Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Friday, January 9, 2009

I don't know what to do

Right now we are in a sort of holding pattern with Miss Kat. She is set to restart speech a week from today, which is good news. Her new therapist is actually a parent of a CI kid, which is great news! We also have an IEP meeting set up for Jan. 21. I feel overwhelmed, but also like nothing is changing. Miss Kat did so well right away with her implant and now it feels like things are not moving. At one month post activation she was doing AMAZING, and now at two months, she's doing the exact same. I guess maybe I'm just stressed

We went and visited the only other placement for Miss Kat this week. The class is an oral Kindergarten for the Deaf. They have 10 students, most of them have CI's. When I visited, I just wasn't thrilled. It was noisy, the teachers didn't seem to love what they were doing, and none of the kids had any personality. I don't know, it just didn't feel like a good fit. I had hoped I would walk into that room and see great kids, a wonderful teacher, great language input...you know, the stuff she already has at her school.

This morning Miss Kat had a dentist appointment, so she wasn't going to school. So Daddy took her to the class, to see if she would fit in and do OK. He made the mistake of telling her that she was going to a "school" and when they arrived Miss Kat FREAKED OUT!! She burst into tears and signed "Not my school. My friends aren't here. My teacher isn't here. This is NOT school". She wouldn't even get close to the classroom and she ran out of the school! Eventually, she calmed down and went inside. The teachers had told us that they even though they were an oral class, they understood ASL and would respond to her with their voices, but if she really was having trouble they would sign, that communication was still the most important thing. So, Miss Kat finally went into the class and started to play. She was just doing her thing, and the teachers were dumbfounded by her signing skills. They obviously had no idea what she was saying and they couldn't communicate with her. Daddy had to interpret for her the whole time. The good news is that when it was time to go Miss Kat wanted to stay. Daddy asked if she liked the class and she said "Yes. Aimee (her teacher) should come here"!

So Daddy gave his overall impression of Miss Kat at the school. He said that he thought she could do it, but that it would be very difficult for her. He compared it to me taking a college level course, but completely in Spanish. The skills are difficult, right at my level, but I have to do it in a language I don't know. I could probably pass, but it would be hell. He also said that our other choice (her school now) would be taking the class in my native language, and then hope to learn Spanish from people around. What a terrible choice!


fallenpiece said...

Can I ask you something? Why would you make the transition from using sign language at school to an all oral school? I ask since from an outside view.. Well, to me, it makes no sense since you use sign language at home and thats her main form of communication.

Dianrez said...

Miss Kat is expressing herself very well in her outburst at the new school. I'd listen to her.

Parental expectations can easily outstrip their childrens' progress, so this might be the time for patience while she quietly percolates the information she is taking from her environment.

Step up the home input: read to her (in the language she is most comfortable in) and keep her supplied with books all the time. Teach her to read a cookbook, outdoor thermometer, road signs.

She looks darling in the picture; I can also see in her intelligence and determination. She'll be okay.

Miss Kat's Parents said...

We want Miss Kat to begin to use and understand spoken language and the only way to do that is through exposure. If she doesn't use her hearing she will never learn how to.

As for her outburst, she just didn't understand what was going on. She was confused because Daddy had said that they were going to school, and this obviously wasn't HER school.
She gets books and great imput in ASL, but now she needs to add spoken language.

JennyB said...

I completely agree that she needs both. Having ASL as well as Spoken English and Spoken French myself, I am very thankful for having 3 different languages.

Why not find a BiBi school? Give her both, in one school?

Miss Kat's Parents said...

She already goes to a bi-bi school but they do not support spoken English, just written. It is a voice-off school, and doesn't have any sort of program for spoken language, listening, or aural rehab.

deafgirlmelissa said...

This seems like a good placement for Miss Kat as they would use some signs with her if she really struggled but they are not that fluent in ASL, and Miss Kat would feel frustrated by this. But it was great that Miss Kat was feeling comfortable and able to participate and play in the school.

JennyB said...

Hmm, I see. Is there another BiBi program that has speech classes?