Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What a star!!

What a week for Miss Kat. She has memorized a scene for her drama class (something that is extremely hard for her) and scored proficient of her 6th grade math test (up from 3rd grade at the beginning of the year)! She is also going to end the semester with straight A's. She has grown tremendously this year and has absolutely risen to the occasion of being in a mainstream school.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The beauty that is our life...

I am so proud of Miss Kat. She is doing beautifully in school, she had her first band concert (she plays guitar) and her drama teacher says that she has never seen a student with such an expressive face and voice. But most of all, I am proud of the faithful young woman she is becoming. She went to her room today and prepared our Family Home Evening lesson completely on her own. She read about Hannah and Samuel and taught us about faith. She also has been working diligently on her Personal Progress, and is always pushing us to attend the temple more. She is a shining star with a strong testimony, and I am so thankful to have her in our lives.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nothing left to say...

I so rarely blog anymore because I feel as though I have nothing left to say. Miss Kat is perfectly typical. She goes to school, she has friends, she loves Girl Scouts, she helped babysit today at church, she wants to know why more people didn't join the book club at school...Her hearing loss rarely comes up in more than a routine way.

"Did you switch your batteries?"
"Remember to synch your FM"
"If it is too noisy at the carnival, I'll ask them to speak up"
"I'll go see if they will turn on the captions for me"

Things like that.

School is going beautifully, Miss Kat is doing well. She really liked Health last semester, but also like Drama. I think she will love Family and Consumer Sciences! Social Studies has been the hardest class for her, there is a ton of vocabulary to remember, but she is beginning to bloom as a writer.

I did not see this as our life 10 years ago when we found out about her hearing loss, and I certainly couldn't imagine it 7 years ago when she got her first CI. Amazing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Learning Language

I remember sitting and watching one of Miss Kat's speech sessions just after her implant. She was working on discriminating between two fairly different sounding words. Then the therapist read a story that targeted one of the words. I saw that while she was gaining vocabulary, the therapist was having to teach one word at a time. In that moment, I was struck with the pure impossibility of teaching a child every word in the English language individually. It was an task that surely no one could do. There just simply wasn't enough time.

I was absolutely right, but I was also wrong. It is impossible to individually teach every word through therapy. But, I was missed was that because of her CIs, Miss Kat would NOT need to learn them that way. She would eventually be able to pick up language through context, brief explanations, conversation and reading. When these skills fell into place, her language exploded.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Update from the Mainstream

Miss Kat has officially been in her neighborhood school with supports for a full quarter. She is doing AMAZING! She has friends, she enjoys school, and her academics skills are really rising. Right now she has all A's except for one B (in Comm. Arts). We also heard from her reading teacher and they did her first Lexcile test. The mid-range for a 6th grader in the middle of the year is 800. Miss Kat is already at 879! While this transition has been a lot of work, and we were very worried, she is showing us what a star she is!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

5 years bilateral

This week was Miss Kat's 5 year anniversary of being bilateral. We had some brownies and retold the story of her second activation. I asked her what it sounded like when she was only wearing one ear, if they sounded any different? (She did have 18 months between them.) She described only that it was like the sound was being "sucked out" of that side of her head. I thought that was a very interesting description. Her ears have similar word discrimination scores and she really doesn't have a preference if one dies, so neither is really "stronger". I was just curious if she could hear a quality difference. Guess not.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Spontaneous Language at Summer School

Miss Kat is away for vacation right now, but I got her ESY end of term report in the mail today. It had a list of some spontaneous language that I just had to share.

"She was searching my ancestors." (During a class lesson of family history.)

"I want to talk about dinosaurs." (This whole summer has been about Jurassic World!)

"Like, I made a joke about it, like maybe he (t-rex) used his arms for sign language."

"What kind of dinosaur is the 'kongamato', so I can look for it in my books, because I can bring it to school." (She also believes in Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.)

"On Friday I was going to swim all day, but I found out I was really busy." (She would swim all day, every day if we let her.)

"I had millions of questions, but it was all blank."

"I don't think there won't be any mean people there."

And my personal favorite:

"I sound like my own mother!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fully Implantable by AB?

It looks like Advanced Bionics was granted a patent for a fully implantable CI system today. I am not much of a science gal, but I am going to look it over. For other curious folks, here is the link. I wonder how long it takes for a device like this to go from planning to actual human subjects? Right now, Miss Kat is not remotely interested in a fully implantable system (and I am not interested in her being part of the first generation to use a new technology) but perhaps in the future...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sitting and watching Kat take the CELF

She is truly amazing to me. The words she knows really blows my mind. She has done so well. All I can say is wow.

Monday, May 4, 2015

And now we have the IEP

While the meeting didn't go perfectly, and I may have offended the heck out of some professionals (not on purpose, but I think it happened nonetheless) we did manage to get every single thing we wanted! Miss Kat will be attending her neighborhood middle school this fall!

So, we ended up with five goals for the Teacher of the Deaf, who will be seeing Miss Kat every day for a full class period. She has an auditory goal, a non-fiction reading comprehension goal, a vocabulary goal (understanding and using content vocabulary), a written expression goal, and an expressive language goal. These goals are well crafted and I think they will absolutely help Miss Kat progress in the right way.

The thing that was far more sticky was Miss Kat and math. She is actually much further behind in math than any other area (partly because of her struggles with memory and partly because she just hasn't had the opportunity for really great instruction). Well, her school did not have a placement that was appropriate for Miss Kat in math. So, the school decided to pair her with a special education teacher and have math all by herself! We were stunned! She now has a tremendously high number of special education minutes because she has math every day and it is SPED minutes. So, she also has two math goals.

Her accommodations were everything we could ask for as well. Here is our list:

  • Home set of textbooks
  • Preferential Seating
  • Teacher Provided Notes
  • Extended Time for Tests
  • Test Read to Student (if desired)
  • Alternative Setting for Test (if desired)
  • Check Often for Understanding/Review (I have an interesting plan for this one!)
  • Closed Captioning for all media when available: if unavailable, student is to be given a script or written preview of information to be covered. If script is not available, student is to receive no penalty to grade. (I really like the way this is written!)
  • Written directions paired with all assignments given in class
Miss Kat's IEP is set and it looks great! We had our first "Meet the Teacher Night" just two days after the IEP! The school is so supportive and we love how involved everyone is! Miss Kat will be visiting again two more times this year (with the other rising 6th graders) and we are all looking forward to a great year!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The BIG meeting

is tomorrow afternoon. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Miss Kat deserves an appropriate placement and the serves to make her successful.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

FM Set-up

Since Miss Kat will be attending a public school in the fall, we had to go in yesterday, to the school district that oversees services for students with special needs, and have her evaluated for an FM. They have to prove that she needs one before they provide it.

So, they started with a simple bilateral check of her thresholds. She was at 15-20 db across the board. Very good! (On a side note, she heard the highest frequencies when I did not. That is a cause for a bit of concern. Miss Kat has been telling me that I need to get my hearing checked. Turn out, she might be right!)

Next they did single syllable words in quiet. Miss Kat scored a 94%. Then they piped in multi-talker babble (sound of people talking around her). They gave her another list of single syllable words with a 0 SNR. That means the words she was listening for were at the exact same volume as the background noise. Her score then dropped to 42%. That is a huge difference. Finally, they tested Miss Kat in the noise again, but this time they used an FM system. Her score went back up to 88%. That is PLENTY of justification for an FM!

On a quasi related note. Miss Kat just received her Roger Pen (for home)! It is the new FM system she will be using at home. We love it! She hears much better with it and we haven't had the kinds of problems that plagued us with her last FM (static, inference, disconnecting, etc.) She is always excited to use it, and we even took it to church. We love the group discussion setting. It is awesome!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Our Last Reading Evaluation

In the mail today came the results of Miss Kat's last reading evaluation at her oral school. They gave her the "Woodcock Johnson III- Tests of Achievement". There are five subtests and then a Broad Reading Score, a Basic Reading Skills score, and a Reading Comprehension score. I will discuss them all.

The first sub-test was "Letter-Word Identification". This test requires the student to identify letters and then to read and pronounce the words correctly. She did not have to know the meaning of the word. Miss Kat scored an 86, which is within the normal range.

The next section measures a student's ability to quickly read simple sentences and decide if a question is true or false. It is "Reading Fluency". The goal is to read as many sentences as possible in the three minute time limit. Miss Kat scored a 91, which is within the normal range. 

The next sub-test was "Passage Comprehension". This test requires a student to read a short passage and identify a missing key word. Miss Kat scored a 97, last year she scored a 74. This score shows significant progress and is within the normal range. 

The next test measured Miss Kat's ability to apply phonics skills to the pronunciation of unfamiliar words. They were non-sense words. This test is called "Word Attack". She scored a 91, which is within the normal range.

The last sub-test was "Reading Vocabulary". It measures skills in reading words and supplying an appropriate meaning. Miss Kat had to supply an antonym, a synonym, or an analogy. She received a score of 87, which is within the normal range.

The "Broad Reading" cluster is a comprehensive measure of reading achievement that includes reading decoding, reading speed, and ability to comprehend. Miss Kat scored an 89, which is within the normal range.

The "Basic Reading Skills" is a measure of sight vocab, phonics and structural analysis. Miss Kat received a score of 88, which is within the normal range. 

And lastly, in "Reading Comprehension", Miss Kat scored a 91, which is within the normal range.

Congratulations Miss Kat, you have officially caught up!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Saturday, February 7, 2015

"She's mainstreaming?! Aren't you so proud?"

Or excited? Or ecstatic? Or thrilled? Or pleased? Or overjoyed?

No, not really.

I am not looking forward to fighting for everything again. For Miss Kat having mountains of homework. I'm not excited about working with people who have no idea how to meet her needs, with people who don't think she needs her accommodations, that think it is "unfair" for her to get them. I am not looking forward to her being different. I am not thrilled that she will face the struggles of being the new kid, peer pressure, and everything else ugly that comes with middle school.

It is just to strange. People act like Miss Kat graduating is some kind of weight OFF my shoulders, like somehow now we have crossed a finish line. Instead, it is the very OPPOSITE. It is a huge burden, the START of the real battle, not the end.

I just don't get it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"I have two conditions...

conditions, I learned that word. From TV."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

In regards to talking to her Great-Grandfather

Miss Kat says:

""Old people can sometimes be interesting. They look boring, but their lives, when they were younger, they can talk about it and be interesting."