I Can Relate

by Sue
(Illinois)

I can so relate to your story! I was a successful oral hard of hearing child growing up. I too went through the same thing, I was mainstreamed in my home school during my first year of high school. I then transferred to a school with a large group of deaf/hard of hearing students. I learned sign language and met so many deaf/hoh people.

I am also a mom of two boys, Alex (hoh) and Matthew (deaf). Both boys now attend Illinois School for the Deaf. Alex went for one big reason, socialization with others like him! He has been "onestreamed" all his life. Once he started high school, he became depressed. He was so isolated, he came home crying. I brought this issue up again and again with the internant teacher and social worker. Do you know what they said? Teacher said she didn't have the time and told me to talk to the social worker. The social worker said "she didn't have time for extras". Their focus was on academics, social and emotional development was definitely not a priority on their list. Thirty minutes of contact a week with the social worker was not going to solve this problem. These are professionals who work with deaf/hoh kids. I said that's it, he is transferring to ISD. I had to stand up for my son and make this very difficult decision.

My son Matthew has ADD. He is very visual and has benefitted so much from attending ISD. He begged to go to ISD because of the larger group of peers. His teachers at his former school had no clue on what to do with Matthew, he suffered from poor self esteem and could not focus in class. Matthew does have the implant, he loves wearing it. He is more fluent in ASL and considers ISD his second family.

Both boys are thriving now at their school. I am so glad I had the insight to make this decision. What saddens me is the professionals in the field/parents do not always get it. You are right, things are pretty much the same. The same story is being repeated by generations of deaf/hoh adults, like ourselves.

I posted my story on another blog, hoping other parents will read it and learn.

By the way I love your blog!

Sue

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