Mother of 7 y/o Deaf girl

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#1
Hello!

My name is Kristen. I'm a 38 year old mother of 3. My oldest son is 21 and lives across the country and just had a baby girl of his own. My daughters are 7 and 5. My 7 year old Brianna, was born profoundly Deaf.

I used to be an interpreter before moving to where we live now, where I run the special needs program for our district. It's fairly small rural mountain area, so my daughter is mainstreamed but was raised with ASL.

I'm a busy single mom (my husband passed away about 2 years ago after he was hit head on by a drunk driver). My girls are very different. Brianna loves gymnastics and it's been such a great activity for her. She's very outgoing, and has taken it upon herself to teach all the other girls and coaches sign. My youngest daughter Madelyn is much quieter and shy, tried gymnastics but has just switched to dance and she loves it. Over holidays I teach adaptive ski school. Maddy skis and Brianna snowboards. We also have two dogs, a German Shepard and a fluff ball little mix of something, as well as two cats (that are bigger than our one dog). They're all rescue animals.

That's about it.

Kristen
 
#8
Thank you so much everyone for the kind words and warm welcome!

@femme Fatale is your daughter Deaf/HoH or hearing? Three is such a fun age. We tried swimming when my oldest was young but she was always upset and said her ears hurt. Right now it's just me and my girls. We put Bri in gymnastics to help her socialize and have an outlet for her energy. I never in a million years thought she'd be amazing at it, she blew though the lower compulsory levels and is the youngest in the optional levels. Her coach just recommended a more competitive program that feeds into nationals and then the Olympic team. It's pretty far away so maybe in a couple years. Before my husband died we were always camping, rock climbing, rafting, etc. with the girls. He was a raft guide and managed a ski shop before he died.
 
#11
Welcome!! I'm in Montana, so sort of around the Rocky Mountains, too. My daughter was born with bilateral profound hearing loss, she'll be 2 in May, and I'm expecting my second in November. That's awesome that Brianna is teaching her coaches and teammates sign. My daughter's daycare teaches the other kids to sign and my daughter will help them with their handshapes and gets all excited when they sign something correctly! They are amazing little beings.
 
#12
Welcome!! I'm in Montana, so sort of around the Rocky Mountains, too. My daughter was born with bilateral profound hearing loss, she'll be 2 in May, and I'm expecting my second in November. That's awesome that Brianna is teaching her coaches and teammates sign. My daughter's daycare teaches the other kids to sign and my daughter will help them with their handshapes and gets all excited when they sign something correctly! They are amazing little beings.
Aren't they! Brianna was born with bilateral profound sensoneural hearing loss. I became septic from a blood infection when I was 34 weeks pregnant. I was in ICU and they had to immediately start me on one course of IV antibiotics. I was induced, and then after I gave birth I was treated with the remaining courses of antibiotics. Unfortunately, they also had to administer a round to Bri in the NICU which they were trying to avoid. They're not sure if it was the antibiotics I received prior to delivery or the ones she had to receive that caused her hearing loss. I guess it doesn't really matter.

It was almost fate that my own daughter was Deaf. I had just started working an education interpreter in a middle school after completing the Interpreter Training Program at a local community college and getting my associates. After Brianna was born and I had recovered (it took at least 6 months) I went back to school to get a bachelors in Deaf education. There was no doubt in my mind to raise Bri with ASL as her first language and then teach her English as a second language utilizing the bicultural method. My husband had a slow learning curve but eventually did pretty well, my son who was 14 when Bri was born picked it up much quicker. When my youngest daughter was born 2 years later, I taught her ASL and spoken English at the same time and today she's fluent in both. She's very shy and actually prefers to sign. At home for years after my youngest was born I spoke and signed at the same time and it's a habit that stuck.

Currently I am the director of our school district's special education department. It's a very small district with an even smaller special education program. But I wouldn't change it for the world!
 
#14
@Tristen I live in the mountains of Colorado, so very close!!
I was just in Colorado at the EHDI Meeting. We toured the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.

I keep thinking about becoming an interpreter. I'm learning ASL and want to get more involved somehow. Its amazing how our children can really ignite a passion in us to do more and become more in the field. I'm totally removed, I'm in finance at a newspaper/media company, so I'd really be switching gears, but I know I'd be passionate about it.

We are trying to teach Gemma ASL and English as well. Her preschool program at the Deaf and Blind school utilizes SEE, though. But I'm trying to stay open minded and just remember that just because she's learning SEE at school doesn't mean I can't teach her ASL at home. They have classes in ASL for her as she gets older. But they are an amazing school and have really helped us navigate the last two years, so I'm grateful.

We did genetic testing on Gemma when she was about 6 months old. My husband and I are both connexin 26 carriers. We were just curious to find out the reason for her deafness, just because we don't have any history of hearing loss or anything in our families. In hindsight, it doesn't really matter and didn't make a difference. I think we, like most parents, were just surprised and wanted to know all we could about our little blessing.
 

zeefour

Active Member
#16
I was just in Colorado at the EHDI Meeting. We toured the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.

I keep thinking about becoming an interpreter. I'm learning ASL and want to get more involved somehow. Its amazing how our children can really ignite a passion in us to do more and become more in the field. I'm totally removed, I'm in finance at a newspaper/media company, so I'd really be switching gears, but I know I'd be passionate about it.

We are trying to teach Gemma ASL and English as well. Her preschool program at the Deaf and Blind school utilizes SEE, though. But I'm trying to stay open minded and just remember that just because she's learning SEE at school doesn't mean I can't teach her ASL at home. They have classes in ASL for her as she gets older. But they are an amazing school and have really helped us navigate the last two years, so I'm grateful.

We did genetic testing on Gemma when she was about 6 months old. My husband and I are both connexin 26 carriers. We were just curious to find out the reason for her deafness, just because we don't have any history of hearing loss or anything in our families. In hindsight, it doesn't really matter and didn't make a difference. I think we, like most parents, were just surprised and wanted to know all we could about our little blessing.
OMG, I'm shocked that schools still use SEE. Are there any other schools your daughter can go to?

I'm almost 30 and I grew up with both forms of SEE as well as signed English in school. I still have problems to this day because I had to learn using SEE. I'm having a difficult time becoming truly fluent in ASL because not only do I have to learn new ways to phrase things and new signs, I have to break all the bad habits I learned from SEE. This has kept me from becoming more active in the Deaf community. I was born with mild hearing loss but completely lost my hearing at age 5, so I was lucky to have learned English before hand which is one of the reasons I don't have more problems because of SEE. If your daughter was born Deaf, she needs to learn a proper language system first. Hearing babies hear people talking to and around them and that's how they pick up English. Deaf babies who are exposed to ASL learn ASL in the same manner. But Deaf babies who aren't taught ASL first and instead are taught using SEE, struggle since they don't have a first native language yet. I'm sure some of the Deaf education professionals here can explain it better than me. I just know the struggles from having a SEE based education.

I was under the impression SEE was no longer used in Deaf ed in the US due to bicultural bilingual education having been proven as the best way to teach Deaf children.
 
#17
OMG, I'm shocked that schools still use SEE. Are there any other schools your daughter can go to?

I'm almost 30 and I grew up with both forms of SEE as well as signed English in school. I still have problems to this day because I had to learn using SEE. I'm having a difficult time becoming truly fluent in ASL because not only do I have to learn new ways to phrase things and new signs, I have to break all the bad habits I learned from SEE. This has kept me from becoming more active in the Deaf community. I was born with mild hearing loss but completely lost my hearing at age 5, so I was lucky to have learned English before hand which is one of the reasons I don't have more problems because of SEE. If your daughter was born Deaf, she needs to learn a proper language system first. Hearing babies hear people talking to and around them and that's how they pick up English. Deaf babies who are exposed to ASL learn ASL in the same manner. But Deaf babies who aren't taught ASL first and instead are taught using SEE, struggle since they don't have a first native language yet. I'm sure some of the Deaf education professionals here can explain it better than me. I just know the struggles from having a SEE based education.

I was under the impression SEE was no longer used in Deaf ed in the US due to bicultural bilingual education having been proven as the best way to teach Deaf children.
Bilingual Bicultural education has not been proven to be "the best way" to teach deaf children. Each child has different needs and there are many great ways to educate children. Many children have been very successful using SEE. I'm sorry that you struggled with it and it was not an appropriate choice for your education, but that is not the case for all people.
 

zeefour

Active Member
#18
Bilingual Bicultural education has not been proven to be "the best way" to teach deaf children. Each child has different needs and there are many great ways to educate children. Many children have been very successful using SEE. I'm sorry that you struggled with it and it was not an appropriate choice for your education, but that is not the case for all people.
I totalloy get the best way for the child bit, I know that's the heart of TC which is still in use in many schools from what I understand, and was the "new" method when I was in school after the dark era of oralism. I guess I should clarify, from what I've been told/read/researched/understand bi-bi is the best method overall for prelingually Deaf children.

My most recent ASL professor works for Child Find, our state's birth - age 3 special needs program. She said that they of course let parents choose what they want for their children, but if at all possible/allowed try to expose children to ASL as much as possible as soon as possible. In her class whenever I'd do something wrong it was usually because I used something from SEE. I'm now working with and taking classes as the newest Deaf school in our area, it's a charter school. They use a bi-bi ASL based method for their students K-12 and are ranked much much higher than our state's school for the Deaf and blind. (Rocky Mountain Deaf School and CO SFDB respectively)

From what I understand using SEE instead of ASL with a young prelingually Deaf child, is not the best because SEE is not a complete natural language or really a language at all, it's a signing system. If a child hasn't developed a first native language (L1) they won't have anything to contextualize the signing system. With bi-bi a Deaf child is able to develop a natural complete first language, which will help them acquire second languages more completely and at a higher level (with Deaf children this is usually written English)

I can see SEE maybe still working to teach reading to children who are postlingually Deaf. But that's about it.

This is the first time in the last 10 or so years I've heard someone say that SEE can be better than ASL (which is really what bi bi is)

I guess you don't have to say that particular teaching method is the best, but really what it is is an ASL, or a complete language that is accessibly naturally to Deaf children, based education is superior to an education based on a recent man made system that is based on a language that's not naturally accessible to Deaf children.

But I'm not a professional, just a HoH girl who lived through the SEE era and was lucky to succeed as much as I did inspite of how I was taught, who now works at an ASL based school and sees how students are thriving in a way I never saw throughout my own mainstreamed education or those of the few Deaf/HoH peers I encountered.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
#19
I totalloy get the best way for the child bit, I know that's the heart of TC which is still in use in many schools from what I understand, and was the "new" method when I was in school after the dark era of oralism. I guess I should clarify, from what I've been told/read/researched/understand bi-bi is the best method overall for prelingually Deaf children.
They use a bi-bi ASL based method for their students K-12 and are ranked much much higher than our state's school for the Deaf and blind. (Rocky Mountain Deaf School and CO SFDB respectively)

From what I understand using SEE instead of ASL with a young prelingually Deaf child, is not the best because SEE is not a complete natural language or really a language at all, it's a signing system. If a child hasn't developed a first native language (L1) they won't have anything to contextualize the signing system. With bi-bi a Deaf child is able to develop a natural complete first language, which will help them acquire second languages more completely and at a higher level (with Deaf children this is usually written English)

I can see SEE maybe still working to teach reading to children who are postlingually Deaf. But that's about it.

This is the first time in the last 10 or so years I've heard someone say that SEE can be better than ASL (which is really what bi bi is)

I guess you don't have to say that particular teaching method is the best, but really what it is is an ASL, or a complete language that is accessibly naturally to Deaf children, based education is superior to an education based on a recent man made system that is based on a language that's not naturally accessible to Deaf children.

But I'm not a professional, just a HoH girl who lived through the SEE era and was lucky to succeed as much as I did inspite of how I was taught, who now works at an ASL based school and sees how students are thriving in a way I never saw throughout my own mainstreamed education or those of the few Deaf/HoH peers I encountered.
Yes exactly. If SEE is used, limit it to reading class.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
#20
OMG, I'm shocked that schools still use SEE. Are there any other schools your daughter can go to?

I'm almost 30 and I grew up with both forms of SEE as well as signed English in school. I still have problems to this day because I had to learn using SEE. I'm having a difficult time becoming truly fluent in ASL because not only do I have to learn new ways to phrase things and new signs, I have to break all the bad habits I learned from SEE. This has kept me from becoming more active in the Deaf community. I was born with mild hearing loss but completely lost my hearing at age 5, so I was lucky to have learned English before hand which is one of the reasons I don't have more problems because of SEE. If your daughter was born Deaf, she needs to learn a proper language system first. Hearing babies hear people talking to and around them and that's how they pick up English. Deaf babies who are exposed to ASL learn ASL in the same manner. But Deaf babies who aren't taught ASL first and instead are taught using SEE, struggle since they don't have a first native language yet. I'm sure some of the Deaf education professionals here can explain it better than me. I just know the struggles from having a SEE based education.

I was under the impression SEE was no longer used in Deaf ed in the US due to bicultural bilingual education having been proven as the best way to teach Deaf children.
Yup, it's still popular. Still controversial too.
 
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