Drew's blog and from the John Tracy Clinic.
The reason we are providing this information to the IEP team is twofold: one is to educate the team on the needs of children with hearing loss (the needs vary by the child, but Nolan's particular concerns deal with social difficulties, language holes, access to auditory information, and articulation). The other reason is to provide the necessary data to back up our requests for services and accommodations. At our pre-CPSE meeting, we were told that personal FM systems and TOD services are not typically offered until Kindergarten. With Nolan's under-amplification, fluctuant hearing loss, and articulation delay, the FM system is necessary. Every professional (from our own audiologist to the audiologist, TOD, and speech language teacher at John Tracy) has stated that Nolan's access to sound is compromised without the use of a personal FM system. Please note that ear-level FM systems are not universally required among deaf or hard-of-hearing preschoolers (they can even be detrimental to toddlers with cochlear implants, who are unable to report on the functionality of the device). For Nolan's specific hearing situation, however, the personal FM system is vital.
Nolan had his cognitive testing this morning, and did well. He did manage to look like a prodigy on the receptive language portion of the test, pointing to the correct pictures for "horizontal," "parallel," and "equivalent." He doesn't actually know these words (testing officials don't do any evidence gaining- if the child happens to point to the correct picture, they get the point). He's age appropriate (or a little above age level) for his receptive language, but he's not a savant! Still, the test will show that he does not have a cognitive disability and any speech or language gaps are due specifically to his hearing loss.
He did miss the question, "Point to the doll," consistently pointing to the ball. His compromised hearing definitely comes into play, even in a quiet environment. We really need to get his hearing situation figured out and get his amplification set to the correct levels!
We will be running to Office Max tonight to make copies of our little booklets- full of research articles on FM systems, Nolan's history, and audiological/language testing results. Our IEP meeting is at 11:20am tomorrow- wish us luck!
Speaking of preschool, I mentioned the start of the school year to both of our boys. They LOVE school, and the conversation went something like this:
Matthew: "I can't wait to go to Preschool."
Nolan: "You go preschool. Nolan go JOHN TRACY!"
Every conversation ends with Nolan insisting that he is attending John Tracy in a few weeks. I'm not quite sure how to get the concept through to him, though I suspect a few experience books will help him through the transition. He is still in love with his John Tracy teachers and misses his friends dearly.