Today was another learning experience.
First, we are turning up Miss Kat’s hearing aid. She could be getting better gain. I have been asking about this for awhile, but have been pooh-poohed since she now has the CI. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that the audiologist will let us borrow a loaner aid. It would be an Oticon Sumo. It is the most powerful aid on the market right now. The audiologist is actually worried that since she can hear at 250 Hz, it might be too powerful!
Second, we discovered that Miss Kat can talk on the phone! She used the handset on the landline phone in our apartment and did pretty well but then we discovered the speakerphone feature and she is doing amazing with it. She can understand almost everything Daddy says, plus she is talking a ton to him, also. (I have to translate some, though)
We also had a class about bilingualism. It was focused on learning two spoken languages but I was able to apply many of the points to Miss Kat’s bimodal/bilingualism. The biggest key I learned was that research shows that the child needs immersion in each language for at least 35 hours per week. They have found that 35 hours is the magic number for fluency in the language. I am hoping that this information and research will help us with the schools back home. We feel like access to BOTH languages is the key and now I have research that shows a definitive number that we need to aim for. 40 minutes of spoken language a week just doesn’t cut it!
I also got a few moments with Miss Kat’s teacher. She thinks we are doing all the right things. She was impressed that Miss Kat could ID “no voice” in the Ling sounds. I also spoke to the director and she thinks we are balancing things very well. I hope so…
Tomorrow I have an appointment to see the counselor… probably because I wrote on the paper that I was worried that oral education would ruin her life. (Go figure!)
I’m also going to meet with Miss Kat’s SLT. I am going to ask her if she thinks Miss Kat is in the right classroom. I worry because none of the other kids seem to have any language. Miss Kat is telling me that none of the other kids talk to her (just the teachers) and I have noticed that as well. The other kids just sit there. They aren’t able to communicate yet. But I worry that if she is in the higher level class, she will end up getting left behind. I haven’t seen very much of that class, but the kids seem to be functioning at a much higher level, so I worry that it would be too difficult for her, or that the kids wouldn’t understand her. So, tomorrow I will ask the SLT her opinion.Also, I hate that they make Miss Kat lay down at nap time. She hasn’t napped in two years! An hour and a half of doing nothing, in the dark? Come on, she’s six! I sent her books and things, but I worry that she isn’t doing them, but that she is sitting alone on that stupid mat. I hope not. I’ll ask about that tomorrow, too.