Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Alright, so we are all settled in and everything is going great! Miss Kat loves her school, and she is doing very well. They group kids by their language and academic levels, rather than strictly by grade. It is a wonderful system and Miss Kat is already showing great progress. It is also very very clear that this school has much higher standards and expectations for the children both in language and in academics...we couldn't be happier!

It has been a huge burden lifted from us, knowing that Miss Kat's education is finally in the hands of excellent professionals. In fact, I don't even know what to do with myself! I can't believe that I don't have to fight anymore! I know that she is getting appropriate services, by qualified people, who actually understand and can work with a deaf child with cochlear implants. I don't have to worry whether or not her CI is on the right program (yeah, that was an actual issue with that at the old oral school. Can you believe that? What kind of  oral program can't work a hearing device?) I know that she is working for two hours a day just on literacy, that she is getting speech and language therapy...it's amazing. You know what the school wants me to do? BE A MOM, not a therapist! It's great!

Anyway, back to the point of my post.....we are having some trouble, but this time it is at church, not at school. As I have mentioned, we have attended a Deaf church since Miss Kat was around 2. Well, here, it isn't quite the same (good bye Utah, hello mission field!) We actually ARE still in the ward that serves the Deaf community (and that is just by "accident"...or someone elses plan!) but currently there are no Deaf people other than Miss Kat. So, we walked into the meeting and they had the "interpreter" ready for us. She did her thing, and Miss Kat followed along...for about 20 minutes, and then she started to color and do other things. (Uh, she is 7!) So, the "interpreter" decided to go and sit down....yep, no more interpreting. Then, when it was time for Miss Kat to go to class, she told me she was busy and that I should go with Miss Kat....

So, today I received a call from this "interpreter" again. She said she was sorry that we hadn't had the chance to formally talk on Sunday, and if there was anything that she could do for us. I said yes. I told her that I thought that Miss Kat could use the services of an interpreter during the children's classes. I said that they have lessons and sing songs and that I felt like she needed support during that time. She said, "yeah, I'm not going to do that.." In fact, she AGAIN asked me to go in, when I said that I didn't feel comfortable interpreting that meeting (church ASL and music are very different from the everyday conversational ASL that I use) she suggested that I just go with Miss Kat and have her "lipread" me.....SIGH! Until now I had always felt like church had been a place that was super supportive and understanding of Miss Kat's deafness and accommodated her and been a "Deaf place". If this IS the Deaf church, what on earth would it be like if we had gone to the hearing one???


Lucky Day said...

It would have been about the same. In "the mission field" the deaf folks are all different religions, so you don't get a critical mass to have a congregation.

It could possibly have been better in that you might have run into an enthusiastic teen or someone who knew ASL who was more wiling. Or they wouldn't have had the skills you hoped for and you'd be interpreting anyway.

We lucked out and had a SLP/Audiology student in our ward who interpreted for our son during his 4th year. Then it was just us for 1 year and we commuted 90 minutes for church so we could get him to the place that had 6 deaf families. Then we moved to that community.

The church is still true. The people are still good people. They just have their own priorities. It's really hard to not feel angry. I know. That's why God sent her to you.

Valhallian said...

if that is the "deaf church", then aren't there any other deaf children at that "deaf church"?

Karen Mayes said...

Ahhh... Valhallian. Contrary to the belief, the high majority of deaf couples have hearing children. So we have more CODAs than deaf children.

Anonymous said...

No wonder there's no deaf people. Their treatment is not very deaf friendly but I don't think this is a deaf church. This is too much like a hearing church with deaf service (for adults) They only interpret sermons and I don't think they really want to miss the sermon. They are going to church as you are. Its not like they work there.

Dianrez said...

I had concerns too while my kids were growing up. Although I am a member of a church, I looked around for one that would have a critical mass of both Deaf adults and Deaf children, and still be within the general definition of Protestantism, and still embrace my Hearing children.

No luck. Every church, even the Catholic ones, either lacked the critical mass or separated children from adults in time so that it would have taken two trips, or required planning to be there for three to four hours with coverage for the kids while adults are in services. Yes, this is an area with a high concentration of Deaf people.

The answer seems to be nondenominational services, perhaps with collaboration of several churches taking turns, and fine-tuning it either at home or adult meetings later in the week. It's too late for my family, but a good organizer could convince some clergymen.

Patty Keen said...

I wonder if the interpreter that contacted you knew she was overstepping her boundaries? This was the first thing that popped in my mind.

Granted Miss Kat is a small child and can't be forced to pay attention all the time. Attention spans are short when children are young hence the need for activities to keep their attention to the task.

It doesn't matter which religion we are from, we all do experience being isolated at church.

Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

People didn't always understand why we compromise our faith for a fuul deaf church (with a deaf pastor/preacher and all that) . This is usually why.

Lucky Day said...

Some things to consider are that you moved to a place that will give her a very well rounded oral education. I think the center is awesome, but it's not Deaf. So you're going to have even less Deaf people in a town like that because Deaf people aren't going to feel comfortable being Deaf there.

Just like Jax is a much bigger city but the Deaf group is in St. Augustine.

Also, all the reasons you yourself feel uncomfortable interpreting for Kat in Primary are probably the same for the interpreter. Is she someone you've hired or is it her church assignment? With a church assignment, sure they should to .... but people do what they can or just want to.