Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The hearing aid was involved in a perfect storm of unfortunate events.
have to say...for the most part, our school district is doing a pretty decent job of helping Maddie.
You all know the concerns I had in leaving Grab-Your-Lasso and bringing her back to the Emerald City. The state is in a serious financial situation, the district is small and their resources are incredibly limited.
These are some legitimate concerns, but the district really seems to be trying to do their best...and that's all that we can ask for.
Over the summer, they worked with the Kansas City School for the Deaf to scrounge up a personal FM system, the teacher got some extra instruction in sign language and the county found a way to hire a 'teacher for the deaf' so Maddie can get some instruction in sign language to help her communicate until she can speak more clearly and use her words more effectively. Sure she has to share the teacher with another kid in the county, but that's alright. She gets some help and that's more than I had honestly hoped for.
Overall, I'm impressed.
But then there are days - days like last Friday - where I really want to knock some heads together.
I got home late Friday afternoon and the first thing Anya said to me was, 'Mom, Maddie lost her hearing aid.
'Well, she didn't have it when we met her on the playground.'
What were we going to do over the weekend? We have a back up but its not working right. I've been putting off waiting to get it fixed...and just never got around to it. What if we couldn't find it? What were we going to do then? How long would she have to be without a hearing aid? And wouldn't school then just be a moot point?!
All of this was running through my head as I sat Maddie down and tried to figure out what had happened...simultaneously searching through the phonebook for a phone number, any number for anyone even remotely associated with the school.
I couldn't find a number...not a single one. It seems like everyone is either unlisted or I can't remember their spouse's name.
But then I stopped and listened to Maddie and I had a revelation.
I was talking, truly communicating with Maddie for the very first time.
'WHAT?! You don't TALK to her?!'
No...I talk to her all the time. What I'm saying is, this was the first time that we really carried on a lengthy conversation.
I asked her what happened and she proceeded to tell me in a series of sentences, what had happened that day. She told me a story.
A REAL. LIVE. STORY.
Amazing, huh? My girl has come so far since we brought her home. She was communicating with me with sentence upon sentence of words upon words. Monstrous steps from where she was just a 18 short months ago!
I just about cried...both for the hearing aid and for this HUGE step Maddie was taking...but mostly for Maddie.
Turns out the hearing aid was involved in a perfect storm of unfortunate events.
Maddie's regular teacher was out with a father who was in the hospital. The substitute was going off of some notes that Mrs. B had left her...and didn't realize that when she took the FM system off of Maddie for the day that she was supposed to leave the hearing aid on her!
Makes sense to me...totally understandable, although it was still a HUGE pain in the neck. Over the weekend we had constant, 'huhs,' 'what you says' and no responses in return for our questions and calling for dinners.
Oh well. We survived. And it actually gave us a chance to revisit just how far our little Madster has come. Eighteen months ago she didn't speak our language, didn't have a hearing aid and had to use pantomime in order to communicate at all.
How far she has come! :)