Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Science Fair

Today was Miss Kat's first science fair. For her experiment she wanted to change the color of carnations. Her hypothesis was that it wouldn't work. For her process, she had a control flower, and one with paint, food coloring,  egg dye, and used magic on the last one. She'll tell you all about it:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Danny Boy

This evening we played this video clip for Miss Kat.

She thought it was hilarious (though when Beeker hit the high note, it seemed to be a little uncomfortable). So, to explain the joke, I then played this clip

We made it 33 seconds before she burst into tears! She said that the song was too beautiful and sad! I was thunderstruck! Talk about musical appreciation! Wow...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Miss Kat's Thoughts on AFA

AFA crossed the line, in my opinion, during their protest at EDHI last week. They picketed at  the local schools. I believe this is inappropriate for many reasons. The first is that they were being aggressive. They were not expected at the schools. If they had made arrangements to visit the schools, they would have been welcomed. I know that because members of DBC had recently toured CID and expressed to me how impressed they were by the school and the kids. Second, at Moog, (you can see it in the video) they approached the kids. It is inappropriate to approach other people's children REGARDLESS of your hearing status! And lastly, this is one sure-fire way to make sure that parents run as far from the Deaf community as possible. You are showing that you are not welcoming, that you are angry, that you do not support our choices for our children. Parents from Miss Kat's school always ask us about how we are treated in the Deaf community and I have always been very open. I have said that in real life, the Deaf community has always been welcoming and supportive. That we are never had them be rude or say negative things about our choices for Miss Kat. (Unfortunately, the same can not be said for online.) But, this is apparently isn't the case for everyone. These people are seeking out opportunities to judge parents for their choices. Instead of being open and supportive, they are protesting against schools that these parents have lovingly chosen as being the best place for their child to learn and thrive, without bothering to ask why. Again, this is the best way to make sure that parents NEVER choose to expose their children to the Deaf community.

So, Miss Kat told me that she saw the protesters outside her school. She said that she asked her teacher why they were so mad. (She said that her teacher said she didn't know.) Miss Kat also said that her principal was scared. (How sad.) And Miss Kat's conclusion was that the protesters were jealous, that they wanted more kids to go to their school instead of her's. She was sad for them.

Here is a great blog from another mother of a child from one of the local schools. She goes over the issues beautifully and I have nothing more to add to it!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My report from EDHI (part one of many!)

First of all, I had a great time!!! I am so glad that I had the privilege to attend the conference. I learned so much, met some great people, and got to network some for Hands & Voices!

The first thing I learned was in the opening plenary session. It was by ChristineYoshinaga-Itano. The session about sharing the data from some longitudinal studies. It reviewed standardized testing and language of deaf and hard of hearing kids. The data shows some really great things!  The first was from Colorado. They followed kids from 3rd to 12th grade. The goal was ONE YEARS GROWTH IN ONE YEARS TIME. And 40% of kids made just that, and actually, 40.8% made GREATER than that! So, that means that over 80% of kids in Colorado are making at least adequate, age and grade level appropriate progress. Woo Hoo!

She also discussed language  measures and outcomes. These were assessments given in 8 different states to over 250 kids. They looked at expressive language, comprehension of complex language, and vocabulary. It was more great news! Almost 80% of deaf and hard of hearing kids scored in the normal range for expressive language, 75% for comprehension of complex language, and almost 60% for vocabulary. (Vocabulary is often  the weakest point, because deaf kids struggle to pick up new words incidentally.)

I was really impressed with this information. That means that if we get our kiddos age appropriate with their language, and then continue to have one years growth in one year, we will have deaf students graduating with language and literacy skills commiserate with their hearing peers...which is, of course the goal!

And  before people go crazy asking the question, this study included both ASL and spoken language users. There were several Deaf schools that were study sites, and some public school programs.

I loved getting some positive news! It turns out that this generation of deaf kids are actually doing very well!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am lucky enough to be attending the national EHDI conference this year, and I am VERY excited. There are so many interesting and informative sessions that I had trouble narrowing down which to attend.

Unfortunately, there are going to be some protests outside. That disappoints me. If those protesters had taken the time to actually investigate the conference, they would see that there are MANY pro-ASL, pro-bilingualism sessions. Also, if these people had ATTENDED the conference, they would have the opportunity to give feedback and help IMPROVE the system, rather than just railing against it. This kind of waste and anger makes me sad. I wish that we could work together to improve the world for our kids instead of standing outside and yelling at people.