You Think You See, But You Have No Idea

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Jasper, Alabama, United States

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

6 months of pondering

I haven't written in over 6 months.
I started to feel like I was whining. It came to a point where I had to decide if I was advocating or making excuses.
It took my son (as it almost always does) to open my eyes.
Cam took a spelling test at school. He failed. He's never made anything below 100 on a spelling test. Now I must tell you this is the Thursday "pre-test". The test that counts is taken on Friday.
When I asked what happened this is what he told me: "I was talking to a classmate before she started the test and I didn't know it started. I couldn't catch up, and she wouldn't repeat the words when I asked her to." Now I feel I must tell you that his teacher is a wonderful teacher and she even gave him the test a second time. The second time he was pondering a word and she went on to the next one. He asked her to repeat the word and she wouldn't. Now this made me FURIOUS!!! Now, I will tell you that I did scold him for talking in class because it's against the rules and he would not have been left behind on the first test, but what needs to be noted here is that even though he was breaking the rules he was at a disadvantage. He can't follow a background conversation. Do you think the little girl he was talking to before test #1 knew the test had started? Of course she did. Even though it was his actions that caused him to be behind, it was his handicap that caused him to miss out.
Now the second test, that is an entirely different irritation. These words all sound the same. And as a hearing impaired person myself I can tell you it is very hard to hear words called out during an oral test. But these words were: hose, rose, (those two not only rhyme but are formed the same on the lips no lipreading there) rode, those, hope, woke, joke, (again very similar on the lips...grrr) bone, stone, home. A hard of hearing kids nightmare!!! Not only does he have to figure out what word was said, but then his little 6 year old brain has to make the connection from the brain to the ear then he has to remember how to spell it, figure out how to write it, then try to decide if all of that's correct. Give me a break.
So I flipped my lid.
We studied the words again this time I gave him tips for lipreading and hard of hearing thinking. Something I've never done.
On Friday, he made a 100. As always. My kid's ability to overcome never ceases to amaze me.

Did I go to the school. No. Should I have? Maybe. Its one of those parental decisions you never know if you got it right.
I guess my thinking was if it was his final grade I would have, and at the same time it was an opportunity for him to be made aware of struggles he will have to face all of his life.
Will I bring it up at a teachers meeting. You bet. There's always room for them to learn and attempt to understand that he's always at a disadvantage when it comes to hearing. Will I have to have the way he is given his spelling tests changed, probably. But for now we're going to let it ride.

This is where I feel I've changed. I mean I can YELL AND SCREAM AND YELL AND SCREAM, but in the end it doesn't really help much. And it just makes me angry. I have to choose my battles.
This time I chose to put my anger aside and find a way to help my son deal with his limitations.


SpeakUp Librarian said...

I've missed you AmyKay! I'm glad you are blogging again.
The life lessons your son is learning are going to be more valuable in the long run than the spelling. I think you handled the situation well.
All the best,

Karen Putz said...

Do tell the teacher what happened. The more aware the teacher is, the more you'll have safeguards put in place so that it doesn't happen again. For example, on my kid's IEP, we have one guideline that the teacher must make sure that they connect with my kids before speaking and they have to rephrase and summarize group discussions. For spelling tests, it was especially important that the teacher be in front of my kids and make sure that the communication of each word was clear. My kids would raise their hand if they needed a repeat.

Communication in the classroom is definitely a two-way street. :)

JoeyRes said...

I'm also thrilled to see your new post. I think it will be so helpful as I move into the grade school years to be able to read over your experiences. Also, I just got a "One Lovely Blog Award" this morning. I'm about the only blogger on the Internet that didn't have it already, but I'm passing it along to you because I think you are posting really important stuff for parents of deaf and HOH kids. Thanks!

Nicole Espino said...

Hi AmyKay, I actually found you through a google search, I have been looking for support groups for Moms of HOH Kids. My son has moderate hearing loss. Finding your blog was like stepping through a door to find hope,ecouragement, and enlightenment. And through you I have found many more mothers, blogs and resources. Thank you! Looking forward to following your blog.