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
Friday, May 27, 2011
We Have the Best School District, Ever
Some people live in school districts where it is an absolute nightmare to obtain services. Our school district is the opposite of that scenario - the special education department is an absolute joy to work with.
Nolan's IEP meeting went smoothly, and we obtained some push-in services from his SLP. We also obtained direct services from a teacher-of-the-deaf (TOD) once per week. For the first time, we are adding some real sign language goals to his IEP. Swimming lessons have proved that Nolan cannot hear in the water, which presents a very real communication issue. He is in that odd in-between hearing level state: he can hear (sans aids) in a quiet environment for a distance of about 5 feet. In noise, he hears almost nothing. Since we can't waterproof his hearing aids, we need an alternate communication method - so we have put in a goal for understanding and producing 75 "survival" signs.
Obviously, Nolan continues to be very verbal, and he has an auditory learning style. His remaining goals are for using the FM system in the classroom, filling in those odd language gaps (which have been noted by his SLP and TOD), and eliminating some articulation errors.
Since Nolan has a few other health issues, those are also mentioned on the IEP. He won't be eating in the cafeteria in pre-K, since it is a half-day program. Nonetheless, they included the dietary restrictions into his IEP. His medical information is also included, since he fatigues easily. Nolan looks very healthy, but he will completely slump to the ground and have to be carried at times - particularly in the afternoon. This is just something we are monitoring - it could be related to his apneas at night, or it could be something else altogether. He did have one of his fatigue-slumps during the meeting - he slid off his chair and his tears began. He ended up on Dennis's lap, and a cookie made him feel better.
We had almost finished the meeting, when the Special Education Coordinator watched Nolan holding a crayon. We know he has some low muscle tone, particularly in his hands. This hasn't caused any delays yet, but she was concerned with his grip (fisting the crayon). He passed an OT evaluation last year, but the team at the meeting wasn't really convinced - so they wrote monitoring for fine motor delays into the IEP.
We got what we asked for (hearing and language services), and some things we didn't think to ask for (fine motor monitoring/evaluation). The school district team really, really cares about their children - this is probably why we have the highest elementary school test scores in the region. The staff goes out of their way to ensure that every child has the best opportunity to learn and succeed.
I am so excited for Nolan to start Pre-K next year - we know he is going to excel in our amazing school district!