Not Alone…

One thing that has always bothered me is the fact that AC doesn’t know any other kids that have hearing loss.  It may be something I worry about more than he does…  but, ever since he was diagnosed (when he was 4) until now (he’s 15) – he has always been the only kid who wears hearing aids that he/we know personally.   In school – he’s the only one in his classes dealing with the FM too.   I’ve read articles about social issues for HOH kids, and so have tried to find other kids in our area like AC.   I’ve posted about that on here before – but, it’s never really worked out.

People will frequently compare wearing hearing aids with wearing glasses – but, it really isn’t the same.  Wearing glasses will pretty much correct your vision, but wearing hearing aids never really brings hearing quality to a “normal” level.  The sound quality is much different, and there are all kinds of other factors that come into play (batteries, surrounding noises, etc).   Then, there’s the social differences.  LOTS of people wear glasses – but hearing aids? – not so much.   Wearing glasses doesn’t present the same types of  feelings of being different or the same unfortunate stigmas.

We live in an area with one of the largest Deaf populations around – but, AC doesn’t identify with  Deaf culture either.  He doesn’t use ASL.  He is learning it in school for his “foreign language”, but it is not how he communicates and he doesn’t consider himself as “Deaf”.  His family, friends, class-mates – are all hearing… and he fits in with us/them, but,  Continue reading

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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

 

What Does a Hearing Loss Sound Like?

Interesting…  and really shows what an impact background noise has on moderate hearing loss.  I give my son (and anyone else with mild/mod hearing loss) a lot of credit for dealing with this on a regular basis… 

From:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/topics/hearingloss/hlsoundslke.htm

Play a recording that demonstrates normal hearing
Normal hearing

Play a recording that demonstrates moderate hearing lossModerate hearing loss

 

Play a recording that demonstrates normal hearing with background noiseNormal hearing with background noise

 

Play a recording that demonstrates moderate hearing loss with background noise
Moderate hearing loss with background noise

 

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

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