Monday, April 21, 2014

Achievement Testing

This year is the 4th time that Miss Kat's school has given her the end of the year testing. They use the Stanford Achievement Test. They do it in March every year and they administer the test based on the student's age. The test then gives a grade level equivalency for the student's performance. Because we do this every year, the school is able to not only gauge what level of instruction Miss Kat needs, but also track whether or not she is making yearly progress. We, of course, are hoping for greater than 1 year's progress in one year's time because we are trying to close the gap and have Miss Kat's language and academic level match those of children with typical hearing.

I am going to start by showing what Miss Kat scored the first time she was tested (after she had been at her school for 3 months) and what she scored this year. There are 9 subtests, so this might get confusing, but stay with me!

                                                                         2011                2014
Sounds and Letters (word study skills)          K.1                  3.1
Word Reading (reading vocabulary)               K.8                 3.5
Reading Comprehension                                 1.1                   3.3
Math Problem Solving                                      PK                  3.4
Language                                                          PK                  3.3
Spelling                                                             PK                  4.3
Science                                                            K.2                 3.0
Social Studies                                                  PK                  3.4
Listening                                                           K.2                  4.2

In 9 separate subtests Miss Kat made more than 1 year's progress in one year's time! In some areas she made up to 2+ years! (Last year she made greater than one year's worth of gain in 4 areas, and that is nothing to sneeze at!) Miss Kat is now within one year of her hearing peers! Her hard work and dedication is paying off! She is amazing!

(Of course much of this is due to her amazing school! We could not be more thankful for her teachers as well!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Today I received a happy email from Miss Kat's teacher. She said that she wanted to let us know that Miss Kat has moved up ANOTHER reading group! This is her 3rd grouping since we started at her oral school!! She is moving so fast! (She officially hit "within the normal range" in reading this year too!) They also said that we are going to be astonished by her achievement testing at the IEP!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Washington D.C.

About a month before this blog began, our family made a visit to D.C. We had the opportunity to see a pediatric neuropsychologist who specialized in working with Deaf children. We had Miss Kat tested for some personal reasons. This professional was the first person to recommend that we look into a CI for Miss Kat. She worked for Gallaudet University, was fluent in ASL (that is why we came to her, because she specialized in Deaf children and could give the tests in Miss Kat's first language). This month we returned to D.C. and it made me think about how much our lives have changed in the last 5 years.

We were able to take pictures in the same places and see how much our little girl has grown, but more than that, we had the pleasure of being able to see how much she has learned. Miss Kat is reading and is able to understand and communicate with everyone around her. We are able to go on tours, watch videos, talk with the other patrons and guides. We are able to explain the things we are seeing, share stories and experiences. It was amazing to be able to prepare for the trip by reading together, discussing history and then going to these memorials. We were able to use a shared language to learn and share together.

I am so thankful for this journey and the joy it has brought to our lives.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Our 1 month deal

Miss Kat is a bit messy. She has a toy room which she keeps pretty under control, but her bedroom is just a place where she gets dressed and sleeps, so she spends very little time in there. We made a deal (about a week ago) that if she cleaned it up, and kept it clean for a month, I would buy her a cool chair to put in there. Well, Saturday morning rolled around and it was now March. Miss Kat came to me and said "Its a new month, can I get my chair?" I smiled at her, very tricky girl! I asked, "Has it been a month?" "No (followed by a sign and a little frown)"

Good try though clever girl.

Friday, February 28, 2014


I am so proud of Kat tonight. She is in a Girl Scout troop with all hearing girls. Tonight they had a cookie booth at a local grocery store. She was amazing. She talked with the customers and helped them decide what cookies to pick. I even watched her "pitch" from a few aisles away. She said "These three are new this year. And these two are very popular." She was understood easily by the strangers and was able to understand them, even in the noisy supermarket. She doesn't need a go-between, she doesn't struggle with those around her, and she is a completely independent communicator, like any kid her age. I am blown away by what the last 5 years has done!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

So far behind!

I have so many things I want to say, but I feel like I never have time to blog!

First, Miss Kat got an upgrade. She is now sporting two new Naidas. We are still getting to know them, but the features are amazing. I hope to blog soon about exactly what they are doing for her, but it has been less than a week, so we are still getting to know them.

I am busy at school. I absolutely love my classes! I am learning so much and I am finally getting time in the classroom, which I have really missed. It is interesting to be in classes with students who want to be teachers of the deaf, but know so very little about how to teach, and even less about how deaf children learn. But, I fully have confidence in the program to get them to the point where they will all be great teachers. (One of my pet peeves right now is a girl in my class thinks that getting a child to correctly repeat the sounds in a complex science vocabulary word is teaching them. Argh. The least of your worries should be how "symbiosis" sounds when coming out of their mouth. How about instead we concentrate on the meaning of the word, or filling vocabulary holes so they understand the lesson, or ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE, rather than saying "I will have them practice saying the word more times because it is going to be tough for them to say". END RANT)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Last night Miss Kat was laying in bed and talking and talking and talking. It was bed time, and she had her sleep mask on but was still yakking.  So, I put my finger to her mouth to shush her. She was so offended! When I asked her why, she said that she was worried that I was serious. She said that the "bullies" at school always tease her for "talking too much". Seriously?? This was a problem we never thought we would have!