Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Saturday, April 30, 2011

ASL= CIs off?

Someone asked me in the comment section of a previous post if, when we take Miss Kat to a Deaf event, we took her implants off.

Answer- No, we never do. Why would we?

That seems like a very odd question to me. Why would she need to have her implants off to communicate in ASL? She is deaf with the implants off AND with them on. What benefit would there be to taking the processors off?

Is there something I am missing?

**Edited to add: When we are at a Deaf community event, I do like her to wear her CIs, not just for the linguistic and sound awareness opportunities (which is a major reason, no doubt) but also because I see it as a chance to be an ambassadors for hearing parents who choose implants for their children. I can show them that we parents are responsible, loving people who choose implants not because we hate deafness or don't accept our children, but that we want to provide additional opportunities and avenues of learning. Plus, they can also see that kids with CIs can listen and speak AND use ASL.

So, again, I see no reason at all NOT to wear the processors. (It's not like if she doesn't wear them it somehow erases the fact that she has the internals in her and that she prefers to listen and speak.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Deaf "catch-22"

So, I was at the library yesterday and I was walking by the "Parenting" section and I saw this book: The Young Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child

Of course I was intrigued, so I checked it out.

Now, I'm a little fed up.

I am reading the chapter on "The Deaf child in the Family" and they have the obligatory interviews with Deaf college students. The kids say the same thing they always say "I was left out", "I hated going to family events", "I never understood what was being said", but here's the kicker, most of these families used ASL! The kids and the families signed and they had the exact same complaints that the oral kids had.

Well, where the heck does that leave us, the parents?? So, I can work my butt off to learn ASL, provide an ASL home environment and school, but because I can't force her grandparents and cousins to learn sign, she is going to resent me? Fabulous.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

IEP goals

So, I am finally getting around to blogging about Miss Kat's new IEP at her oral school.

Like I said in a previous post, this is the first time I feel like Miss Kat has had a comprehensive, appropriate IEP since....well, ever! They are addressing ALL areas of her education that are being impacted by her hearing loss (and her associated language delay) and even a few in which she is doing fine. It is such a comfort to not have to fight against low expectations any more!

  • Annual Goal #1- Expressive Language- To use a variety of six word sentences that include nouns, verb, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions and questions. (The goal is then broken down into 5 benchmarks that include the particular noun modifiers, pronouns, prepositions, verbs and questions using the TAG language assessments tools.)
  • Annual Goal #2- Pragmatics- To improve Miss Kat's pragmatic language in social situations and in conversation to 80% accuracy. (The goal also includes 8 benchmarks, including one about learning the names of the other students and using them to engage the kids and initiate play with them, and she is CLEARLY doing that!! She is so much more aware of names, including characters in movies, restaurants and even me and Daddy! This is another example of something that we knew was a problem at the other school, but nothing was changing...sometimes I feel like this school is actually using magic!)
  • Annual Goal #3- Written Language- To improve Miss Kat's written language to 80% accuracy. (The goal includes 5 benchmarks to help Miss Kat learn to use written language independently. Written language was never a consideration in any of Miss Kat's previous IEPs, which is ridiculous since written language is the expressive component of literacy.)
  • Annual Goal #4- Speech-Voice Quality- Miss Kat will improve her overall voice quality. (The benchmarks include using appropriate durational patterns in connected speech, syllable stress, pitch variation and overall voice quality in sentences.)
  • Annual Goal #5- Speech-Articulation- Miss Kat will improve her articulation skills with 80% accuracy. (Miss Kat's artic goals include final sounds, multi-syllabic words and correcting her own speech through listening.)
  • Annual Goal #6- Auditory- To improve Miss Kat's auditory perception of speech with 80% accuracy. (Her benchmarks include open and closed set discrimination and improving her auditory memory but also safety environmental sounds such as a fire alarm...we would have never thought ourselves, but isn't that important!)
  • Annual Goal #7- Phonics- To improve Miss Kat's phonics skills to 80% accuracy. (This goal is about sounding out words, the next goal is a little different, but related.)
  • Annual Goal #8- Phonemic Awareness- To improve Miss Kat's phonemic awareness skills to 70% accuracy. (Ok, so the difference between phonics and phonemic awareness has always been a sticky subject so here is a good explanation: Phonics is the method of teaching beginning readers to connect the sounds of spoken language with letters or a group of letters and yes, part of phonics instruction involves the teaching of children to blend the sounds of letters together to form words (technically referred to as decoding skills). Phonics instruction typically starts with letters first and children are taught the sounds that those letters "stand for" or "make".  It is NOT the same thing as phonological awareness. The terms are not interchangeable. Phonological Awareness is the awareness of sounds only! It is void of print. No letters are introduced, no sound to symbol correspondence is taught.Phonics involves the eyes AND ears. Phonological awareness involves just the ears. You can have phonological awareness without phonics but you cannot have phonics without phonological awareness.Phonological awareness skills are prerequisite skills for phonics! So, Miss Kat will be working with rhyming, and other phonemic awareness goals.)
  • Annual Goal # 9- Vocabulary- Miss Kat will identify sight vocabulary words in stories read, high frequency vocabulary words in stories read, and (her individual) vocabulary words in stories.
  • Annual Goal #10- Reading Comprehension- To improve Miss Kat's reading comprehension to 80% accuracy. (Her benchmarks include identifying characters in a story, retelling a story, answer oral questions using cause and effect, making inferences, and drawing conclusions. This is all in stories that she is reading herself, whereas the goal above was in stories being read TO her.)
  • Annual Goal #11- Math- To improve Miss Kat's grade appropriate math skills. (This goal also includes a benchmark about the vocabulary and language of math, which is something she has struggled with. She does fine with the numbers, but she didn't understand any of the language involved such as "add", "subtract", "minus", "equal", "greater than", etc.
  • Annual Goal #12- Science and Social Studies- To expand Miss Kat's knowledge of science and social studies at grade appropriate levels. (This is also about expanding her vocabulary and language within these academic areas using typical curriculum.)
Not too shabby, right?!

I am so impressed with the school, the professionals and how much progress Miss Kat has made in just the couple months we have been here. It is really amazing. I finally feel the weight of "not knowing" being lifted. I DO know now. I know that she is making progress, I can see that her language is growing like crazy, and I know that she is learning to read. I know that she is going to be amazingly successful!