Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I hate....and choices

I hate that "philosophy" is more important than educating my child.
I hate that while it is supposed to be an INDIVIDUAL education plan, the only thing that is individual is her goals.
I hate that no one WANTS to think outside the box.
I hate that if your child is beyond 0-4, you can't get good services for spoken language.
I hate that I feel like I will be disappointing my Deaf friends if Miss Kat goes to the oral class.
I hate that we don't have professionals who want a bilingual-bimodal child.
I hate that now that she is learning spoken language everyone think that we should stop ASL.
I hate that Deaf people have taught me that oral is a dirty word.
I hate that I have to deal with Miss Kat learning to read on top of all this other garbage.
I hate that I can't see the future, and know what she would want.
I hate that I live in constant fear of making the wrong choice.
I hate that I believe that there really is one right choice and one wrong.
I hate that I am afraid that of Miss Kat changes schools, she will lose all her Deaf friends.
I hate that I am afraid that my own daughter will hate and resent me when she grows up.

Why do I have to live in all this fear? Why can't my daughter be Deaf AND hear? Why can't she grow up with BOTH? Why can't we emphasis one language sometimes, and the other at other times?

You know what? We can. Yes, right now there is a short window of opportunity for Miss Kat to get the greatest benefit from her CI. We need to place her with professionals that understand and can facilitate spoken language development in a deaf child with a CI. We have been EXTREMELY focused on ASL for the last 5 years, but our focus is going to need to change, in the short term. But, I REFUSE to be bullied about it. I know my daughter, and I know that this is in her best interest. I know that there is going to be some "discomfort" with this choice in our Deaf community, but Miss Kat is still Deaf, and she will still need her community. I hope that people will not punish Miss Kat for our choices. We love the Deaf Community, and the wonderful people we have met in it.

We are not choosing to "ban" ASL, or trying to make Miss Kat "hearing". We are giving her the opportunity to work on the other language. She will forever sign, and so will we, but it looks like, this fall, Miss Kat will be heading to the oral class.


Dianrez said...

Nothing is irreversible in childhood education...you'll see many Deaf adults today who went to oral schools and received some to substantial benefit. Give it a try as one of many ongoing options.

Don't worry too much, and see that there's plenty of comics and Little Golden Books in her surroundings. It's not a one or the other situation since kiddies are sponges and soak up what they will. Just be a mommy and enjoy.

melissa said...

Is she not doing a split placemetn?

Anonymous said...

Ignore politics and just be bilingual and stay balanced.

I am profoundly Deaf ASL primary signer with a hoh kid who is having the best of both worlds.

I assure you that in about 5 years from now, you will see that you and your family are doing everything just fine, you will have many more Deaf with success stories telling hardliners to shut up.

Shel said...

I don't think it's an either/OR situation. Spoken language can be used in one context, and ASL in another context...as long as you don't cut off one language, even for a short period of time.

I can see you're feeling confused and scared, and frustrated. I don't blame you. Anecdotal information has come up that when a child has ASL, his or her speech will improve. So, don't let anyone tell you that you cannot use ASL with your little girl or that ASL would impair her speech.

Make sure that Miss Kat reads A LOT... being a bookworm will be an asset. Make sure that she develops strong literacy skills in English and ASL.

Some people focus on oral skills to the exclusion of literacy in either language. Even though you and I haven't always seen eye to eye on everything, I am confident that you will ensure that Kat won't fall through the cracks.

Like Dianrez says, just be a mommy and enjoy your baby.

Michelle said...

Don't be so hard on yourself... I think you are doing an amazing job with your daughter! I love your passion to give her the best of both worlds. I totally agree with Dianez too. Just be a mommy and enjoy. The time goes by too fast, and your daughter is going to be a huge success with all the tools you've given her and continue to give her. The cool thing is that you could pretty much point her in any direction right now and she'd do well because of all her experiences (that YOU gave her. :-)

Karen Mayes said...


I just let my children to do whatever they want, especially on the communication part. My son is a strong aural deaf person, all his life. My daughter is both aural and visual in communication, so she swings between ASL and SimCom (I don't believe in tell anyone that it's wrong... as long as it fits a child's need, he/she will succeed with the parental involvement.) Just as long as my children are thriving in academic settings... my son is in honors English class and Advanced Math class in the local middle school, and has NO help... full time mainstreamed, all general educatoin classes... is taking Spanish as well. Same goes for my daughter.

All I can say is follow your child's lead. ;o)

kim said...

Sounds like you've had a rough day. You know your child better than anyone. Talk with her, then go with your gut instincts. Yeah-- you might make a mistake but kids are incredibly resilient and forgiving. She's going to turn out just fine. REALLY! Just do what you think is right, then step back and assess. Don't worry about the future. Be in the moment --have fun-- and the future will take care of itself.

Joy said...

I really wish you were living in Massachusetts. I adore The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham. They are one of the few places that really get it. Kids need language, whatever language is right for the kids at the time. They actually support CI kids in both languages. Want to move?

Hugs to you mama, I've been reading about you and Kat for a while now. I really wish there were better options.

Marny in Maryland said...

Melissa --

You are doing great! The best thing you can do as a Mom is make the choices that you think will both allow Miss Kat to be happy and thriving now and also allow her to have the maximum possible choices in the future. She has a very strong ASL foundation. That will always be there for her. This is a great opportunity to build her spoken language foundation so that she has both for the future.

There are so many people in Deaf education (on both "sides" of the debate) with so much baggage from the past. They bring feelings and animosities from another era that are really not relevant to the lives and education of Deaf children today. Oral education for children with CIs who have excellent access to sound is VERY different from the "bad old days" of trying to teach spoken language to kids who couldn't hear it. It's understandable why soem Deaf adults are angry about their own school experiences and eager to "protect" today's kids from that, but unfortunate that they can't see how different it can be now. If your Deaf friends let their biases and politics prevent them from seeing adn respecting that you are doing what you believe is best for your daughter (not for "Deaf culture," but for Miss Kat, as is your job), they are not really your friends.

hang in there!


Anonymous said...

Sounds as if you would benefit from joining an adjustment to disability group for parents. You have far too much hate and a need for absolute control.

Miss Kat's Parents said...

Ummm, "need for control"? I don't "need to control" anything, but it is my job to make sure my daughter's needs are met.

Anonymous said...

You are obsessive in your need to control. It is evident in your many statements. Just because you don't recognize it in yourself doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In fact, your not recognizing it is a fundamental part of the problem. You are doing your daughter no favors by continuing in such behavior and attitudes. It has absolutely nothing to do with getting her needs met, but everything to do with getting your needs met through her.

Miss Kat's Parents said...

I love when people who don't even have to guts to leave their name, feel like they know me well enough to judge me as a parent.

Yes, I am proactive in my child's life and education. That is how she got to the wonderful level of language she has now, because we went out and learned ASL. We made sure she was around other Deaf kids and we worked our asses off to learn and expose her to ASL.

Now, she is learning spoken language, so we are being active in this learning process as well.

I have no doubt that if Miss Kat had never received a CI, this anonymous person would be patting me on the back as a great mother and applauding me for being one of the few hearing parents who "gets" it.

The single most important element for a child's success in school has been shown time and again, through research, to be INVOLVED PARENTS!

So, if you don't mind, anonymASS, I will not be following your advice to ignore my child's education.

Anonymous said...

There it is. All about you and what you have done. This is not about you, it is about addressing your child's needs. You are making it all about you in a misguided attempt to assuage your unpleasant feelings over having given birth to a "disabled child". Your obsessiveness is all about making you feel better, not about what is most beneficial for your child. Your most recent post alone screams the truth of the matter.

This doesn't have anything to do with implantation or no implantation. It has to do with your obsessiveness, your inability to decide on a course of action and follow through with any effectiveness, and with your utter confusion.

No one recommended that you ignore your child's educational or communication needs. In fact, the recommendation is that you deal with your own issues so that you will be able to effectively deal with your child's educational and communication needs. As long as you are obsessed about what "you do" and what "you have done", you are incapable of dealing with the reality of the situation. You are wasting precious time enjoying being a mother because you are so obsessed with "fixing" everything. You seriously need to deal with your own issues.

B.BarNavi said...


There was nothing about that wordspew that was not incorrect. We deal with child development here, not baseless accusations.