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Unread 09-22-2011, 10:04 AM   #1
nancyj
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Deaf School or Oral School?

My daughter is only 9 mo I know but I want to plan for her future and what would be better for her. She was diagnosed at birth with mild/moderate hearing loss. Now she has moderate loss, They say 46% chance by age 24 she will be completley deaf. She has had her HA's for about 5 months now and does well with them, when she doesn't pull them out and put them in her mouth.

Anyways I am kinda of on the fence about sending her to a deaf school or not? She is in an early intervention program where they say if she becomes oral she will mainstream. Where we live there are not many deaf children so she isn't around anybody like her except for the 2 kids in her program but 1 will be leaving us soon as his hearing is improving. I want her to be around both hearing and non hearing.

I think she should go to deaf school as her dad thinks oral schooling. I think she should be around kids like her so as not to be teased in oral schooling and that she will learn to be around hearing as we are all hearing. I just don't want her to stuggle more then she has too, as her dad says she needs to learn to live in a hearing world. I think it is hard for him to take that he has a child that is "not perfect" Yes he is learning sign but he is in denial always saying "I think she hears more then they say" or "they are wrong she hears." I ask him all the time what he is ging to do if she chooses not to wear hearing aids or doesn't talk and he just says she will.

I know I am kind of all over the place but please any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Nancy
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Unread 09-22-2011, 11:41 AM   #2
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I encourage you to read all over threads about school. I for one who attended the deaf school all my life. I had an awesome memories in my school. I was involved with sports and activities.

If you send your kid to either deaf or hearing school, i strongly suggest you to take a close to see how your kid's doing with education and social skill to help you to know what is going on. Nowaday it has been changes a lot with deaf school and mainstream school. So, it depends on how much teachers show important concerns in kids' future is where you can send your kids there.

again, read every threads here that lot of us who have been through our childhoods where we went to school.

good luck.

p.s. ASL is a great way to start with in order to communicate your kid real awesome.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 11:57 AM   #3
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The early years are crucial in terms of language acquisition. Is the program she is in using sign language? I would encourage you to keep her in a program that uses sign language, especially in the early years.

I don't know what the programs look like in your area, but there are other options not too far from you (I think).

There is CSDF which uses ASL (voice off obviously) where she would have other peers with similar needs.

Another option is Center for Early Intervention on Deafness (CEID) in Berkeley. They use a Total Communication approach with Signing Exact English. In other words, they use their voice and sign at
the same time as well as supplement with pictures, fingerspelling etc. To convey the information.

An environment that uses some form of visual communication will be the only program that will be entirely accessible to her. You still have time to figure out placement, and needs do change over time.

I would strongly encourage you to use, and be consistent with signing with and around her, and also having her be in a placement that utilizes sign language.

Using sign with her will not prevent her from developing speech abilities if that is going to be possible for her. Going strictly upon her degree of hearing loss, it seems she likely will have the ability to develop speech. The most important thing though, is that she has complete access to language...

Last edited by CSign; 09-22-2011 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Typo
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Unread 09-22-2011, 12:00 PM   #4
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I also want to add that she is "perfect".

She is exactly the way she is supposed to be. I realize this is still kind of new for you guys, but I hope your husband comes to realize that.

I know you both love her either way, but I had to throw that in there.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 12:02 PM   #5
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I am profoundly deaf and grew up oral and mainstreamed. I advise choosing a deaf school over a hearing one. A mainstreamed deaf child doesn't hear much of what the teacher is saying nor their classmates and this can have a impact on their educational and social developments. I was bored out of my mind in a hearing school and pretty much a social reject because I couldn't easily keep up socially with others during recess - I think in a way it's even harder for a deaf kid who's a girl because girls are much better than boys at being verbally cruel. The boys were nicer to me than the girls who are far more judgmental of others' ability to speak and hear well.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
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Especially given that chances are good her hearing will continue to deteriorate... Even more important that she have a foundation in sign language....
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Unread 09-22-2011, 12:17 PM   #7
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This is a thread that I believe will be best served by the numerous D/deaf/hoh individuals here relating their experiences to this mother. I believe these anecdotes are what she needs to hear first. Have at it, guys. Explain to this mother what your childhood was like, and what would have been beneficial for you. She needs to hear your stories.

I will bow out at this point. When the mother is ready for more details regarding educational concerns, I'll be back. Do me proud, you guys!
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Unread 09-22-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
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Considering she has moderate hearing loss and they don't know what will happen for sure in the future, she is probably going to end up in the mainstream, and today it's a lot better there than for those of us who were mainstreamed years ago.
Actually moderate hearing loss usually won't be considered for deaf school placement, as hearing loss needs to be significant enough to cause learning difficulties.

Anyway, whatever happens, good luck to you.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 01:50 PM   #9
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Nancyj,
I would like to encourage you to send your daughter to a deaf school that uses ASL. When I was a child, my parents were told that I would be completely deaf by the time I was 25, now they have extended that (at least for the time being) to 30. My parents were also told that I should not learn sign language, because it would "stop me from speaking" so they sent me to a mainstream school, with basically no accommodations. Not only did I have to learn everything on my own basically... but... my only friends were my pencils... I had no human friends because I was made fun of all the time, and I just didn't understand the other kids. Though I know my parents were doing what they thought was best for me, they ended up causing me more emotional pain, and because of my traumatic experiences, not only in Middle School and High School (some of the cruelest years in education) but also in elementary school, I attempted suicide many times... I know this isn't what you want for your daughter.
I know you said you would like her to be around the hearing and the Deaf community, and I think that is every important. Have you looked to see if maybe there is a bibi school near you? (bibi is bicultural bilingual, teaching about Deaf culture and the hearing wold, as well as using ASL as the primary mode of communication, but still having the ability to develop spoken language) This will be very important to your beautiful perfect daughter. Many Deaf schools are now HoH friendly, meaning that they are not only for the profoundly deaf. I personally feel as if this would be the best choice for your daughter, even if that means a longer car ride to school, at least this way she will have the ability to fully communicate with her teachers, and her peers. She also would not eel as if she is the only person who is HoH or Deaf, and she will have a strong foundation for if she does go completely deaf. At that point, she can choose to live either in the hearing world or the Deaf world... she can choose who she wants to be, and you will have given her every chance to do so.
I also encourage you and your husband to sign with her constantly, this is the easiest way for your child to understand what is going on, emerge yourself in the Deaf culture, in Sign Language, try and find a place for her to be around other dhh kids and adults, show her how much you love and support her for who she is as a person, not her abilities.

If you have any questions, or would like to chat about what is going on with your daughter, or my experiences in mainstream public education, and my transition from being a "broken hearing person" to being a proud Deaf adult... feel free to pm me.

Ash
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Unread 09-22-2011, 02:01 PM   #10
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Based on my experiences being schooled in a hearing environment with special classes, I would recommend both schools. I would send her to summer classes at a deaf school and mainstream school for the year, or reverse if you feel it would be better.

It was tough form me growing up in hearing schools, there was a lot of bullying, but I did make good hearing friends. And, it definitely helps you in the working world. However, from a social standpoint, I also think it would be good to have gone to a deaf school to be with children more like myself. Had I gone that route, my social life would have been different, perhaps better.

You are preparing your child for a diverse world so I believe you need to take a diverse course of action.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #11
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Thank you everyone for your advice it is very appreciated.
@CSIGN yes her program uses SEE sign with her and Her father and I are taking ASL 1 at the local community college. CEID is about 35 min from me they are actually the place that makes her hearing aides and molds. I participated in their walk a thon this year. With her program her and I go to a preschool once a week for 1 hr 15 min at this time she has a speach therapist and her teacher and 2 other babies. The teacher also comes to our home 1 day a week. They say as long as she chooses to talk and wear her HA's then they can mainstream her if I would like.

@Caroline, ash ,and vacation guy thank you so much for your personal stories. So much of what you say is what I was afraid of with mainstream. And Ash I would love to talk with you thanks for the offer.

I recently went to the 4th anual deaf Picnic put on by DCARA and she was center of attention with being so young with hearing aides but I met this nice lady who is deaf and her baby about the same age as mine is hearing,but she was willing to meat with me for play dates and to help me practice and learn sign faster.

I have found that this community is so very supportive and friendly and I thank all of you.

Nancy
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Unread 09-22-2011, 03:35 PM   #12
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Have you been able to observe their program? It's great, although your county may have a "good" (or great) program, in which it would be difficult to get placement there. If your daughter could get placement, she'd be lucky. In my opinion, it would be worth trying to get her in.

I'm glad you're getting connected, being involved, and learning how to sign... Your daughter will reap all the benefits from that.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 03:44 PM   #13
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once you get to 10 posts, pm me and i will give you my email address.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 06:36 PM   #14
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@csign..no I havent observed their program but I will go check them out.
@ash why 10 posts?
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Unread 09-22-2011, 06:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyj View Post
@csign..no I havent observed their program but I will go check them out.
@ash why 10 posts?
because you can't pm (personal message) until 10 posts... and I really don't want to put my email address out on a public forum and get random people emailing me (again... learned that one the hard way)
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Unread 09-22-2011, 06:40 PM   #16
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Welcome to AD! Your daughter is darling.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 06:43 PM   #17
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I didn't know that was a rule on here...thanks!!
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Unread 09-22-2011, 06:44 PM   #18
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thank you sallylou!!
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Unread 09-22-2011, 07:47 PM   #19
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Grew up orally and mainstreamed. I did pass my classes and appeared to be fine but I was dying inside trying to fit in with my hearing peers and being so stressed out in the classrooms not knowing what the teachers are saying. I was unable to engage in classroom discussions because I would get lost and I would get reprimanded for daydreaming. After years of this, it took a huge emotional toll on me because I thought I was a "broken" hearing person.

When I learned ASL at 25 years old and got involved with the Deaf community, my life improve so much and I was able to learn to love myself for the first time after hating myself for so many years.

My brother went to a Deaf school...he was happy and well-adjusted.


Both of us got high school diplomas and went on to get Master's Degrees so his education wasnt compromised despite popular belief that Deaf schools dont provide quality education.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 08:49 PM   #20
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Hi Nancy! You're from the About.com Deafness forum right?
Glad to see you here!
Here is how I view it. Many audilogically hoh kids can aquire spoken language. Some of them may still have spoken language defiects or delays....Even unilateral hoh kids can be at risk for spoken language delays.
However, those of us who are hoh very rarely get the advantage of ASL and Deaf culture/Deaf ed.
We get told to assimulate into the hearing world, and that hoh kids don't "need" ASL. If I had a buck for every single hoh poster who has come here saying " I wish I'd learned ASL and gotten to go to Deaf School. Instead all I got was speech therapy, and a front row seat."
Fact of the matter is that hearing aids/CIs work best in a one-on-one "best listening sitution" The world is NOT a soundbooth. There is a philosophy in the auditory verbal movement, that deaf kids have the right to grow up in typical listening and living situtions. There's nothing wrong with that.....but we do strongly believe that kids also have the right to attend schools/programs for the Deaf and learn ASL, and learn how to function both in the hearing and deaf worlds, as well as with and without their hearing aids/CIs.
It is a fact that the mainstream is too one size fits all. At a neighborhood
school, all she will get are minimal accomondations, with teachers who really don't know a lot about teaching kids with low incidence disabilties.
Every kid is different, and you do have to be very child centered .........but the thing is....Kids do not know about things like ASL or deaf schools/programs. You have to introduce those things to them...Heck, when I was little, I thought I was the only kid in the UNIVERSE who wore hearing aids.
One thing you should ask your husband....."isn't having two languages and the abilty to function fully both with and without her hearing aids, better then just having spoken English, and being able to function only with her hearing aids?
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Unread 09-22-2011, 09:14 PM   #21
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Wirelessly posted

i just want to add, whatever programs you are considering, make sure you visit the upper grades and see how the kids are doing. Are they reading and writing well? Are their academics at appropriate levels? That is an important consideration.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 11:30 PM   #22
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Hi! Welcome to AD! I started at a mainstream school and opted to go to a deaf school. In mainstream schools and oral schools, it seems like more time is spent on making kids say words "properly" and not enough time spent making sure they know what the words mean. I believe that is the reason for the literacy issues in deaf education, not the use of ASL, but the need to make deaf children sound "normal". Thats why I like the bilingual-biculteral model of deaf education. I'm not saying don't work on her speech, just don't make that the focus of her life. I get that the majority of the world is hearing, but I feel that integration and success in that world is achieved by literacy and education, not how well you can pronounce "cookie".
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Unread 09-22-2011, 11:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
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i just want to add, whatever programs you are considering, make sure you visit the upper grades and see how the kids are doing. Are they reading and writing well? Are their academics at appropriate levels? That is an important consideration.
And ask to see kids who have been in the program for years. A large part of the reason why Signing Deaf Schools have an evil reputation is b/c they're seen as a last resort placement. So therefore most of the students there are kids who didn't really thrive in the mainstream, and need to catch up.
The early intervention and early childhood at Schools for the Deaf are AMAZING, and you will not find a better placement for a dhh kid anywhere else.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 12:28 AM   #24
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One thing you COULD do is have her attend Deaf School for preschool and kindergarten, and maybe even a few years for the lower grades. A Deaf School really is VERY underutilized as an educational option. That way she could get a very strong educational base. I also think that the California Schools will probaly be very hard of hearing friendly in a few years. They are now.....they offer things like speech therapy etc (almost all kids attending Schools for the Deaf get a REALLY hefty dose of speech therapy) Or maybe she could attend a school with a strong Dhh program. There are some pretty good Dhh programs out there. And I think that hearing parents need to understand that you may have to switch educational placements at different times, especially around middle and high school. They also should understand that inclusion is one of those things that SOUND good but very rarely work out well in practice, especially with the way middle and high school is in this country.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 06:17 AM   #25
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First of all, what a cutie she is.

I would say deaf schools because they tend to have much more dedicated teachers who cares about their students, also they tend to have more resources than mainstream.

I should know because I attended a school for the deaf and have observed this fact. Teachers always wanted the best for me and actively encouraged me to go for it. Because of their support and faith, I was able to graduate and transition onto university.

Mainstream schools would always find a way not to meet your child's needs. You'd have to fight a lot and it can get tiring.

Wish all the best for your daughter. I hope your hubby will grow out of his denial sooner or later.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 12:02 PM   #26
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Wirelessly posted (droid)

I generally prefer a smaller, more specialized school. Both as a mom and person trained as a teacher. Especially at the elementary level. Not just for deaf kids but for most kids. Kids are more likely to get their needs met and to have a positive social experience. That was my philosophy with my kids.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 12:19 PM   #27
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@deafdyke yes I was on about.com are you the one who refered me to this site? Thanks if you did I am getting alot of info from here.
@Miss-delectible. Thanks I have to agree with her being a cutie..but then again I think both my girls are but I am mom

I am going to make an appointment to take a tour of fremonts school for the deaf. I found out yesterday from her teacher that the preschool she would have gone to in her program has been moved and mixed with a all hearing preschool. So at 3 they will already be mainstreaming her. Don't know that I like that. She also informed me that the school district we are in will provide an FM System to her teachers through 5th grade but in Jr. High and High school she is pretty much on her own.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 01:52 PM   #28
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Quote:
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@deafdyke yes I was on about.com are you the one who refered me to this site? Thanks if you did I am getting alot of info from here.
@Miss-delectible. Thanks I have to agree with her being a cutie..but then again I think both my girls are but I am mom

I am going to make an appointment to take a tour of fremonts school for the deaf. I found out yesterday from her teacher that the preschool she would have gone to in her program has been moved and mixed with a all hearing preschool. So at 3 they will already be mainstreaming her. Don't know that I like that. She also informed me that the school district we are in will provide an FM System to her teachers through 5th grade but in Jr. High and High school she is pretty much on her own.
Oh Nancy- welcome to the world of "special education". That teacher was misinformed about the obligations of the school district. If she would benefit from the FM system, it can be used all the way through her educational career (12th grade or 22, but more likely 12th grade).

Also given that your district doesn't have a DHH program for 3-5 year olds, you'll have a leg up on getting her placement at CEID if that's what you're looking for. I think it's great to go look at CSDF, but as Bott mentioned it's likely she won't be eligible to go there.

Your daughter is entitled to an education in which she has teachers and staff proficient in her primary mode if communication. She is also entitled to peers with whom she can communicate with in her primary mode of communication. If you decide to keep up with the signing, then ASL or TC/SEE will be her primary mode of communication... Even if she is expressing language verbally, receptively would be another story.

If they don't have a strong infant program (18 mos-3 years) I would go look at
CEID and see what you think. If you are impressed with their program, I'd fight for placement ASAP. She won't be old enough to go for some time, but it's better to get your ducks in a row beforehand as you are doing.

Word of advice- don't rely on the teachers and administrators for information on which what your child is legally entitled to. They are often uninforned, and mistaken whether they realize it or not. You need to see the information/laws/Ed Codes for yourself.

One great website is

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy

Search that site, and you'll start the process of educating yourself on the rights of your daughter as well as your rights as a parent.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 01:55 PM   #29
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As I mentioned before, the first 5 years are critical in a Childs speech and language development. Placing her in a strong DHH program birth-5 will set her up for success. At that point she could either be mainstreamed, or attend a regional DHH program. Either way, it's important she be able to access her surroundings and have peers with similar needs.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 02:56 PM   #30
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Let's hear from the deafies, first, huh? They are the experts in deaf child needs. Plenty of time for the hearing parents to jump in with their hearing perspective. This parent already has her hearing perspective intact. She needs the deaf perspective so that she is capable of making contrasts and comparisons of ALL the information. That which comes from the Deaf themselves, and that which comes from the hearing.

BTW...one of the biggest problems with Deaf Ed today is that it is classified and thought of as "special education". Special education is used to address cognitive disability. Education for the deaf is not intended to address cognitive disability. Your child is not developmentally disabled. She is deaf. There is a big difference. Always, always, keep that foremost in your mind.

Bowing out again so the Deafies can help this mom out.
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