School for the Deaf denies deaf child with Down Syndrome placement

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CSign

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A certain school for the deaf has denied a profoundly deaf child placement because she has Down Syndrome.

I'm disgusted. There are children who are falling through the cracks and being denied appropriate services and placement because they don't fit into one box.

What is this world coming to?
 
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jillio

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Do they have the resources necessary to deal with this student's Down Syndrome? What exactly is the degree of limitation created by her Down's Syndrome? If not, then they are right to refuse placement. It would not be in her best interest to be placed where her needs could not be met.

It is quite possible that her Down's Syndrome is much more of an issue than is her deafness. In that case, she needs to be placed where the issues created by her primary syndrome can be properly addresssed.

Most programs for Down's Syndrome kids are well aware of the usefulness of sign in these kid's environments, and propose using it from infancy. Perhaps the best placement for this child is a Down's program that utilizes sign in communication.
 

CSign

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There really is no continuum of placement options. She functions fairly well, and her primary category of eligibility is deafness. There is no specific class for children with Down Syndrome.

The placement, wherever it be must be a strong signing environment as she is profoundly deaf and no longer wears HA's as she receives no benefit from them.
 

jillio

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"Functions fairly well" doesn't really tell me much. If the deaf school is not in a position to address the needs of a child with Down's Syndrome as a co-morbid disability, then they should turn down placement in favor of some where that is equipped to deal with this student's issues. To just place her somewhere that can't address her needs is the same as sticking a deaf kid in the mainstream with nothing more than preferential seating and remedial tutoring.
 

Babyblue

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Florida School for the Deaf has a special needs Department. Do not know about other schools.
 

CSign

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It's no surprise that schools for the deaf are closing. The fact is, that in many cases if you don't fit into the category in a specific way, students can't attend. This is where the problem lives. If the schools would find ways to accommodate those whose needs are a bit different, but still DHH they would be better off. The students would be better off.

I would never want a child placed in a program that isn't appropriate for them. The fact
is that this child is deaf first. No individual can benefit from therapy, services, or
placement if they are not accessing the information first. This particular student was in a DHH placement and did well. Just because she has Down Syndrome doesn't mean she isn't entitled to an education which is fully accessible to her. Throwing students into a class because there is "nowhere else to put them" with students with other unrelated issues serves no one well but the district.
 

jillio

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It's no surprise that schools for the deaf are closing. The fact is, that in many cases if you don't fit into the category in a specific way, students can't attend. This is where the problem lives. If the schools would find ways to accommodate those whose needs are a bit different, but still DHH they would be better off. The students would be better off.

I would never want a child placed in a program that isn't appropriate for them. The fact
is that this child is deaf first. No individual can benefit from therapy, services, or
placement if they are not accessing the information first. This particular student was in a DHH placement and did well. Just because she has Down Syndrome doesn't mean she isn't entitled to an education which is fully accessible to her. Throwing students into a class because there is "nowhere else to put them" with students with other unrelated issues serves no one well but the district.

No, the fact is not that this child is deaf first. That is like saying that a hearing child with Down's Syndrome should be placed in a classroom of hearing children with no accommodation because she is hearing first. The fact of the situation is that she has Down's. That affects her academically in certain ways. Simply plopping her into a classroom of deaf students who do not have Down's Syndrome is not appropriate because it does not address her needs any more than plopping a hearing student with Down's Syndrome into a mainstream class of hearing non-Down's Syndrome students would address the needs of that student.
 

jillio

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Florida School for the Deaf has a special needs Department. Do not know about other schools.

Yeppers. Most do these days. Some simply don't. And the ones that don't are not equipped to handle the needs of students with special needs. They are equipped to handle the needs of deaf students without special needs.
 

shel90

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It's no surprise that schools for the deaf are closing. The fact is, that in many cases if you don't fit into the category in a specific way, students can't attend. This is where the problem lives. If the schools would find ways to accommodate those whose needs are a bit different, but still DHH they would be better off. The students would be better off.

I would never want a child placed in a program that isn't appropriate for them. The fact
is that this child is deaf first. No individual can benefit from therapy, services, or
placement if they are not accessing the information first. This particular student was in a DHH placement and did well. Just because she has Down Syndrome doesn't mean she isn't entitled to an education which is fully accessible to her. Throwing students into a class because there is "nowhere else to put them" with students with other unrelated issues serves no one well but the district.

The deaf school has to ensure that it has the appropriate program to meet the child's cognitive needs. They can meet his/her deaf needs but do they have the resources to meet the child's cognitive needs due to the Down's Syndrome? That's the question. I am a teacher and it takes different kind of training to work with children with cognitive difference than working with deaf children with no cognitive difficulties.
 

CSign

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No, the fact is not that this child is deaf first. That is like saying that a hearing child with Down's Syndrome should be placed in a classroom of hearing children with no accommodation because she is hearing first. The fact of the situation is that she has Down's. That affects her academically in certain ways. Simply plopping her into a classroom of deaf students who do not have Down's Syndrome is not appropriate because it does not address her needs any more than plopping a hearing student with Down's Syndrome into a mainstream class of hearing non-Down's Syndrome students would address the needs of that student.

I don't disagree with most of what you're saying. I do disagree with what you're saying though about it not being that she's deaf first. Most other "disabilities" don't have a communication barrier at the source of the issue- deafness does. That communication barrier needs to be adressed first and foremost before the child can benefit from any placement.
 

CSign

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The deaf school has to ensure that it has the appropriate program to meet the child's cognitive needs. They can meet his/her deaf needs but do they have the resources to meet the child's cognitive needs due to the Down's Syndrome? That's the question. I am a teacher and it takes different kind of training to work with children with cognitive difference than working with deaf children with no cognitive difficulties.

Yes, I understand it's different teaching a child with cognitive challenges.
 

shel90

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Yes, I understand it's different teaching a child with cognitive challenges.

So does the school have the resources or program to address the child's needs?
 

jillio

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I don't disagree with most of what you're saying. I do disagree with what you're saying though about it not being that she's deaf first. Most other "disabilities" don't have a communication barrier at the source of the issue- deafness does. That communication barrier needs to be adressed first and foremost before the child can benefit from any placement.

Deafness does not carry cognitive impairment. Down's Syndrome does. One cannot address the communication issue without first addressing the cognitive issues. Or optimally, addressing the two issues simultaneously. That requires specific services be available.
 

shel90

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I don't disagree with most of what you're saying. I do disagree with what you're saying though about it not being that she's deaf first. Most other "disabilities" don't have a communication barrier at the source of the issue- deafness does. That communication barrier needs to be adressed first and foremost before the child can benefit from any placement.

I have worked with children with mental retardation and even with ASL, their congnitive disabilities are more of a communication barrier than deafness. That's why we have the Verbal Behavior program set up at where I work even though our students with congnitive needs are exposed to ASL day in and day out.
 

CSign

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So does the school have the resources or program to address the child's needs?

They are saying that they don't have an "appropriate" placement for her. The challenge is that there aren't any other viable options. With some accomodations at the school, her needs could be met there.
 

CSign

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I have worked with children with mental retardation and even with ASL, their congnitive disabilities are more of a communication barrier than deafness. That's why we have the Verbal Behavior program set up at where I work even though our students with congnitive needs are exposed to ASL day in and day out.

This type of placement option would be ideal. In this situation, this placement does not exist.
 

shel90

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They are saying that they don't have an "appropriate" placement for her. The challenge is that there aren't any other viable options. With some accomodations at the school, her needs could be met there.

Ok then that means hiring staff, getting the training and etc but the problem is that if there is not a sizeable number of students like this student you are speaking of, then the people on the top wont fund it. I know it is dirty politics but usually that's how many schools get their hands tied behind their backs. At least that is from my experience with the state or county level...too much political BS.
 

jillio

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They are saying that they don't have an "appropriate" placement for her. The challenge is that there aren't any other viable options. With some accomodations at the school, her needs could be met there.

Appropriate placement involves much more than simple accommodation. The education of cognitively challenged students requires the institution of a special program for those students. She would be better off somewhere that has a program in place and then being accommodated with a terp.
 

deafdyke

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Some simply don't. And the ones that don't are not equipped to handle the needs of students with special needs. They are equipped to handle the needs of deaf students without special needs.
Actually jillo, I thought that the Schools for the Deaf that don't have special needs programs were the ones that are too tiny to really have a seperate special needs department. You are right in that case...that would be like putting a deaf kid who needs Deaf Ed help in with a general resource room sped placement. But I think we may be talking about one of the California Schools....which do have a "life skills" program. Which is weird....
CSign, I do agree. We don't have enough information on why the Down's kid was denied placement. There's a huge range of functioning with Down's Syndrome from mild (eg severe learning disabilty) to severe. It's also possible that she was using ASL signs more as an augmentive communication system, rather then as a language.
 

CSign

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Deafness does not carry cognitive impairment. Down's Syndrome does. One cannot address the communication issue without first addressing the cognitive issues. Or optimally, addressing the two issues simultaneously. That requires specific services be available.

I agree that focusing on the two simultaneously would be optimal. In your post, you're giving more weight to the fact that she has Down syndrome as it's a cognitive issue. My position is without the ability to communicate, cognition suffers even more. Her primary category of eligibility is deafness, not Down Syndrome.
 
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