Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Back to normal

So, Miss Kat loves school again. I think our prior freak out was due to two separate issues. First, it's growth spurt time! Miss Kat is growing like a weed, and eating like a pig. Second, the 1st grade had it's Christmas program. It didn't go very well for Miss Kat (or for any of the deaf kids in the class). In the past, at the bi-bi school, the Christmas program has always been one of my favorite events of the year. They are super creative, and always have really funny skits, and the kids and parents really enjoy it. I cried from happiness every year. It always reminded me of what a perfect fit the school was and how much they understood the needs and personalities of the Deaf kids. This year was very different. I still cried, but for a totally different reason.

I hated the program. It was literally, nothing but the kids singing. Miss Kat couldn't follow any of it, and she was totally lost. She was a trooper, and she enjoyed standing on the stage, winking at me, and having me take pictures, but she didn't know a single word of any of the songs. None of the deaf kids did. It was horrible to watch. They had been working on these songs for weeks, no wonder she didn't like school! I wouldn't want to go to a place to try to learn 6 songs in Ndebele (a regional dialect of Zimbabwe) it would be overwhelming, frustrating, and in the end, completely futile. That must have been what Miss Kat was feeling too. I spoke to Miss Kat's teacher, and she felt the same way. She was very upset and cried during the program too. She knew that the kids weren't understanding, but the whole thing was out of her control. Maybe next year, I'll raise a fuss, and have Miss Kat excluded from things like this, it seems like an opportunity just to frustrate her, and waste time, not something I'm looking for!

So, on Friday, the last day of school before break, I went by the school and surprised Miss Kat. She was very excited to see me, but much more to show her Grammy around the school. She showed her the classroom, and taught her everything that she could. She is very happy again, and tells her teacher that she loves her. I'm so glad the crisis has past. But, we are still keeping our eyes open, and we are actually seeking out professional advice on how to make sure this time of transition of a positive one. We are trying to make sure that Miss Kat continues to know that we love her, we love that she is Deaf, and we love ASL and the Deaf community. We want her to know that we do NOT believe that she is "broken" or that she needed "fixed" by a cochlear implant. She will know that ASL is a beautiful language, equal in importance as English. She will know that we want her to be forever Deaf, and for her to celebrate that.

And on that note, I would like to thank my anonymous commenters for nothing! If you don't actually have advice, but instead want simply to spew your own dogma, write your own blog, don't comment here. I choose not to moderate my comments at all, but seriously, if you don't actually have something constructive to say, why are you commenting?


Anonymous said...

if miss kat's english is bad, it's your fault.

you wrote "it's" twice in your entry. both are wrong.

"it's" is wrong.
"its" is correct.

"its" without an apostrophe means a possessive form.

"it's" means a short form for
"it is" or "it has".

Miss Kat's Parents said...

Wow, so that explains everything! I made a spelling error, that explains why millions of deaf children have struggled with literacy for hundreds of years.

Oh yeah, wait, what does that have to do with anything I have posted about?? Where have I ever expressed concern about her mixing up the possessive vs. plural contractions in written form?

Does it make you feel like a big, smart person to troll around on a parent's blog looking for errors? You aren't even big enough to sign your name. Since replying to"anonymous" is too broad, when I address you, I will preface it with "Dear Douche Bag". (I use your first and last name to show you the awesome respect I have for you.)

AliciaD said...


Poor English among deaf students is mostly due to lack of language exposure and language models during the early years. That does not seem to be an issue with Miss Kat, seeing as her first language is ASL and she appears to be fluent at the age of 5, like she should be.

She also attended a bilingual school up until this year, so I would assume she has a fairly firm foundation in some of the basics, and her parents and ASL tutor will be able to bridge the two languages as she grows.

Her parents are creating their own path for her daughter, since no schools in their area offer the ideal environment for a bilingual CI Deaf child. Don't judge. And I'm saying that as a firm bilingual advocate :)

Vegan Knitting said...

Perhaps Anonymous should take the beam out of his comment before looking for the mote in the post. Not one capital letter in that whole nasty comment? Not even for Miss Kat's name? Yeesh!

Not even to mention how the apostrophe is unspoken, so Miss Kat doesn't need to worry about such grammar until she becomes a fluent writer.

Ben's Mom said...

My little Ben just received his first CI. We love that he is deaf because we love him. I want him to lean to sign and speak just as you are doing with Miss Kat. Now that Ben is almost a year old he picks up on signs quickly. We only sign key words (nouns mostly) Did you learn sign along with Miss Kat? Do you sign and speak English to her? How do I best teach him the two languages?
Thanks in advance. I am in awe of your strenght.

Tara said...

My heart goes out to you for this Christmas program! We have been very lucky in the fact that although my daughter attends an Oral School, the holiday program was shared with the deaf signing kids too so we had kids signing, singing, dancing, and an interpreter too! I'm so sorry your daughter's celebration wasn't as good this year!