Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gearing Up

Tomorrow, Big Daddy & I meet with IEP team. In May, we didn't sign the IEP because it was singularly lacking in the necessary accommodations to fit the Little Peep, specifically her language and communication needs. Little Peep signs. A lot. Like knows all the signs from the Signing Time series (yes, Baby Signing Time, Series 1 & 2, Sing & Sign, the Practice Time). We've moved on to others even though they're not as good.

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.
We've spoken to other therapists, our private therapists, language people, advocates, and others and we're working on going through the process to get her what she needs. It's just crap that most of the push back and (ignorant) excuses came from the director of the program, who didn't understand that if 33% of E's signs are being missed, it's their fault.

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.

1 comment:

Cate said...

that sounds insanely frustrating. have they ever worked with actual kids before? sheesh. fingers crossed that it goes well.