Monday, March 17, 2008

Can I Have a Crystal Ball Please???

So today we went to visit one of the three schools that Cache will be attending. Today we visited JMS. I have never thought I would be faced with deciding my child's fate so early in life. Here is our choices and so far what I know...

Jean Massieu School for the Deaf(JMS)- This school is complete signing. The teachers sign during class and no voices are used. Most teachers themselves are def but some can speak. This school is an all day school and ranges from preschool to 12th grade. Although when the kids hit 10th grade they attend Skyline High and either have def classes or they have an interrupter in class. They only get about 15 minutes of speech therapy a week. Here is what I liked about it... The kids were 3 years old and amazing. They completely communicated with one another and there teacher in ASL. They knew the whole alphabet by sign. Just to watch them was incredible! I think Cache thought it was pretty neat too because the kids were just like him. Of course he immediately jumped in and played with the kids. I know Cache will be safe here, safe from ridicule and just plain mean kids. He will be around kids that are like him and he won't have to feel different from others. He will have enough of that when he gets older. He will know ASL and if his hearing ever gets worse he will not have to learn it later when it is harder. What I don't like... The fact that he may not be using his listening and verbal skills to there full potential. We will never know till he gets older if Cache will ever speak or hear enough to function like a hearing person. Is he going to feel different because he goes to a different school the his brothers and sister? Will he want what they have and the things traditional schools have to offer. Will we as a family learn ASL enough to communicate with him? We will really have to hit it hard and get learning! These kids are already signing things I don't know! Will the extended family understand him and will they too try to learn so they can communicate with him without us being there?

Upland Terrace- This is also ran by the schools for the Def and Blind. They have 2 programs and I have not been here yet. They use these programs to main stream the kids into traditional school but may attend the special ed class in traditional school...

Auditory- This is auditory only with no signing. I know we will not go this route because no matter what, I know Cache needs ASL, we just don't know to what extent.

Complete Communication- This class focuses on auditory but does sign also. Signing is not the main focus and uses sign but push the kids to use their hearing mainly. Now what if Cache can't hear? He is sever to profoundly def. His hearing aids may not benefit him. The chances are he may not be able to speak. Have I just let him down by putting him in a class he can't even understand? Then we are at JMS anyway but he is far behind.

Then there is Murray but this would be like the auditory class and we will not be doing this.

So does anyone have a crystal ball I can borrow? We seriously have to make the hardest decision here! Does anyone have a thought on this? I could use some help here!


Lisa said...

I am so sorry that you are have to make these difficult decisions. As for this extended family - we are trying to learn ASL.

I love the way Cache's face lights up when you sign with him.

We have a family in our ward that has made the same decisions that you are making now. I have talked to the Mom and she would love, love, love to talk to you. Let me know I have her #.