Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Monday, June 29, 2009

John Tracy Clinic Summer Session Part Three


Today was another great day of learning.

Our days start in the classroom with our little ones. We spend 45 minutes practicing the things we have been learning and just playing in the classroom. Yesterday we had talked about the power of pausing. By allowing a few seconds, we give the give the kids an opportunity to process what we are saying and give an appropriate response. So, today in class, when we did Ring-Around-the-Rosie, we all paused and waited for the kids…”We all fall…” and Miss Kat said “Down!” Then we do the second verse, “We all stand…” and again I hear Miss Kat’s little voice “Up!” She was the first and only kiddo to get it! Yay, Miss Kat!

The first class for the parents today was on receptive language. We got to hear from a parent with an older child who has already graduated from the John Tracy Clinic years earlier. The two most important points she made was that we need to see our speech as a play by play description of what is happening and what we are doing. The other was that we need to use language from whole to part. Start big and then smaller. Start with big picture and then add details. We also had the chance to watch videos from the children in our group. They showed how the therapists are working with the children and gave us tips about how to keep them interested and motivated.

We talked about a study that was done with some hearing families. The study compared “talkative families” versus the contrary. It said that the talkative families’ vocabulary grew faster and had higher IQs. It also showed that those families spoke 30 million different words in the three years versus only ten million for the non-talkative families. Again, the key to everything is TALK, TALK, TALK.

Our last class was about how we hear. A pair of audiologists went through the ear, piece by piece, and explain how everything works together to let us hear. It was very detailed (who knew the part we normally call “the ear” is named the pina?). I asked a question about conductive loss (since the vast majority of our kids have sensory-neural hearing losses it doesn’t come up a lot). To me, it seems like it would be much easier to deal with. The cochlea and nerves and hair cells are all functioning well, so if you can get the sound to the right place, wouldn’t it “fix” the loss? Now we all know that CIs and hearing aids don’t give our kids normal hearing, they aren’t like glasses for our ears, they just provide access to sound, but if all the other hearing organs are working properly, wouldn’t the sound that gets to the brain be normal? The audiologists said that they can NEVER say that a child with a hearing loss will have normal hearing (and that we should fire ANY audiologist who says that they can), but that a conductive hearing loss is “less complicated” than a sensory-neural loss.

At the end of school, Miss Kat had a speech appointment and I got to go with her. We talked over my concerns about her, her services at home, etc. I told the SLT about my issues with our educational options and my horror with the speech services at school. After we talked for a while, we brought Miss Kat in and we played. The SLT would instruct me on how to interact with Miss Kat and how to elicit the best responses from her. The biggest thing they have been pushing (for me personally) is to expect more from Miss Kat. They said that she is using so many words and combinations that I need to expect her to do it. If she wants a glass of water, don’t give it to her for just voicing “water”, but tell her to say “I want a glass of water” and then wait for her to do it. And she can!

I am also working on speaking closer to her. It really does make a difference. Her pronunciation of words really improves if I am closer to her implant than if I am sitting across the table from her. I never realized that even a few inches could help that much.


Anonymous said...

You oughtta change from

"Miss Kat's Deaf journey"


"Miss Kat's CI-Speech Journey."

Lucas'Mommy said...

We're considering going to JTC next summer, so I really enjoyed reading about your experiences. It sounds like you're learning a lot and Miss Kat is doing REALLY well!

Karen putz said...

Yup, the talkative (and this means in any mode/method of communication) families are the ones that have kids that soar-- but an important thing to keep in mind is to make sure the kiddo understands what is being said at all times. Otherwise, it's all nonsense. :)

Anonymous said...

My mom might not agree with that, Karen Putz. She has always maintained that since I was her firstborn child, she talked to me nonstop when I was a baby and "poured out all her problems" to my infant ears. I doubt I understood any of that. But since I was born hearing and had a progressive hearing loss, maybe it did make a big difference. Not to brag, honest, but my vocabulary is bigger than anyone else's in the family (including mom's), bigger than almost anyone else's, including most hearing people, and I'm a walking dictionary and thesaurus. It's kind of embarrassing. I've gotten to the point where I just keep quiet about it since it doesn't particularly endear me to people. But my mom was and still is the biggest talker I know.


Great post - very informative! Thanks for all the great information!
I am a very quiet person and have really had to try to adjust myself for William's sake. Labeling everything was very difficult at first, but is becoming a way of life. Even the rest of the children are doing it! We're becoming "noisy family!"

leah said...

Thanks for posting your experiences with JTC! I'm so excited to go next year. I am so talkative (it's almost a disease) and it has definitely helped both my kids. Even Matt (who was speech delayed) had a huge receptive vocabulary because of my incessant need to explain everything.

How is Miss Kat handling the oral-only environment? And how does JTC respond to any signing? Nolan is extremely oral, but also signs a little... I was wondering how they responded to the child if the child started to sign during class.

Dianrez said...

That's good information you're getting, but one item concerned me.

It seems as if the program is telling parents that they should keep on modeling and correcting their child's speech.

Personally, I think that's likely to cause distancing between the parent and the child.

Frequently interrupting and correcting the child's speech when he is trying to talk important stuff with you is going to throw a serious wrench into the family relationship.

It tells him that you are not listening to the content, but analyzing his speech as he talks. Very off-putting and discouraging.

Modeling happens naturally in all communication and should be left alone. Never should it interrupt ANY communication.

Miss Kat's Parents said...


I had no idea that a CI made someone no longer Deaf. Thanks for the information. I will be sure to ignore it.