Phonak – GAP (Guide to Access Planning) site…

AC is now 15 and finishing up his Freshmen year of high school. Time does fly!

I wanted to share a website here that was recommended to me by our school district’s audiologist: Phonak: GAP (Guide to Access Planning): http://www.phonakonline.com/MyGap/GapMain.html.

It has a ton of information for kids – especially teens, parents and professionals about hearing loss and benefits of technology. There are assessments to help determine just what an individual’s needs might be, and has lots of links to other resources and videos. Check it out:

http://www.phonakonline.com/MyGap/GapMain.html

Is Child with Passing Grades Eligible for Special Ed Under IDEA?

I wanted to share this blog entry from The Wrightslaw Way Blog…  since it seems to be a reoccurring issue… and that is that kids do NOT need to be failing their classes BEFORE they qualify for IEP or 504 plans…

check it out: 

Is Child with Passing Grades Eligible for Special Ed Under IDEA?

“They say he is not eligible because he does not have failing grades. Is this correct?

Nope. The law says just the opposite . . .”

Read more

 

Finding help… and friends… (who can relate to mild/moderate hearing loss)

I’ve been so busy lately, and AC has been doing so well, that it’s been easy to forget about updating this blog.  Yet, every once in a while… something, or some ONE, reminds me of why I started this blog a few years back.  This is what happened just recently when I received an email from a woman who had found this blog, and she could relate to much of it. 

Her son is now in third grade, has mild/moderate hearing loss, has not had an IEP or 504 – and didn’t seem to need one.. until now.  And, now the school is telling her he doesn’t qualify, because he isn’t failing anything…  and, that his “problems” are “behavioral” and not “hearing loss related”.   Continue reading

AC, ASL & Eyeth Day

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.  Life has been crazy… but, good.    AC is finishing up 6th grade, his first year of middle school.  He’s done remarkably well.  We had his 504 plan meeting last week, and basically will just repeat it for next year.  The main thing it entails is the use of the FM system, and some basic consideration.  Right now, it seems that is meeting his needs.  AC actually won two awards last week at the awards ceremony – one for being on high honor roll with distinction all year, AND the other was a math award.  We’re very proud of him.

Next year, he will be in 7th grade, and will take ASL (American Sign Language) as his foreign language.  He’s looking forward to that.  I just finished up a little beginner ASL class for staff where I work.  I learned a lot, but feel like I have so much to learn.  ASL, and the Deaf culture in general, are Continue reading

ASL as “Foreign Language” for Hard of Hearing Children

Apparently, ASL (American Sign Language) is a very popular choice for kids to take at my son’s public school as their “Foreign Language”.  So popular, that they do not guarantee any child can take it.  

My son, AC , is in 6th grade now and mainstreamed.  His school recently sent home a standard form for kids/parents to state preferences for class choices for next year.  They made it clear to pick more than one option for Foreign Language, as there were no guarantee’s to get into your first choice.  ASL is one of the most popular choices.  A separate topic all together I’d like to explore more sometime…

We really wanted our son, AC, to take ASL as his “foreign language” next year since he’s hard of hearing.  Is just makes sense and seems like an obvious placement for him, right?  I mean, it’s not like he just WANTS to take ASL for the fun of it (although he does really want to take it, and thinks it will be fun).  He has obvious good reasons for taking ASL rather than Italian or French, right?  Well, like many things, I’ve learned that when you are dealing with a “mild-moderate” hearing loss – not much is obvious. 

So, the school asked me to put in writing my request explaining why I was so adamant about him taking ASL,  and return it with the form – and they would do their best to accommodate.  So, here’s my letter and top reasons on WHY I think my son, or really any hard of hearing child, should take ASL for their Foreign Language…

Hello XXXXXX,

I’m writing this letter regarding my son, AC, and his language preference for 7th grade. I understand that students will not necessarily get into the language preference that they want, and that is going to be assigned. I’m requesting that, if at ALL possible, AC be placed in ASL for his language due to the fact that he is hearing impaired.

As you know, AC has a mild/moderate bilateral hearing loss. He wears hearing aids, and is using the FM system in school. He’s having great success so far this year and we are thrilled with his progress. We look forward to his continuing in accelerated courses next year. Because of his hearing impairment, ASL would be the logical, most beneficial, and possibly essential, language for him to learn. I would really appreciate it if you would consider the following reasons/explanations for this request.

1) AC’s hearing loss could be progressive, and should he ever lose more of his hearing (which we hope will never happen – but is impossible to know for sure) he could really use adequate ASL skills in order Continue reading

Passing grades do not disqualify a child for special education services

I received the newest WrightsLaw Newsletter – and wanted to share the below article since I hear so many parents fighting with schools about wether their child qualifies for services or not.    Too often schools think that unless a child with hearing loss is failing and doing really poorly – they don’t qualify for services.  This is NOT the law.   Read on…  

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From: http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/08/nl.1216.htm 

young boy at computerDoes Your Child Meet the Legal Definition of “Child with a Disability”

The special ed law and regulations do not mention grades as a criteria for referring a child for a special education evaluation or finding a child eligible for special education services.

A child with a disability is not automatically eligible for special education and related services under IDEA. The key phrase is “who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.”

Does your child’s disability adversely affect educational performance?

Continue reading

Must be MY SIDE… ;)

The big brain on my son, that is…  (my side ;) ). 

I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way… but, I am pretty psyched and wanted to share. We just got AC’s first report card from middle school today. He got strait A+’s!! . =) We’re so proud of him!!

I thought he was doing well… but, I wasn’t sure just how well.. and half expected to have at least one class or teacher that he might be having some problems with.  So, when he called me today (obviously pretty pleased, himself) and he told me he made high honor roll – well, can you say “ecstatic?”.  =)  This was just wonderful news. =) A relief even. Like, “Whew! Maybe middle school won’t be so bad.” sorta feeling…

Continue reading