Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dolly Madison and Fundraising efforts

Miss Kat has had some amazing opportunities through her school this year. She got to be the "Spokes-kid" for THIS wonderful charity a few weeks ago. She was also invited to speak at a fundraising event last week. She did wonderfully, was poised and shared her story beautifully.

video


In her project based learning class this semester, the students are learning about American History. As their final project, they put on a "museum" and invited the parents to come and see the exhibits. Miss Kat was Dolly Madison.




Friday, November 14, 2014

Middle School and puberty hits...

Oh baby girl, how you have grown...

This week Miss Kat has come home with big news. There are two boys at school who like her. She is intentionally stringing them along and not telling them her feelings. (She even said, "I hope they don't talk to each other!") Tonight, she has been telling us how she is going to handle the inevitable question that MUST be answered on Monday, which is "Miss Kat, do you like me?!?" She says that she will first enquire of HIM, "Do you like me?!" So, pray tell, what do you plan to say if he says YES, my little one??

Her answer? "Hmmmm....I don't know. He is really funny. I like that. And he's kinda cute..."

And now she is working on a note to leave "from a secret admirer".

Oh boy...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Parent Panel

I had the opportunity to speak to some Deaf Ed students today at Miss Kat's school. I shared our story and the ups and downs of our journey to this point. It was really interesting to hear the perspectives of the other parent who was on the panel as well. I really love getting to talk to future professionals and hearing from other families.

During the meeting, one of the students asked how I felt about Miss Kat heading to the mainstream next year. I explained that while we feel some trepidation, we also know that will make it. I stated that for us, the biggest gift that her oral school has given Miss Kat is opening the door to reading. She has the world at her fingertips now that she is a fluent reader. BUT, a close second is that they have taught her to advocate for herself. My daughter does not stand for not understanding! She asks for clarification, moves to be closer to a speaker, and even tonight, at a church activity, when someone mentioned that they would be putting on a movie, she walked up and asked them to turn on the subtitles for her. She knew what she needed for access, and she got it. She will not be left behind. She won't allow it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's official!

Miss Kat has caught up enough that she will graduate this year! Next year she will be starting 6th grade in a hearing school.

Time to panic!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The BIG meeting

For almost two months now we have been counting down to today. This is the day when we all decide what happens for Miss Kat next year. We will discuss her progress and our options. Perhaps she can stay another year at her school, which would work out beautifully, because I would have time to finish my Master's as well. But it is possible that there will not be enough students for her to have a grouping. In that case, there would be HUGE decisions to be made. Do we have her stay here and attend Special School District's middle school program? Do we send her to a small, private school for a year? Do we move somewhere completely new for services, and if we do, how do I finish my program? So many big questions. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and this is unfamiliar territory. It has been four years since we had to worry and stress and cry over what services Miss Kat needs. I've gotten soft! And oh how thankful I am that we have been in a place that allowed that to happen!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Good news, bad news

The good news is that Miss Kat is doing wonderfully. She is reading within the normal range. Her academics are nearly caught up. We will get her language testing back next Wednesday and we expect her to be within the normal range for that as well. In the last four years she has made amazing progress.

Now, the bad news. Miss Kat's cohort is disappearing. She is in a class of six this year, and the two girls with her are aging out. The mother of one of the boys informed me last week that she is looking at mainstreaming her son next year as well. I have also heard rumors that the school district contract on one more is expiring, he will be leaving too. That leaves Miss Kat with only one other child her age. She would be the only girl in the entire school above 1st grade. She would be the oldest and the most advanced student. This may very well be her last year at this wonderful school.

So, even more bad news. We are trying to figure out where we are going to go and what services Miss Kat will need at a new school. We have been talking very seriously about returning to our family in Utah. So, I called the director of programs at USDB to discuss Miss Kat and what she would need for what would be her first year in the mainstream and final year before the big changes that come with middle school. Miss Kat is doing 5th grade this year, so we would be discussing 6th.

When we left Utah, the oral program ended after 6th grade (because that is when elementary school ended and the programs were housed in typical hearing schools). That is still what USDB claims on their website as well. So, I was prepared to ask questions about how many students they have at Millcreek vs. how many in Ogden. I wanted to know the amount of time spent in the mainstream vs. working with the Teacher of the Deaf. I wanted to know how much speech and auditory therapy was standard and what sorts of testing they would do and need. Instead I was told that she would get none of these things.

The director told me that USDB's oral program now mainstreams all students by 3rd grade. She said that they have no need to continue the program further than that because the students are all doing well enough to be served by their local schools. She said that if Miss Kat needed services, she would get an itinerant (for what, an hour a week?) and be in a regular ed classroom full time. When I pressed the issue and said that I didn't believe she was in a position to be successful in a mainstream class, she said that they would have to dump her in a resource room! Really? In this day and age, you think the best placement for a child with cochlear implants and no additional disabilities is a multi-categorical resource room? She is going to gain the language and academic skills she needs to be successful for the rest of her life in a RESOURCE ROOM?!

So, of course, I called her bluff. I said that my child does not have need of a special education teacher. She is deaf, she needs a Teacher of the Deaf. She said that the Teacher of the Deaf would work with the Special Ed. teacher (remember the hour a week from before!) to...I don't know what exactly...to have her magically become a Teacher of the Deaf, maybe?

And here we are. Back where we started so many years ago. Fighting with USDB because they refuse to provide appropriate services for Miss Kat. I guess not much has changed while we were gone. I guess I had imagined that they would have gotten better. That they would realize that ALL deaf kids are entitled to appropriate services, not just those who fit in their magic boxes. Man was I wrong!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First Audiogram with Naidas

Kat headed out to Utah and got her annual MAPing done. She did amazing. Now, honestly, that is a word that I overuse. I think that everything she does and achieves is cause for celebration. She is the light of my life and I am thankful for every minute I have with her. But, today, the results of her hearing test literally took my breath away.

Do you see that? All that white area is NORMAL HEARING. Kat is hearing down to 5db! Even more stunning is her SRT score. SRT is short for "speech recognition threshold". That means it measures the lowest level she can hear and understand 50% of speech. She scored at 15 db for her left hear. But, with her right ear, she could hear and understand and discriminate speech at ZERO DB. Now, 0 db does not mean no sound, it means the same level that is the average of people with normal hearing. She did not need the words to be any louder than a person with typical hearing would.

We are so blessed.