Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ugh, maybe I'm giving up

We went and visited Miss Kat's school today. I wanted to observe her speech therapy, and see if it has improved since we have written better goals, and the SLP has spoken with our private therapist....NOPE!

I was terribly upset at what I saw. First, it was conducted in the classroom, while other kids are there, doing other noisy things. Second, she still has NO IDEA how to do appropriate therapy for kids with CI's. Third, she signed the entire time! Ummm, if you sign OF COURSE she can tell the difference between boot and boat. Freakin' ridiculous. I'm just so upset about the whole thing. What part of "If you talk, she will learn to listen, and if she learns to listen, she will learn to talk" is so hard to understand? I have put her in contact with what I consider the PREMIER aural rehab specialist in the area, I have given her appropriate goals, I have even pointed her towards great materials, WHY IS SHE STILL DOING VISUAL PHONICS????

On the other hand, I also visited the 1st grade class at Miss Kat's school. Those kids are doing amazing. They are all completely on grade level. They are reading and writing and doing math...I love it! They are great kids with a great teacher. I collected up some of their "average" homework/curriculum and went over to the other school to ask the Oral school teachers if their kids are doing the same sort of work. I want to be perfectly clear with EVERYONE (at Miss Kat's school, at the oral school, and just the world in general) that we are NOT willing to move schools if that means we sacrifice her academics for speech. I want to know that she will be getting the same level of education, regardless of the mode of communication used in the classroom. So, we headed on over to the oral school....

And we were turned away! We were told that if we want to speak to the teachers, we need to make an appointment. Rather than speak to us (parents who fully intend(ed?) to have a child in their classroom in the very near future), they went and got the program director to ask us to leave. Wow, that is very encouraging. That is a surefire way to get me to want to turn my child over to for most of her waking hours, refuse to talk to me! They said that it was their lunch time, and they didn't want to see us....

Maybe I'm way off base, and this is totally normal, but this is certainly not what I am used to. Miss Kat's school encourages parents to be there. If I have a question for a teacher, I go and talk to them! The 1 st grade teacher let us just sit in on the class for an hour (totally unannounced) today. Miss Kat's teacher has invited me to come do a "listening time" once a week for the kids in the class who could benefit. It is like one big family. Everyone knows everyone, and we all help each other out. Maybe it is normal for teachers to be too important and busy for parents, but I don't like it.

So, as we were being escorted out, I asked the oral program director a few questions. I asked if the kids in the class were on grade level. She said she couldn't talk about specific kids (duh!) but that as soon as they are "at level", they are mainstreamed out into a hearing classroom for that subject. WHAT???? Miss Kat is "on level" for just about everything and she sure ain't ready to be mainstreamed! I know that she won't be because her receptive and expressive spoken language are so far behind, but I don't like that one bit. That means every single child in her classroom is behind, otherwise they wouldn't be in there! So, how are you supposed to teach grade appropriate material if every single kid is not "on level"? It doesn't make sense. And, why aren't they? If the kids in Miss Kat's school are learning English as a second language and they are able to do age appropriate reading, why can't the oral kids? Doesn't that mean the school is failing them? Plus, who says I even want to mainstream her???

Ugh, what a terrible day! I wish I lived somewhere that understood the importance of both ASL and spoken language. I get so sick of both sides trying to prove the other side wrong. "WE are right! Speech is what matters. If your child can't speak he will never get anywhere in the world. He will never get a job, he won't even be able to order at McDonald's. Speech is important! It must come first. If they can't speak and understand, they won't have a language. We will make sure they can speak!" vs. "WE are right! Speech doesn't matter at all. ASL is the key. If you child learns ASL, everything else will be perfect. Yes, they will have to learn English as a second language....but that is just fine! Speech is nothing! Our kids will be successful with NO SPEECH AT ALL! That is how unimportant speech is! ASL will solve all the problems!"

I am so sick of it. Sick of the fighting, the meaningless protests, the name calling. I quit....

Monday, March 30, 2009

Go, Dog. Go!

Miss Kat and I read this book today. When I am reading voice only, I ask her to repeat back to me, in sign, what I have said, so that I know that she is comprehending what I am saying. (I don't always do it, sometimes we just read to enjoy, or to just flood her with language, but today I did check) And here, in bold, is what Miss Kat understood today:

Big dog. Little dog. Big dogs and little dogs. Black and white dogs.
"Hello". "Hello". "Do you like my hat?" "I do not". "Good bye" "Good bye"
One little dog going in. There big dogs going out (she signed "ouch").
A red dog on a blue tree. A blue dog on a red tree. A green dog on a yellow tree.
Some big dogs and some little dogs going around in cars. A dog out of a car.
Two big dogs going up. One little dog going down.
The green dog is up. The yellow dog is down. The blue dog is in. The red dog is out(!)
One dog up on a house. Three dogs down in the water.
A green dog over a tree (signed eat??) A yellow dog under a tree(!)
Two dogs in a house in a boat (signed boot) in the water. A dog over the water. A dog under the water.
The dogs are all going around and around and around. "Go around again!"
The sun is up. The sun is yellow. The yellow sun is over the house.
It is hot out here in the sun. It is not hot here under the house.
Now it is night. Three dogs at a party on a boat (2nd try) at night.
Dogs at work. Work, dogs, work!Dogs at play. Play, dogs play!
Dogs in cars again. Going away. Going away fast.
Look at those dogs go. Go, dogs, go. Stop, dogs stop! The light is red now.
Go, dogs. Go! The light is green now.
Two dogs at play. At play up on top. Go down, dogs. Do not play up there. Go down.
Now it is night. Night is not the time for play. It is time for sleep. The dogs go to sleep. They will sleep all night. Now it is day. The sun is up. Now is the time for all dogs to wake up. Wake up . It is day. Time to get going. Go, dogs, Go!
There they go. Look at those dogs go! Why are they going fast in those cars? What are they going to do? Where are those dogs going?
Look where they are going. There are all going to that big tree over there.
Now the cars stop. Now all the dogs get out. And now look where the dogs are going!
To the tree! To the tree! Up the tree! Up the tree! Up they go to the top of the tree.
Why? Will they work? Will they play? What is up there on top of that tree?
A dog party! A big dog party! Big dogs, small dogs, red dogs, blue dogs, yellow dogs, green dogs, black dogs, and white dogs are all at a dog party! Wow, a dog party!
"Hello again. And now do you like my hat?" "Yes. I like it. I like that party hat".

So, I only counted a word if she signed it to me. If the word isn't used in ASL, I didn't bold it.

So, 4 months hearing....how's she doing??

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thought I would share

I don't know if many people outside the Deaf community have seen this video and since I know some hearing people follow Miss Kat's exploits I thought I would share this video. I think it is beautiful and I cry every time watch it. (Plus isn't that littlest girl just the sweetest thing you have ever seen??)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What is "deaf"?

I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to explain the term "deaf" to Miss Kat. We have run out of ideas.

1. Can't hear...(the simplest explanation)-NOT TRUE! She hears very well with her CI, and in her nonimplanted ear still has enough residual hearing to know that I am talking (can NOT even make out a word though!)
2. Wears hearing aids or CI- NOT TRUE! She knows PLENTY of unamplified Deaf kids and adults.
3. Uses ASL (I know I know, don't complain, I'm just trying to explain to a 5 year old!)- NOT TRUE! Mommy and Daddy use ASL, Teacher uses ASL, we are all hearing.

Ugh, any suggestions???

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Big Egg

Ok, this video is a little more complicated! I am signing off camera, reading a book to Miss Kat. I was hoping to have her just repeat what I was saying with her voice to show off her speech 3 months post activation....that didn't happen. She is instead, reacting to what I am saying and sort of telling the story too.

The whole video is captioned. The parts where she just signs is in parenthesises, when she does both, we caption the spoken language only. If you understand ASL, you will probably get more of the story, but the point of the video was really just to show off her word approximations at 3 months hearing with her CI (don't worry about the story).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Three Billy Goats Gruff

Miss Kat brought home a "story board" with pictures. They had read the story of "Three Billy Goats Gruff" in class that day. She is retelling the story for all of us. (It is captioned for the signing impaired)


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Scroll Down

Hubby put some photos of Miss Kat at the bottom of the blog and I just wanted to point it out to everyone. So, scroll down and look at my girl!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Refusing to listen

So Miss Kat had another MAPing last week. After we were finished she was having her audiogram done and she was having a terrible time. We tried for awhile but we couldn't get any responses lower than about 30 db. I was HORRIFIED. We hoped it was just a bad day and we just wrote it off.

Today, at speech, she got back in the booth, and we were getting NO response at all with the tones below 40 db! So we switched over to voice. Miss Kat ID'ed all the ling sounds at 20 db. Soooooooo.....she's hearing, but she won't respond to the tones.

What is up with that??? Is she just sick of the testing???

Monday, March 2, 2009

Summer School

We found a summer school for Miss Kat!!! The State School for the Deaf does not have a summer program, and they don't believe that Miss Kat is eligible for ESY (I have issues with that assessment, but that is a different post). So, I have been searching high and low for a program for Miss Kat. Since we are going to the oral class in the fall we NEED to use the summer to make some progress.

I have been calling all over the country, trying to find a summer session that is willing to accept a child who will not be attending the school. I, of course, contacted John Tracy Clinic about their summer sessions. The problem is that Miss Kat will turn 6, three days before the session starts. She will be too old. I wrote to them and they agreed to put Miss Kat on their "waiting list". I still haven't heard back from them yet.

BUT, I found another option! We are even lucky enough that it is local! The program is called SoundBeginnings. It is up north, two hours away, where Miss Kat's audiologist is. We went up and visited and we decided it was a great fit. Miss Kat will be getting pull out AVT, 4 times a week with a certified AV therapist and has two really great Teachers of the Deaf. The summer session is 6 full weeks!

I really liked the program. I love that they sing and play with music! This is something new that Miss Kat likes now, post CI. She has always liked music, but now she loves it. They sang "Twinkle Twinkle" and played with "sticks"....turns out Miss Kat has pretty good rhythm! We haven't really incorporated a lot of music into her life, but now we are going to start!

Also, the program has two different classes (one older, one younger) and Miss Kat's oral language functioning is right in between the two. She will be able to work on her expressive language in the younger class, and be a good model for the other kids, but the older class will challenger her and pull her up. I think it is a great thing.

So, barring any world event, Miss Kat and Momma will be spending June 22-July 30 away from home!