The problem is that she needs language now, not just vocabulary. So in May we asked to have someone proficient in American Sign Language in the room. We were denied with the following excuses:
- Her fine motor wasn't good enough (crap, she does approximate some signs, but what better OT practice than finger spelling the alphabet - which she does)
- She does have expressive or receptive language (duh, that's why we need someone to model it for her)
- What if she's never verbal; how will she communicate in her community? (yes, like people who are deaf or have hearing loss can't function)
- The speech language therapist for the school offered to cut out more pictures from the ASL dictionary to past around the room to help teachers/aides/therapists (I said that was teaching vocabulary, not language and doesn't demonstrate language in a natural way. I didn't expect to have to explain that to a trained professional)
- We were offered to have the teacher of the child with cochlear implants come in for 15 minutes every day to "talk" to E.
There are other issues with the school/process that we're working through, but think they deny to see which families will continue to fight. Given we're exhausted from all the other things in a day, I'm guessing many families don't go through the appeal process because they trust the "experts." I know our E responds to those who are proficient in ASL and know it will help her develop her language and communication even more. And Bob help the district because I'll take them to the mat to fix this no-brainer for her.