We went to Florida this past week to look for a home and to check out schools for Logan. I knew there was a preschool program through the school district right in Gainesville, but I wasn't sure what kind of program it was. The other option was an auditory verbal program, Clarke, in Jacksonville, over 2 hours away. We visited Clarke school on our first day in town. It seemed to be a great program, very similar to John Tracy, and just what we were looking for, however, I was unsure of how I would make the commute everyday, especially with two other kids. We then visited the preschool program at the nearby elementary school. The teachers were fantastic, the school was beautiful and the program was very well organized, but...it was a total communication program (meaning both oral and signing).
When we decided to get Logan a Cochlear Implant, we also decided that we would go completely oral with him, since we are hearing family. We would love to bring his signing back once he is completely oral, we think it will be a great second language for him, but we feel we need to eliminate it right now, as he is learning to speak orally, to help him progress.
So, I was bummed. I was really hoping that program would work, and like I said, it was a great program. I was actually trying to convince myself that a total communication program would fit our needs just fine, but after further thought, I knew that Logan needed to be in an Auditory Verbal program.
I started to become slightly emotional with the decision we had made to come to Florida. Los Angeles had a wonderful school just a few miles away, and we were finding nothing in Gainesville. This next year is crucial for Logan's speech development and part of me felt like I'd be a bad mom if I didn't travel the 2 hours to put him in the school that would best suit his needs.
Just then, we found out of a women that was rumored to be starting an oral program right in Gainesville in the fall. We called her immediately and found that it was true! I was so thrilled that I began tearing up on the phone. She said that about 4-5 parents of cochlear implant children had gone to the school district and demanded that they provide this service. Oh the power of good parents...Thank you so much!