Kat Reading

Kat Reading

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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

This is what life is all about...

Jumping rope with your cousins in the rain.



Sunday, June 22, 2014

"YES, I know...

I heard you. I'm not...oops, I almost said 'I'm not deaf!' but really, I am deaf. Ha ha! Now, that's funny!"

That is what I heard come from the backseat on the way to church this morning. What a life!

Monday, June 16, 2014

I owe someone an apology.

Many years ago, when we were in a very different part of our journey, I made a mistake.

We had a Deaf mentor, someone I would have considered a friend, in our life. He was a Deaf adult who had grown up oral. Then, he had gone on an ASL mission. When I knew him he chose to use both ASL and spoken language to communicate.

When my daughter was in preschool, this gentleman decided to get a cochlear implant. I (and everyone I gossiped about it with in the Deaf community) was horrified. WHY?? He had no need! He was in college, bright, communicated well! Why would he want to do such a thing???

Then came the rumors. He had a younger brother who was still at home. His parents had decided that his brother would get one. I guess they had pressured him into getting one too. Ignorant oralist parents! Why couldn't they see? Why couldn't they leave well enough alone?

So, I spoke to this man about his decision. I was in agony. I told him that he didn't need to do this. I told him that he was "not broken". I cried. I told him that if he thought he was broken, he must think my daughter was broken too. I refused to speak to him again. I fully and completely judged him.

And I was so very wrong.

Who was I to decide what was right for this young man? Why did I think that my decision for my child overruled what he thought would work for his life? Who did I think I was?

I was a scared mother. I was afraid that I wasn't doing the right thing for my daughter. I thought that by choosing something different, he was saying that I was wrong. I wanted to only surround myself with people who would tell me that I was making the right choices. I was terrified about how my daughter would turn out and I lashed out against anyone that made me question myself.

All I can say, is I was so wrong, and I am sorry Joseph.