Articles I Have Written
- The Best Books for Kids with Hearing Loss
- Sleep Studies for Kids
- Adjusting to Hearing Aids
- Free Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
- First Steps When Baby Can't Hear
- When Baby "Refers" on the Newborn Hearing Test
- Water Sports with Hearing Aids
- What is the Newborn Hearing Screen?
- The Best Hearing Aid Accessories for Kids
- Choosing Eyeglasses for Kids
- Great Hearing Loss Simulations
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We had considered canceling the pre-CPSE (for those not in the know, CPSE stands for the Committee on Preschool Special Education) meeting because of all the medical appointments we knew we would have this spring. We decided to reinstate the meeting once we had all the dates nailed down for Nolan's future medical procedures.
This meeting is not the official transition meeting, but just a "meet and greet" to let the district know about Nolan and to get a feel for what his needs are. Everything went great until we started discussing what Nolan would need once he started pre-kindergarten. There were two things the special education chairperson paled at: a teacher of the deaf (TOD) for Nolan and an FM system.
Children in the preschool age group are at a distinct disadvantage. They are no longer covered by Early Intervention, but are not yet covered by the services offered in school. Frankly, a 0-5 age group for Early Intervention makes more sense, but the system isn't set up to be practical. Thus, the TOD cannot consult on Nolan's education until he is in kindergarten, which will be in 2012-2013.
When we mentioned an FM system, the chairperson got excited and said, "every room in our elementary school has an FM system!"
"No, we don't want a sound-field for Nolan. We want a personal, ear-level FM system. Not now, but by pre-kindergarten."
Her demeanor changed slightly. Oh, we were those parents. The ones who know what their child needs to succeed in the classroom and won't back down. The ones who aren't afraid to break out the "equal access to his education" phrase. Darn those pesky IDEA laws.
She did state that he cannot have an FM system until kindergarten, even if he attends pre-kindergarten at their school. They might not have enough, you see, and if they don't have an extra one laying around... then he doesn't get one.
The school district isn't responsible for funding technology until kindergarten, and he isn't in Early Intervention for preschool. It will be very interesting to see how this will be covered, because he will have a personal FM system for pre-K. I don't care which agency covers it- he has to have one. It's the law.
The meeting wasn't negative in any way, but I did sense that we might have a fight or two coming up over technology. To be fair, the school district has never dealt with a child who needed assistive technology (AT) at such a young age. This is new for them, and it looks like we're going to pave the path for families who follow after us. Hopefully, by the time we're through the preschool years, the system will be "smoothed out" for any other mainstreamed children who require AT at the preschool level.