Last Friday we got a chance to go and meet Logan's new teacher and see the classroom. We had been excited all week, only to walk in to some minor disappointments. Although we were excited about the teacher (she is fantastic) we were not thrilled about the other elements of the program. We were promised a room with carpet--which is important for CI users to avoid echo and bad acoustics-- and the room was tile from top to bottom. Also, the speech therapist that will be working with the children not only had no experience with working with CI kids, she didn't even realize that there was a difference in teaching a hearing child to speak vs. a implanted child. I left there disappointed, sad and slightly deceived. I felt like the school, in a sense, said, "Here's a teacher and a sound field. There's your Oral program." I understand that being a new program, that there will be kinks to work out. But a few of the major issues, that were previously promised to us, were not in tact. Logan is at a crucial time for his language development, and although we are doing all that we can at home, his school experience needs to be up to par. I decided that Logan would attend class on Monday and that I would go in with a more positive attitude and do what I could to help get this program started.
Logan could hardly contain his excitement all weekend. He packed up his backpack with tons of school supplies (see video below) and helped me make his lunch. I felt more at ease when we walked in to the classroom and saw that adjustments had been made to the room. There were a few rugs around the room and color had been added...it was now more kid-friendly. Logan was slightly hesitant, but once he saw the play dough, his worries vanished.
At the end of the day I spoke with his teacher, Ms. Mills (who is a bi-lateral CI user) and seemed confident that Logan would get what he needed from her and this program. We, of course, need to continue his "therapy" at home but I think he will progress nicely under Ms. Mill's care.