Mom's book teaches kids about deaf culture

March 2, 2008 8:00:46 AM PST
Being a wife and mother of two was not enough for a northwest Indiana resident, so she wrote a children's book about deaf culture, something that she personally understands.

Deaf since birth, Antoinette Abbamonte, a professional actress, comes from a deaf family. Wanting her hearing sons and their friends to experience deaf culture, she uses a wise old tree to teach them about it.

"Tree Wise" is a story of a boy who has parents who are deaf. With the help of a very special tree, the boy teaches his friends about deaf culture.

"Deaf culture really grows from a set of people. Language called American Sign Language," said Antoinette.

Being a mom to 6-year-old Dylan and 3-year-old Jayden is not always easy.

"Why are my friends, their mother, their parents can hear? Hearing, My mom is deaf. Alright okay. Inside me I feel bad. I feel bad for him I told him, that's okay, deaf mom loves you no matter what," said Antoinette.

"Tree Wise" is a great education tool for elementary age children. Antoinette also visits schools sharing her experiences through her book.

"Hopefully, we can develop experience, hearing deaf together. At times we have to take more work to (reach the) hearing community," said Antoinette.

Antoinette has recently started working on her second book called "My Triangle Vacation".

"It's about different people, in diversity, many different cultures, sort of a parent's marriage again, stepparents, stepchildren and their half brothers and sisters," Antoinette said.

When you ask Dylan what he thinks of "Tree Wise," he says...

"It's good."

"Tree Wise" will become a children's play produced and performance by the National Theater of the Deaf.

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