It has been a while since my last post. I did write one a few weeks back about my Mysore experiences – I have had such an amazing time at AIISH that I so want to tell everyone about it! When I was in Mysore, I used to write in a notebook ( we forget things easily, don’t we?). Those notes are in Malayalam and I wanted to post them as such. But some events are missing in those notes so I am hoping to rewrite them including the missing details. Hence the delay. But for now, I have news!
Last week was Adith’s IEP meeting. “IEP” stands for Individualized Education Program. As the name suggests, it is a plan formulated for a child, based on his “specific” needs. There are goals attached to it and the teachers work on those goals and send me progress reports based on these goals. New goals are added when appropriate and the process continues. I like this because we have goals clearly put in paper and puts things in focus.
His initial goals were wearing hearing-aids through out waking hours, alerting to sounds, following simple directions etc. Gradually they become more complex – answering simple WH questions, expressing his wants, follow 2 step commands etc and the most recent ones were answering questions after reading a story, asking for clarification when he did not understand (self advocacy) and explain why he has hearing devices.
In an IEP meeting, his progress in each of these goals is discussed. Prior to an IEP meeting, he is evaluated in areas of hearing, speech, language etc. This is to determine where he is with respect to his hearing peers and see if he is ready to mainstream (move to a public school). I am happy to let you know that Adith has scored within the average range for all the tests administered to him which makes him eligible to graduate from DePaul and move to a public school for kindergarten next year :).
An overview of the results:
Articulation : Production of the sounds |s|,|z|,and ‘th’ remains challenging in words and in sentences. Even with these errors, his score was within the average range.
Audiology : The audiologist at school performed a speech perception test. This means single words were spoken to him and he had to say it back. With hearing aid alone in his left ear, the score was 52% (13/25) and with his processor alone, it was 92% (23/25) which indicates that he can hear really well with the processor.
Language Tests : There are 6 sub-tests under this domain. He had most difficulty in the section “Concepts and Following Directions” and did well in Expressive Vocabulary.
Score Analysis by me:
Quoting from the report “Adith has difficulty using morphemes that involve adding an /s/ at the end of the word including regular plural nouns, possessive nouns and third person singular verbs”. This means he says “bee” instead of “bees” and “apple” instead of “apples” , says “Nivedh shoes” instead of “Nivedh’s shoes” and says “dog bark” instead of “dog barks”. Even with the cochlear implant, hearing the /s/ is difficult. I did a Ling test with him the other day (if you don’t know, in a Ling test, I say the sounds aa, ee, oo, mm, s and sh standing at a calibrated distance and ask him to repeat what he heard). With the left hearing aid alone, he repeated aa, ee, mm, said “mm” for “oo” and gave no response for ‘s’ and ‘sh’. With the processor alone, he repeated all the sounds except ‘s’ one day and repeated all sounds correctly on another day. To summarize, his response to ‘s’ is still inconsistent which explains why he has difficulty adding ‘s’ in the above words. He just does not hear them all the time.
The other errors which he had are mostly due to complexity. He will get that right with age and I am not worried about them. (The test is designed to plot scores in 9 different levels ranging from extremely low to extremely high so kids who can answer the more complex questions fall into the upper categories).
I knew from an earlier evaluation as well that he has some processing issues which is typical for kids with hearing loss. For eg. “Put the green ball in the basket after clapping your hands” would result in putting the green ball in the basket first and then clapping his hands. The word “after” would be ignored and he would follow only the order in which he heard. A therapist once told me that this is because he is looking for key words and overlooks words like “before” and “after”. Similarly when the commands get more complex, only the key words would grab his attention and other details would be ignored which would result in an incorrect execution. This, can be corrected only through practice. Auditory processing is not that simple, you see!
I am thankful to his teachers and audiologist who patiently did the tests with him. It must have been a long process. But the tests are important because it helps to identify his strengths and weaknesses for us to work upon. I knew he had difficulty with ‘s’ but had not noticed that he was dropping it in sentences as mentioned above. Hoping to rectify them before the school year ends.
That’s it for now!
Wishing you good health and happiness,