Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Visit to the Oral Deaf School

There is an amazing oral deaf preschool in Buffalo (affiliated with BHSC) and we visited their parent-infant program today. We won't be able to go very often, because it is four hours in the car for a one hour program! I was impressed with the activities they did, and the individual focus on each child.

The class started with some free play, so that the children could settle in. The group of children was then assembled in a circle, with individual monkey mats to sit on. They sang a hello song, mentioning each child by name. We read "Wheels on the Bus" while singing the song with the finger plays, and then we played a dance game.

The teacher turned on music, and the music stopped at random intervals. When the music stopped, everyone had to freeze. The little guys loved this and it really reinforced listening skills. Then they moved over to the tables for a craft.

They were given diluted glue and paint brushes to paint over a picture of a bus. Nolan absolutely loved this, and Matt did, too. Then the children placed yellow squares of tissue paper onto the bus. We used words like "push," "paint," "sticky," "wet," "square," etc.

The children then had a goldfish cracker snack and we returned to circle time to finish the hour. We played a ball game with a song, where a ball was rolled to each child and the child would roll it back. Everyone had to listen for their name and wait for their turn. The final event was the goodbye song.

The only problem was that my children did not want to leave! They loved the classroom so much that I had to drag Matthew and Nolan out. Matt is not hard of hearing, of course, but he served as a good language model. Nolan was able to impress everyone by saying "I want ball" and other three word sentences. To say that I'm proud of the little guy would be an understatement.

I only wish we lived closer to utilize this resource on a more regular basis!


AimeeTheSuperMom said...

I'm not sure how far away from that school you are, but it sounds great. When he turns three, there may be ways to help compell your school district to transport him there and provide his tuition. It's tricky. But it can be done.

raizy said...

wow! sounds great...however don't you think that's too much for little kiddos to do in just 1 hour?

Ericka said...

Wow! 3 word sentences? That's great! Miles has just started putting a couple words together. He likes trucks a LOT and he likes to say "hi truck!" Sounds more like "i tuck" though :)
The oral deaf school sounds kind of like what they do at Miles early intervention classes. But Miles is the only one with hearing loss there.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds like fun! i wish it weren't a 4 hour drive for you! We have a very reputable oral deaf school here in our city and this post makes me very interested in visiting. The plan for Nolan's medical issues sounds really well thought out and you've come up with some great questions.

And 3 word sentences!!!! That is terrific!

leah said...

It is a wonderful program! The drive is just too far to make it worth it, though. If only it were closer!

Raizy, it is surprising how it all just seems to flow. It sounds like a lot, but it wasn't rushed and the kids absolutely loved it! The songs and music only take about 2 minutes each- most of the time was spent in the dancing and craft activities.

Ericka and Heather, he has "sort of" three word sentences. Actually, he has one three word sentence. "I want X" is the only 3 word phrase he says. And the "I want" is said as one word "Awah Ball!" So I don't know if it really counts or not. But I'm still proud, anyway!

HearingExchange said...

So glad you had the opportunity to bring your sons to the Buffalo program. Did you know that they use the Moog Curriculum? My daughter attended the Moog School for Deaf Education in St. Louis and it was phenomenal. She attended for 2 preschool years and 1 year of kindergarten. When she graduated and mainstreamed into public school in 1st grade, she was 2 years ahead in reading, 1 year ahead in math and age appropriate for both expressive and receptive language skills. She was late diagnosed with hearing loss just before she turned 2.

If they have a summer program or the program is more than an hour for 4 year olds, I'd seriously consider renting an apartment and having him attend Mondays through Fridays. The more you do at a younger age, the better and faster they will learn to listen, speak and be able to mainstream earlier.

Sorry to sound so preachy, but Moog literally changed our lives. My daughter is 13 now and has terrific social and academic skills. We relocated for 3 years from New York to St. Louis for her and it was worth every penny and second.

If anyone has any questions or would like to get in touch with me, please visit my blog at I'm a bilateral cochlear implantee as is my daughter and I have a lot of insight to share. :)

Megan said...

We drive up to Colorado Springs (45 minutes away) once a month to the school for the Deaf and Blind for their infant-preschooler program. It's fun connecting with other families like ours and having Luca and Sophie be around other children that are hard of hearing. Last time we went, Sophie started trying to talk to me like the hard-of-hearing kids, she whispered and used made up sign. It was super cute. I think it's worth the drive, 45 minutes or 4 hours, just to give our kids (and us as mothers) the experience. Sometimes I wished we lived in the Springs so Luca and Sophie could go to this preschool (they accept hearing children of hard-of-hearing siblings, too), but I know we can make the most of what we have here in Pueblo.

Landry said...

That sounds outstanding!!! Too bad it's not closer, huh?

Val said...

IMPRESSIVE, I wanna go!!