Sunday, June 1, 2008

Family Learning Vacation

This weekend, we went on a learning vacation. The Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville, KY sponsors a Family Learning Vacation for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We signed up many months ago before knowing Ryan's full diagnosis. Although we did not learn a lot of "hands on" things, we were able to take away a few things...It was a great idea as they have workshops during the day and the children are provided with a variety of age appropriate activities while the parents are in the workshops. Then, at night family activities are provided. One of the best parts of the weekend was the fact that they did a sibling workshop - they separated the hearing students from their groups and talked with them about their feelings and experiences having deaf/hard of hearing siblings. Morgan was a little uncomfortable going into the room with deaf/hard of hearing and hearing children that he did not know, but seems to have enjoyed the experience. Rylee went in with Ryan with no problem and had no problems communicating and playing with the other children and workers. Mike felt like a fish out of water - both with the special education acronyms/terms, etc. and the fact that he did not always know what people were saying/signing. I felt like the clock had been reversed 18 years and that I was back in some workshop at Fresno State. Most of the families there were much like ours, hearing parents with a young child with a hearing impairment. The majority of the children had cochlear implants or wore standard hearing aids. Ryan was the only one with a BAHA (or "HA HA" as Ryan says) - some had heard of a BAHA, but had never seen one and others had never even heard of the BAHA. Although we are not sure we will return next year, it was a good learning experience!!

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