Sunday, February 8, 2009
Switzerland City, Baby!
Just because Jodi mentions inclusion of sign language doesn't mean she is a proponent of it. Reading her comments, I see a balanced viewpoint that attempts to include all methods.
*The point is to offer as many resources as possible to parents of newly diagnosed deaf children- not to advocate for one method over another- to give the parents a fighting chance of discovering what will work the best for their child*
Karen Mayes said:
I want to share one thing that might have no relations to Jodi's blog, but as a parent making the decision. My deaf daughter was attending a Bi Bi Deaf school and was doing very well. She started showing her curiousity about hearing world, having watched her older brother doing academically well in the mainstreaming. She started asking to go mainstreaming. I said no, but I then learned that I'd need to do the research to see if it would be a good idea to pull her out of the Bi Bi school, etc., so we visited a local elementary school, discussed with a few Deaf parents who pulled their Deaf child/children out of the Bi Bi school, etc.
She was in 2nd grade when we went ahead and pulled her out of the Deaf school into the mainstreaming and she is LOVING it! I am aware that things could change in the next few years and my hubby and I are very willing to listen to her needs, ready to rectify the decisions, send her back to Bi Bi school if needed, etc. But I learned from one wise supervising teacher... FOLLOW YOUR CHILD'S LEAD.
I don't know if I ever blogged about this or not, but one week after I found out Jordan was deaf, I attended a meeting held by the local Deaf community. I wanted to know more about communication options because my son was deaf. I encouraged my husband and my mother-in-law to attend with me. I didn't feel out of place, just overwhelmed. My mother-in-law and husband were devastated by the experience. It was too much for them to handle. I felt so completely isolated by my own language issues with Italian that I didn't have the strength to deal with taking on sign language as well. Had I had a dvd of baby signs, it would have made my life so much easier...and Jordan's. I did write to the John Tracy Clinic and they sent me videos on how to communicate better with my child. Those were miraculous for me because they were in English and talked directly to me as a parent.
Jordan was born deaf, but he could have incorporated baby signs, just like this hearing child: (Click to deactivate music on the right-hand column of blog)
Jordan was aided at 12 months and maybe said his first word at 18 months- you know, I don't even remember when he said his first words- I've blocked out that whole period, I think. Really difficult, painful period. I just know it was a constant repetition of life, over and over again with hearing aids. Hearing aids sucked, if I may. I could have used some visual support to help ease Jordan's frustrations.
Not every child is a candidate for a ci, there are different degrees of hearing loss. Not every CI surgeon operates before 12 months of age, visual cues can help improve communication. Unbiased information must be made available so that parents can make informed choices....
Their kids will lead the way.