about the things around him. “What’s the sign for…“ is his favorite question, one that I don’t have the answers to and often find myself searching YouTube for immediate answers to encourage our vocabulary.
On Fridays, when we go to speech therapy, he is often teaching his SLP the signs we practice at home, and our amazing SLP is excited to learn as Isaiah’s knowledge of signing increases. His SLP now comes prepared with questions about our ASL sessions, encouraging Isaiah’s vocabulary while incorporating sign. Isaiah’s speech and signing continue to improve.
At nights Isaiah begs me to try to sign his Paw Patrol book you recently read to him. He often asks me if I remember the correct signs. He is quick to point out you are much better at reading and signing than I am and reminds me I need to learn more. 🥰
Your presence during mentoring sessions continues to increase our wonder and amazement for Deaf culture and language.
We cannot thank you enough for your time and dedication while teaching our family. We are strongly encouraged by you and the knowledge you bring, as well as the CSD program that offers this excellent opportunity of in-home mentoring sessions.
Thank you for your continued time and dedication, we truly appreciate everything you do and look forward to seeing you next week! 🙂 🙌❤️🙌