Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Karaoke Night

Guess who was the first volunteer at Karaoke Night at her Young Women's group? Yep, the deaf kid.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

DEAF Peers?

We are preparing for Miss Kat to attend a week-long church camp for teens in Utah this summer.  This program has several classes where she will study the scriptures and hear from religious professionals, researchers, and motivational speakers. She will be with hundreds of other LDS youth, in huge classrooms (it is held at BYU) and will be a great learning and spiritual experience.

There are 24 sessions available but one of them boasts of being "ASL Accommodated". I asked Miss Kat if she would like to attend that session. While she would not use the interpreters, she would have other d/Deaf youth in her group. There would be other kids with CIs there and she could have the chance to bond with them and interact with more teens with hearing loss. She said that she would rather not. She said that the pressure of using an interpreter to communicate with them, struggling for them to lipread her or use a few signs and gestures and her attempting to use her CI to understand their non-typical speech just would take away from her experience. She said it is more stressful to be in those situations and that she just relates better and communicates more easily with people with typical hearing.

That is HER opinion and HER choice. At nearly 16 years old, I will continue to offer her these opportunities, but I will default to her comfort and choice.

(Miss Kat will be using her FM and live captioning for the large "lecture hall" type classes and just her CIs for everyday communication.)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

High School Days

Miss Kat has been doing really well with this huge transition. She really enjoys her classes and is doing well. She is in Algebra and Biology this year but she loves her electives. She is taking art and "family and consumer sciences" known as FACS (it was what I called Home Ec growing up!)

Miss Kat is also driving now! That has been quite an adventure. She is very cautious and responsible. I am very proud of her.

Miss Kat's favorite part of high school is all the clubs she belongs to! She is in yearbook club, a book club, and an anti-bullying club. She also is performing in a community theatre production of "The Fellowship of the Ring" for the next two weeks. She also attended the Homecoming dance last weekend.

What an outstanding, average life she has. When things were dark, and we didn't know what her life would look like, even my highest hopes didn't look like this. She has friends (her annual Halloween blowout is coming up again!) she is comfortable with who she is (a big time nerd) and she is doing well in school. Her only accommodations in school are her FM system, a visit from her TOD a few times a week and a quiet place to take a test. She also receives academic tutoring, once a week, from my LSLS mentor at work because she is completely convinced that I lack the ability to teach her!

Miss Kat is a perfectly imperfect everyday kid who happens to be deaf.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sharing Music

Miss Kat's favorite thing these days is YouTube. She listens to music on her phone NONSTOP. She loves looking up music and she especially loves lyric videos. Whenever we are driving together she asks if we can share music with each other. She will play me one of her favorite songs and then she looks up one of mine. It is really fun to share like that. It is certainly not something that I ever thought I would be able to do with my profoundly deaf daughter.

I am speaking at the national AG Bell conference this year. I am sharing our family's story so I have been reviewing my blog a lot. It has been amazing to walk back through my thoughts and emotions across the last 13 years. It has been a long journey, with many twists and turns, and we certainly are in a different place than I imagined all those years ago when we began investigating a CI for Miss Kat.

I believed that she would need ASL as her language of communication and instruction her entire life- I was wrong. I believed that all deaf children should sign from the start- I was wrong. I believed that Miss Kat would need specialized instruction for her entire school career- I was wrong. I believed that "oral parents" and "signing parents" had a fundamental difference- I was wrong. I believed that ASL was the only language that was accessible to children with hearing loss- I was wrong. I have learned and changed so much and so has Miss Kat. I am so proud of her and her accomplishments. She is growing up to be an amazing young woman who happens to be deaf.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

National Honor Society Part 2





So, there have been several nasty rumors going around about Miss Kat since we moved her to the mainstream. The first is that I am lying about how well she is doing. This is coming from people who claim to "know people" who work with her. They are saying that I lie and that she is very far behind and that her teachers recommend placing her in a self-contained placement. They also claim that I lied about her being in National Honor Society. Both of those are absurd and are coming from people who have never met me or Miss Kat. They are desperate to see children who use spoken language fail because they need their jobs or their insulated community to remain. It is a pity because they are wishing ill on children for their own purposes. So sad.



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Finding her niche

Miss Kat has been doing (overall) very well since our move. She has lots of friends, her Halloween party has become "the event" of the fall in her tiny school. Every day some friend comes over to hang out. She also has joined a "Dungeons and Dragons" group in town. She is such a proud little nerd!

We had back to school night a few weeks ago. Miss Kat signed up for several clubs (including drama and a book club!) and we signed her up for driver's ed. We also asked the school about how we are going to handle a foreign language. Because the school is so very small (less than 30 students per grade) they only have the option of Spanish. We explained that this would not be a good fit for Miss Kat, and the school said they absolutely understood and that they would allow her to take ASL at the local community college for dual credit. She should start her sophomore year,

Now about her IEP and all that goes with it...Miss Kat is now 14, so we have started with transition goals. She presented a very nice PowerPoint at her IEP about what services and accommodations she finds useful and how she best learns. It was great to see her taking ownership of her hearing loss and her needs. We have, however, been struggling with notetaking and with having teachers understand the importance of her accommodation of "teacher provided notes". We recently discovered that a teacher is handing out a packet of papers and lecturing and having the students fill in the paper with the information that she is lecturing about. We explained to Miss Kat that this is, in fact, the same thing as taking notes. She was very relieved. She expressed how difficult it was for her to have to try to watch (a website on the SmartBoard), listen and try to take notes. Her itinerant is looking into it.

Finally, I invite everyone to come and see Miss Kat and I at the AG Bell conference. I will be giving several presentations, but one in particular is about our experience on this journey so far. Miss Kat and I will be telling our story! 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Teen girl alert!

Did a boy just show up at our house looking for Miss Kat?! He seems to really like her. I'm hearing things like, "Have you been all over the world?" and "You're so amazing." from the other room...


Uh oh...might be time to send her to an all girls school!