Kat Reading

Kat Reading

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.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Advice

I despise when parents ask me for help and advice and when I share with them the hard questions they need to ask themselves, they get all mad and indignant!
If you contact me about implanting your 5 year old (which is a good move, because I implanted mine at 5 and have worked really hard to get her age appropriate in language, reading and academics) and I ask why they have never gotten any speech therapy, don't get mad at me! I didn't make that choice, you did!
By the same token, if you ask me about ASL language development and I ask "Who is going to be providing a fluent language model during the 5 years it takes you to learn ASL" don't accuse me of "attacking" you. These are the hard questions you should be asking yourself!

It isn't all bad though. I got a great message from a mom today thanking me for helping her to find the right resources and to ask the right questions to help her daughter get a CI as well as the appropriate services from her school district! 

I also get accused of being "too direct". That's right, I don't see the value in sugar-coating things. Your child is deaf and that is a neurodevelopmental emergency! The decisions you make, or choose NOT TO MAKE, have life long developmental and brain effects. I don't have time to pussy-foot around and help you through your grieving. (Plus, what exactly is there to grieve about? Your child is deaf, not dead. They have always been deaf. The only things that changed on the diagnosis day what YOUR perspective. They have always been this way, and always will be, SO GET TO WORK!) 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Future SLP

Miss Kat came to me today and told me that she found a new talent she didn't know she had. She said that when she grows up, she wants to be an SLP.

As it turns out, there is a little girl who likes to come and mess with her during recess. Miss Kat says that the little girl always tries to take away whatever she is drawing. She also noted that the little girl "doesn't speak very well". I guess today Miss Kat attempted to help her learn. She said that she sat down with the little girl and taught her how to say a few words. Miss Kat said that she really liked it, and that "I always knew I was a talented 'drawer', but now I have a second talent. It is to teach children to speak."

Every day is a new adventure!

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!)