After the phone call, I started wondering if this has something to do with the fact that Jazzie has been less than happy about doing her spelling homework. Her spelling homework consists of 15 words. Jazzie usually ends up with challenge words, because she usually gets all the regular spelling words right. She then has to write each word twice, put each word in a sentence and write them in alphabetical order. The last few weeks have been difficult as far as getting Jazzie to do her spelling homework. It is a struggle every day and more than once Jazzie has ended up in tears because of it. Last week she brought home her spelling words and the first words out of her mouth were: "Mom, I will not be able to do my spelling homework, because I don't understand what any of these words mean." I will admit that the words for that week were particularly difficult (like "hypothesis" and "classify"). However, I cannot imagine her teacher not going over these words with the class, but Jazzie obviously completely missed it.. Children with cochlear implants often need direct instructions in vocabulary. This is actually written in Jazzie's IEP. I didn't think that this was actually happening and I wasn't too worried about it until now. I will make sure that her teacher will take the time to take Jazzie aside and go over vocabulary with her. I will also start working more with her at home. In addition we will take Jazzie back to Ohio Valley Voices once a week for after school tutoring. The goal is to get her back to where she was before, which is above her hearing peers. I feel bad that she is going to have to work extra hard to keep up especially since she's been working hard her entire life, but we know she is capable of it with the correct intervention.
On top of the phone call from Ohio Valley Voices, I also got a phone call from the person who works with the hearing impaired children in our school district and who is responsible for the assisted listening devices that the schools use. Her reason for calling was because it is time for Jazzie to be tested by our own school district. However, I also discussed with her what has been happening with Jazzie and she agreed that we have to make sure that Jazzie is receiving all the services that she needs. The school is obligated by law to follow everything that is written in her IEP. I am not blaming the school for anything. They have been nothing but wonderful and have given us everything we have ever asked for and I am confident that they will continue to do so. We were all just so excited by the fact that Jazzie is doing great in school (and overall she really is doing amazingly well), that we forgot the fact that she is still a deaf child who is learning in a classroom designed for hearing kids.
I am going to make sure that Jazzie has pictures to go with vocabulary since she is a visual learner. As a matter of fact, this was her ONLY way of learning before she could hear and even though she can hear now, she continues to be extremely visual and I doubt that will ever change. We sometimes forget that Jazzie is deaf (her teacher has even told me that multiple times) and I think we have all been overestimating what she can do. This is not to say that she is not amazing. She is. This was simply a big reminder that Jazzie will most likely always need to work harder than the other kids in her class.
I for one am determined to help her succeed because I know she can.