Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another Mom's question...

I received this comment from another mom and wanted to share it and ask for feedback as well:

Dear Miss Kat's Mom,

We are in a similar situation, but the opposite. My 7 year old daughter is an ASL user. We have no local services for deaf children, because our area is rural. My daughter is mainstreamed with an interpreter and has never even met another child with hearing aids. My daughter's language is delayed, I think because she can only learn from the interpreter, and she struggles socially as well. We are considering moving to so she can attend California School for the Deaf, but we would be leaving family and home as well. Do we trade what we have to give her more?



Dianrez said...

That's a difficult question to answer. I'm looking ahead to the future when your child is a teenager. As a person from a small town with no exposure to other people like herself, she may feel out of place when she tries to join her peers.

There are Deaf adults in similar situations who are "isolates"...they never leave their home village and live like John Singer in the book "The heart is a lonely hunter". Most don't end up like the character, but the situation is common and painful.

Others leave the small village and go to Gallaudet or another college where they meet a few other Deaf people but become latecomers who have a lot to catch up. The older one is, the more difficult it is.

I thank my parents who moved to another state so I could attend a school for the deaf after having been mainstreamed to the sixth grade. I wish they had done it earlier, but that was a definite turning point for the better.

There were other factors as well...my father found more opportunity available in his line of work, my mother began a career path that began as a saleslady and ended as bursar of a major university. It isn't always just about the deaf child.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that moving the family or sending a child to boarding school is ever easy, but people do it for many different reasons. Moving the family or sending a child to boarding school so a child can have a better chance to succeed is one of them.

Like this mom, I am concerned about language delay. I, too, would want to increase opportunities for the child and family to interact with adults and children who use ASL.

In addition to thinking about staying put, moving the family, or sending the child to boarding school, think about increasing opportunities for ASL interaction and networking. Examples include attending ASDC family conferences and events at your state's school for the deaf to help you network with ASL families and children. Stay connected with ASL adults and children through Internet video communication. Moving to a new place or sending your child to boarding school where you already know someone is easier than when you know no one.

Food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Is any of her classmates learning ASL through her? Her child should teach at least few of her hearing friend how to sign. Does she have speech therapy? She'll need that if she is wearing Hearing aids. I wore hearing aids (I'm profoundly deaf) and went to public school, but I didn't have ASL. I didn't have any friends either from K-4th until I transferred to another public school and then I had friends who accept as I am.

Anonymous said...

The mother should go to a local deaf social club. that should help some even if it is once a month.

Anne Marie said...

I totally understand the dilemma. It is so rare to have that kind of family life you have. I have a suggestion, how about if you find a young, educated Deaf ASL nanny? Someone who your family will feel comfortable to welcome for a free room, eat together every night for dinner and Sunday brunch.

Second, ask for interpreters those who are truly ASL fluent. Those who are good CODA signers from ASL signing families. That will make difference. Honest.

This would be best if you guys wish to stay where you live.

If I were you considering Katie's many years growing up much on her own..and if cochlear implantation is not working too good, I would move if it will be possible. I would try to move to a closest good Deaf school that offers dual language.

Not easy. I appreciate you sharing your situation with us.

Anonymous said...

Move. It is a terribly difficult decision and not a fair one at all. After working with deaf kids in the school system who are not at grade level in written English, and interpreting for deaf adults whose early language experience was deprived, one thing I learned is that if I ever had a deaf kid, I would move to where the best possible early intervention, the largest deaf, signing community and the widest range of educational options would be, even if I had to be on social assistance for a while. Easy for me to say, hard to do.

Anonymous said...

We moved so our daughter could attend a Deaf School. It was the best decision not just for her, but for our entire family. Not only did our daughter totally blossom in language that first year, but in friendship too. Our family was supported throughout all the years she attended the Deaf School by many wonderful Deaf mentors and teachers. Please feel free to contact me at asdctami@aol.com.

Anonymous said...

It is very hard choice, living nearer to family makes most people feel more comfortable than living far away from them (backup, support, someone to talk to, etc). I think child is more important than living near the family, just my opinion because my parents picked to stay near their family and I suffered the mainstream school so badly and so when they got 2nd child they eventually decided to move away for her but it was too late for me.

AliciaD said...

Similar to what I said on your last post - in this case I would consider moving since my child's education and welfare would be at stake. Living an environment where her needs are not being met academically or socially plus there are no services and no other d/Deaf individuals is not good for her both now and in the long run.

Anonymous said...

I saw your blog up on Deafread about testing.. testing and when I went to click it, it said no blog existed. :( I was really hoping to read this blog too.