We had our meeting. It was long and intense. When we arrived, I think the audiologist had no intention of us getting an implant. I think that he might have even spoken to the individual we used to see!
Our conversation began with how well she could hear now. He said that he thought she should be getting better results with her aids. He thought that she should be speaking and understanding better. She was on the edge of being a candidate, but he said he didn't want to put her through a surgery to have her not use the device. He was concerned that she was "just one of those kids who can't learn to listen". I was devastated, but I completely disagreed. I think that she IS talking. That all the sounds she makes with her signs ARE words to her. I think that she is hearing so poorly that this is the best she can interpret.
He was also very displeased with her educational placement. I expected that. I knew that he would want her in an all oral environment. He said that he thought the best place for her to learn would be the Oral Deaf school. He thought that we should just throw her in and she would learn quickly. I told him NO! I was not interested in taking away her first language. Then he suggested a mainstream hearing classroom with an interpreter. I told him that I thought that was inappropriate as well. I told him that now that JMS was merging with the TC program, there was going to be more value placed on Oracy. I told him that her Kindergarten teacher was a hearing woman that we had in our home during PIP. She was also the TC Kindergarten teacher last year. The audiologist was very pleased with this information. I also told him that we had plans to attend private AVT listening/speech therapy twice a week. He remarked that he thought I was actually committed. I told him that I was glad that Miss Kat was older when she lost her hearing. I told him that I don't think I could have committed to the therapy and rehab if she was just a baby. I believe that she is old enough to see a difference and actually WANT to learn to speak. He was starting to see our perspective.
The thing that finally convinced him was giving Miss Kat a listening test. It was a closed set test, meaning that she had a card with 12 pictures and she was to point to the correct picture when he spoke the word. She scored a 15 out of 24, when just two weeks before she had gotten a 2! I had demonstrated to him that she COULD learn to listen. It took a lot of work and emphasis using the hearing aids, but Miss Kat had worked hard, and her reward would be the device that could make her job so much easier!