International Adoption Book

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No Move For C

In addition to fighting to get M the help he needs, we're regularly fighting with C's school. She was moved from an amazing deaf/HoH program to one that is closer but that I am not thrilled with (to say the least). The program was implemented over the summer and is designed with the needs of the oral children (meaning deaf children who were implanted at an extremely young age and who are learning how to communicate orally) in mind. The teacher (who had hearing as a child and uses a Cochlear as an adult) is from a deaf/HoH program in a neighboring town, which taught an oral-based program, so I knew this was going to be the ideal they were planning to implement with this program.

Allow me to express the problems with this for my daughter:

C is profoundly deaf. She was implanted with a Cochlear Implant at nearly 5 years old (it is believed that children tend to loose the ability to "learn to hear" at this age). C's implant has not worked as they had hoped and she generally cannot hear people speaking. In addition, C only started learning to communicate through sign when she came home from China nearly 2 years ago (has it really been that long?). Prior to that she moaned, cried and pointed until she got what she wanted. She would squat to indicate she had to go potty, but that was the only form of communication she knew. She was never around nor had ever been introduced to other deaf persons/culture.

When we moved up here to Washington, she was placed in a deaf/HoH program that taught a significant part of their class using ASL (for reading they used SEE [Signed Exact English]). There were 13 additional deaf students within her own age range that she got to interact with every day. She just blossomed and her communication skills took off. So, I've been fighting to get her back into that program, since it was practically written with her in mind! The teacher is deaf, the para's are all deaf and the rest of the team all are family members of a deaf person (either sibling, parent or son/daughter of a deaf person).

Unfortunately, I am stuck between a rock and a hard place with C's situation. Our school district will release C to go to this previous school but will not provide transportation. Since we only have 1 vehicle I cannot even fathom being able to provide transportation for C. As it is, I have to walk to the bus stop every afternoon to pick them up. And this past week has been a wet walk. I'd gladly drive down to pick them up if it were feasible for us to purchase a second car, in which case I'd drive C to the better school.

Well, at least the deaf/HoH specialist is attempting to work with me. He's actually going to the School For The Deaf to observe and get advice on deaf culture, with C specifically in mind. Sadly, I am the only parent (out of 8 parents) who is interested in giving my child these important socialization and communication skills. And, thankfully, when we move again we'll be able to bring Matt's Jeep as a second vehicle (it's an old classic that he's been having restored to some degree. With his deployment I'm planning on using some of the savings to buy a new engine to ensure it is able to do the job of transporting him safely. He loves his Jeep so much that he'll never get rid of it... So, might as well make it safer). This will allow me to tell the current school to take a bite and drive C to school!

Whew... The luxury of having special need kiddos!

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