Enrolling KODAs in a State Deaf School's PreSchool Program?

Aquaman

New Member
I have 3 KODAs who are almost 2 1/2 years old and have an IFSP (baby IEP) transition meeting with the state department of education in 2 days. My wife is also deaf although she uses a mixture of sim-com/PSE (late deafened), talking and some ASL. I use ASL. Our kids L1 is ASL. We both work full-time so we have a live-in Au Pair (like a nanny) who talks and helps meet their spoken language needs, so their L2 is indeed spoken English.

I am trying to get my kids into the state's residential school (they won't live there though, we bought a house a few blocks away) for their pre-school to help give them better exposure to ASL and solidify their L1 language. However, I've been told that because they all recently passed their audiogram just fine, I don't have a chance of convincing the department of education that there is a good reason to do this.

I have three different reasons, and have found research backing up (and some disputing) these three unique reason. Combined, I do believe there is a pressing need to start a formal education in their primary language of ASL before transitioning to the local hearing school (probably Kindergarden or 1st grade) with continued speech support services we currently have each week.

They are triplets, and I found research showing that twins are often delayed linguistically.

They were born prematurely (triplets, duh), and I found research showing that preemies are often delayed linguistically.

They are KODAs, and I found research showing that KODAS are sometimes delayed linguistically.


Has anybody here ever successfully enroll their KODA in their state deaf school before? What was your angle/argument? Any advice?

Sincerely,

Paul
 

JadeSkye

New Member
I don't know if I can be of any help but you have peeked my curiousity in the situation. If I am understanding things correctly, you and your wife are deaf but your children are hearing, correct? You said they currently have IEP's (infant version), what would those be for? Do they have developmental delays or other disabilities, or is it simply because you and your wife are deaf and that is seen as a possible cause of language delays? What is your reason for wanting them to attend a deaf school as opposed to attending a mainstream school (I know you mentioned to help solidify their ASL, but is there more to it as well)?

I am not an expert by any means (honestly, I am just learning myself) but perhaps I could help point you in some sort of direction. I myself am a hearing parent to a 3 year old who was just diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss (we think she lost her hearing around November/December and it was confirmed through ABR in February, but we still don't know cause or if it was something that had just progressed over time) and will be starting at our state deaf school tomorrow, so our situation is a little different but like I said, I might be able to lend a little insight. I hope you are able to find the answers you are looking for, whether here or through other research.
 

Tousi

Well-Known Member
In a nutshell, your kids must have some nerve loss to enroll at a State school for the deaf........I believe it has always been that way......have no recollection of exceptions made.......best wishes, at any rate....
 

Aquaman

New Member
If I am understanding things correctly, you and your wife are deaf but your children are hearing, correct?
Correct.

You said they currently have IEP's (infant version), what would those be for? Do they have developmental delays or other disabilities, or is it simply because you and your wife are deaf and that is seen as a possible cause of language delays?
They were linguistically delayed when one counts how many signs they know, as well as how many words they can say/respond correctly to.

They still are delayed so I have that going for me as well.

-Paul
 

Aquaman

New Member
Tousi, it does not need to be nerve loss, there are students with zero nerve loss that are enrolled in deaf schools across the United States. There are other auditory issues or processing issues that could make a child eligible to attend a deaf school.

However, I understand your point. It's also been my experience that a child has to show a specific disability that can be best addressed by that specific school in order to be placed in that school.

Running with that experience/thinking... My childrens' L1 is ASL. Their parents use ASL. Home environment is primarily ASL. They need a preschool that best meets their developmental needs. Current research and thinking in academics indicate that a solid L1 (ASL)has to be in place in order to best develop their L2(spoken English) for the best educational success down the road. Therefore, following that path indicates that their placement in the deaf school would be the right placement rather than putting them in a hearing preschool or one of those baby sign preschools, yes?

More thoughts/feedback?

We'll see what Wednesday will bring I suppose.

-Paul
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
As hearing children, their L2 is going to be their dominant language. I doubt you can successfully argue their need for ASL.
 

JadeSkye

New Member
As hearing children, their L2 is going to be their dominant language. I doubt you can successfully argue their need for ASL.
I have to agree with Bottesini on this one. I have been trying to think of how to put this into words, and it appears blunt is the only way to do it :). I don't think that anything you can think of to argue the case will make a difference. I am not sure if you have looked into your state deaf school's admission criteria but this is what Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (where my daughter will be going) admission criteria says about admission to the deaf/hard of hearing program:

"ADMISSION TO THE DEAF/HARD OF HEARING PROGRAM: The child must meet the criteria for general admission and all of the following:
1. Medical Condition
A hearing impairment of thirty (30) decibels or greater within the range for hearing
normal speech (pure tone average of 500, 1000,
2000, Hz, ANSI). This measurement will be taken in the better ear without benefit of a hearing aid.
2.Educational Concern
A hearing impairment which has the potential to adversely affect the child’s academic performance, social development, language
development, communication skills or intellectual functioning"

(Excerpt taken from http://www.fsdb.k12.fl.us/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/enrollment_criteria.pdf. )

You can see that I have bolded what I think are the key ideas: it states the need for a medical condition and a hearing impairment. To me, this makes it pretty clear that if a child is completely hearing with no impairment, they would not qualify for the program. I know you are from another state (Hawaii?) so criteria might be different in other states, but I don't believe it is.

I have about fifty thoughts running through my head right now, most of which I am afraid if I voice they will not come out right and will be taken as an offense which I do not want. I am still a bit confused about the situation, I guess. I do wish you the best in this and hope you can find a solution that you can feel happy with- our children's education is so important and it is scary sometimes to think about what would happen if our "first choice" was not an option (I worried a lot that she would not get into FSDB and the idea of our local mainstream for her really scared me, we are in a rural area and they really do not know how to deal with d/hh kids here because we don't have many).

Here is a final thought: even if they do not qualify for school at your state deaf school, see what other services the school offers. I know FSDB is very involved with reaching out to the community and the parents (I am currently taking online ASL classes through them to begin learning ASL) and often has many activities and events to help strengthen the community and its involvement with people who are deaf and blind. Perhaps your school would have some options that would help with some of your concerns. I hope all goes well for you (oh, and I'd love to see some pictures of the triplets :) I looked back on your posts and saw their baby pictures- they were so precious!). Keep us posted on what you find out, it really would be interesting to see what their take on the situation is.
 
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NitroHonda

New Member
No but your children qualify for EIC. Get with your local school district and get tghem started on speech therapy. I also have a CODA.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
Correct.



They were linguistically delayed when one counts how many signs they know, as well as how many words they can say/respond correctly to.

They still are delayed so I have that going for me as well.

-Paul
On the other hand, if they're lingusticly delayed, it's possible that you could send them to HSDB.
It's not that unsual for hearing lingisticly delayed kids to attend Sign using programs. My friend's daughter is mildly HOH but still has spoken language delays. She may be going to FSDB. From what my friend said, it's not that unusal for intellectucally/lingusiticly disabeld kids to attend preschool at FSDB. Maybe contact FSDB and see how they admit those kids.
A guy I know had spoken language issues but attended the local Dhh collabrative READS. D.H.H.
OH ME DUH!!!!!! There is a program for hearing but lingusticly delayed kids who use ASL......The Children's Center for Communication - Where Communication comes first
St. Rita's might be able to help you...they have a program specificly for apraxic kids (hearing but can't speak)
 

Lukin

New Member
As hearing children, their L2 is going to be their dominant language. I doubt you can successfully argue their need for ASL.
L2? Is that like a biometric of linguistics when person become a daef?

P.S. whats up the 'slitting throat' profile picture?
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
I don't think there is such thing like that. I have two KODAs too and in Rochester, grass root for CODAs up here. I still can't get both of my KODAs to Deaf school or Deaf related programs. They wanted send both of our KODAs to speech therapy that is it. SIGH!

Our youngest KODA seems to be very strong true KODA than our oldest KODA, interesting. Young one, got in pre-kindergarten... More of head start program, he refused to talk for about first 5 months and still signs. LOL Finally he now talk, oh well.
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
L2? Is that like a biometric of linguistics when person become a daef?

P.S. whats up the 'slitting throat' profile picture?
No. L2 is the OP's reference to his children's second language learned, spoken English.

As for the avatar, review your ASL.
 

fulminty

New Member
All great issues that you've brought up about applied linguistics/second language acquisition, but a few more issues that might push your cause one way or the other:

Budgetary/Capacity Constraints- If this school makes space for three hearing kids, do they take the spots of three deaf/HOH kids? This is the principal negative issue I can see with your situation from the viewpoint of administration.

Community-Would the deaf community benefit directly from more hearing folks being fluent in ASL? A resounding YES of course! In case you haven't noticed, the "Annoying Ignorant Hearing People Stories" and "What Ticks You Off (Most) About Hearies" threads are amongst the largest in this entire forum, and combined account for 2750 posts. From a numbers viewpoint, .096% of the threads of the "Our World" sub-forum accounts for 4% of all posts, which points out the obvious- legions of deaf people are out-numbered by ignorant/bigoted/"benevolently negligent" hearing people. More hearing people who can communicate with deaf folks=less crap deaf folks deal with. WIN for KODA and WIN for Deaf!

This might be way out of left field, past the parking lot, and across the street, but I also thought of the Hetrick Martin Institute's operating Harvey Milk High in NYC. It exists largely as a safe haven for kids who have bullied for being LGBTQ or simply seeming LGBTQ, or being an ally. That is to say, the school, while dedicated to providing a safe educational environment for an at-risk population, also does have kids who while not part of that population, but are part of that community, much like a KODA could be. And 'linguistically delayed" would certainly be a hallmark of "at-risk" to me, in any event.

Good luck to you!
 

Aquaman

New Member
Have you tried looking into Charter schools:

Deaf Education - Charter Schools for the Deaf

They receive public funding, but they are not public schools.
Nearest one is over 3,000 miles away so no, that's not an option.

As hearing children, their L2 is going to be their dominant language. I doubt you can successfully argue their need for ASL.
You are probably right in both respects and that's what the majority say as well. Not being able to get them enrolled into an ASL immersion program for preschool was also my gut reaction as well when the idea first came up. I'm going to try anyway.


I have to agree with Bottesini on this one. I have been trying to think of how to put this into words, and it appears blunt is the only way to do it :).
Being blunt is part of this community. :lol:

I am still a bit confused about the situation, I guess.
One thing to possibly take comfort in is that there have been thousands of parents who have gone down the exact same road as yourself and there are a lot of resources and support out for parents like yourself. Service providers will side with you on this, and support your wants and goals in almost all cases. Me? Nope.

OK... Pic request.... Let me see if I can find a recent pic of all three that's already online... Hope the pics work here.
Zoo a couple of weeks ago:


Feeding one of our lawnmowers:


No but your children qualify for EIC. Get with your local school district and get tghem started on speech therapy. I also have a CODA.
EIC? They do already have speech therapy and an IFSP - I mentioned this in my original post.

-Paul
 

JadeSkye

New Member
Being blunt is part of this community. :lol:
So I have heard :lol:. I am still working on that part because it seems with us hearing people that "blunt" is seen as "rude" or some other negative and I don't want to come across that way.

SO- with "being blunt" in mind, I guess I will dig a little further. I guess my big question for you is WHY do you want to put them in the deaf school? Maybe you answered this and I am not understanding it. Are you wanting them to rely on ASL as their main language? Like others have said, English will be considered their main language, even if they began learning ASL first. It's just because of the fact that they are hearing- the world will view them that way and expect them to be able to communicate as a hearing person (this is where I am afraid I will veer into "rude" territory, so please bear with me). The thought that keeps popping into my mind (and I might be completely off base) is that it appears that you are wanting to keep them in the Deaf world, that you are afraid that by putting them in mainstream school you will in a sense lose them to the hearing world and in that aspect they might begin rejecting parts of the Deaf world (like ASL). It is like when people say that hearing parents are trying to make their children hearing because they have them orally trained or implanted or other choices they make for their children- you pushing to have them in a deaf school is like you are holding out hope that they can still be Deaf (okay, I hope that makes sense and PLEASE PLEASE don't take offense, I am just working through the thoughts that I am having on this and want to know if I am maybe missing something). And I think I just lost my last thought on this because I was rereading everything to see if it sounded too blunt :laugh2:. I hope that all makes sense and please know that I am just trying to understand. I guess I will just leave it at that for now. Feel free to tell me to shut up and that I don't know what I am talking about, because I probably don't :).

Oh, and thank you so much for the pictures!! They are still just as adorable as when they were born :)! You have tortoises?? That will win them cool points in school for sure, not every kid has tortoises in their backyards!! (Well, not in Florida, maybe they do in Hawaii, I don't know!)
 

fulminty

New Member
Jade, as he had mentioned previously, their first language (L1) is ASL, which being KODA makes perfect sense; it is through contact with others that they've begun picking up a second language (L2), English.

As he has also stated, the kids are linguistically delayed. How does he endeavor to strengthen their language skills? By helping to build the best foundation for later language learning. By immersing them in their L1.

Think of building a multi-story house. Who in their right mind would try to build an amazing second story on top off a shoddy first floor, on top of some slapped-together foundation? Whether it's English, Spanish, or ASL, it is vitally important for kids to be as fluent and well-versed in their native languages, not only to give them the ability to express themselves, but also to make complete acquisition of second languages (generally speaking, L2 describes any language acquired after L1) possible.

Whether his goal is for his children to be fluent in ASL or fluent in English, the road to get there is very much one and the same- a solid foundation, then solid first, second, etc floors.
 

CSign

New Member
I've seen and heard of CODA's enrolled in schools for the deaf and early intervention DHH placements.

It can be done, you just need to be persistent.

If I have more time later I will try to formulate a more thoughtful response.
 

CSign

New Member
How did the transition meeting go?

Are they currently enrolled in an educational placement?

What is their category of eligibility for their IFSP (speech and language impairment)?

What were their previous goals on their IFSP in regards to speech and language?

In other words, did/do they have any goals relating to ASL?

Goals drive placement... Without taking into consideration what their individual needs and goals are, placement cannot be pre-determined.

Make sure goals are included for ASL, including opportunitues to communicate with peers and teachers in their native language/communication mode.

What is their mode of communication or language documented on their IFSP's? That is important as well.

You might want to consider having them go part time to the school for the deaf, and part time in a mainstream placement so they also have exposure to more spoken language models/peers as well.

If you don't know already, make sure you NEVER SIGN the IFSP/IEP the same day as the meeting. Even if you think it's perfect. Always take it home to review it and sleep on it. Often times you will realize something isn't right or wasn't included that was discussed. This way you can make sure everything is good to go.
 

Aquaman

New Member
Hi all,

Stepped away for a moment (or a couple of months) but I'm back.

JadeSkye, valid questions, which has mostly been very nicely answered by Fulminty. All the recent research (and workshops the past 2 weeks in fact) have been extolling the importance of having a solid primary language (L1) in place to best, and most effectively build a child's secondary language (L2).

They currently can speak about 20 words clearly enough to be understood by an unfamiliar adult, and can sign about 120 words. Anglin's 1993 vocabulary development list states that a normal child should have a 446 word vocabulary by 2.5 years old so this stings. What we have been doing obviously has not been working as well as I would have liked, and I want to get them as much L1 development as possible in the best ASL program in this state, and that's the local deaf school.

Yes, as a Deaf parent I fear "losing" them to the hearing world but that's a reality I accept. They are hearing, they will take advantage of my deafness from time to time, and they might balk at signing down the road but they will always be my children and CODAs. I'll love them just the same. I just want the best for them.

We have two tortoises. :D

CSign, great post. They are in the language delayed category for their IFSP. For the IEP I need to figure out which will give me the best success at getting them to qualify for an IEP - language delay or delayed development - we just had another IFSP and I was warned that it is looking more and more unlikely we will even get them to qualify for an IEP based on how quickly they are now picking up ASL. I have requested an informal meeting with the department of education diagnostics person to feel her out and see if she has any suggestions. It will be likely her that evaluates my kids in October to see if they qualify for an IEP. I also have a meeting with the administrator of the deaf school later this week to feel her out/try to get her to warm up to this possibility rather than going by second hand information from the community.

Back to your questions - Old goals were for oral language only - not too long ago, I had ASL specific ones added in order to show that they had higher ASL levels/skills to show that their L1 is indeed ASL so I can make sure that the IEP goals developed for ASL can then guide the placement that I'm looking for.

Time will tell.

-Aquaman
 
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