So after we got back from JTC, I couldn't face another month living in a dorm without Hubby (and therefore Daddy), so we changed the plans for the rest of the summer. Miss Kat is now going to Sound Beginnings only twice a week. We are driving the two hours each way and living happily at home. The drive is doable (Thanks Veda, if you could do it everyday, I can do it twice a week for my girl).
Sound Beginnings isn't JTC. I suppose it is a great school, and the kids are doing wonderfully, but it is just missing some of the things that I like about JTC so much. They don't sing very much. Also, at JTC, they had 2 aides in the classroom to help facilitate language at all times. For example, the kids are all sitting at the table facing the teacher.
Teacher: "Miss Kat, would you like a drink of apple juice?"
Miss Kat: looks around....
Aide: "Miss Kat, Teacher asked if you want a drink"
Miss Kat:"Yes. Juice"
Aide: "Oh, you want a drink of juice. Tell Teacher, you want a drink of apple juice"
Miss Kat: "Want drink apple juice"
JTC also went out of their way to make sure the kids were able to hear everything very well. They had a sound field for circle time, and they would position the kids so their better ear was always being spoken to. The music was played loud enough for everyone to hear, and they made sure to always repeat, repeat, repeat, and PAUSE for the responses. This class just seems to treat the kids like they are Hearing. Maybe it is because at JTC, our kids were considered "beginning listeners" and most of the kids here are headed to be mainstreamed next month. Maybe they are preparing them for the mainstream. That's great for them, but that's not really what Miss Kat needs! But the good news is that she is getting therapy from a cert. AVT, and the AVT is doing more testing, and giving me lots of things for doing at home.
On the home front, Miss Kat loves the song "Slippery Fish". We have to sing it at least twice a day. I think it is because she gets to pretend to burp at the end and say "'Cuse Me!" at the end. This song has lead to a sudden epidemic of belching in our home. Hubby says I can't be mad because she says "Excuse me" afterwards....I disagree.
We have an IEP very soon. We still have no idea what we are going to do for Miss Kat's placement. I do however have plenty of testing to prove that she needs spoken language. She is doing very well, and to place her in a voice-off, ASL only environment would NOT be the least restrictive environment. On the other hand, she is clearly a native ASL user, so an oral only placement would be just as restrictive. It's time for new ideas!
Also, our "SLP" sent me a note. I gave her a simple checklist about expressive and receptive spoken language. She wrote that she "was not able to fill it out" since it "dealt with language" and she "only works on speech". WELL, that is grossly inappropriate! She is a S*L*P, speech LANGUAGE pathologist. Why can't she work on or even assess language? That will be great ammunition for the meeting!
Miss Kat will need goals in:
Receptive spoken English
Expressive spoken English
Speech and articulation
And they need to show ONE YEAR'S MEASURABLE PROGRESS!
That should take awhile! And once we get all those goals, we will need to find (or make) a program that will provide an environment in which she will be able to meet those goals.