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Little Girl with Hearing Loss Records Video Signing Carrie Underwood Song and Goes Viral

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Savannah Dahan is like many other girls her age. She loves music, is especially fond of Carrie Underwood and likes to sing to her favorite songs.

But she also has a skill most 8-year-olds don’t: She knows American Sign Language. It’s a way of life for the Dahan family, as Savannah’s mom, dad and siblings are all deaf, which means they have learned ASL from a young age so they can communicate.

“She was born with moderate/severe hearing loss,” Richard Dahan, her father, told “Today.”

“Because everyone is deaf in the family and uses ASL to communicate, she identifies herself as deaf. She uses hearing aids at times at school and home.”

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One day, Savannah asked her parents to record her performance of “The Champion” by Underwood featuring Ludacris, and it has since gone viral.

“She asked us to record her because she likes to see herself perform,” Dahan said.

“We were very surprised to see that both hearing and deaf people have responded positively,” he added. “Her performance has touched many people and many people have reached out to express how that song helped them.”

Viewers have loved how enthusiastic the girl is, and her spirit is right in line with the song. Her process of learning a song is an art and a science, and it works beautifully for her.

“ASL involves body language and facial expressions,” Dahan told The Baltimore Sun. “My daughter was able to share her emotions with intensity.”

“She first memorizes the lyrics and then learns to match the beats with those lyrics. That is how she is able to follow the song.”

The family has started a page to illustrate the benefits of learning ASL from a young age. “Savvy ASL” also hopes that this viral video will help inform people and get them interested in ASL.

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“We hope the video will show the importance of early exposure to ASL and for the world to see kids with proper communication access at school and home can express themselves just as rich and beautiful as kids that can hear,” Dahan said.

“We’re proud, we have a culture. We don’t think of ourselves as disabled. (ASL) is a beautiful language of grammar and structure.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Location
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking




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