My name is Tishia. I am a deaf mother of hearing children, which is a challenge in itself and I am also happily married to a *gasp* hearing man. I’ve got two children at home and one living in a faraway state with his father. This blog will focus on the two little ones I’ve got here with me.
Wigglebutt is six years old. He has all the markers for Angelman Syndrome except the chromosomal analomy. He has baffled geneticists, neurologists, pediatric developmental clinicians, and the autism specialist. He tested on the spectrum as PDD-NOS. Pervasive Developmental Disorder; Not Otherwise Specified. It’s a generic label slapped on the difficult life that we have with this sweet little boy. It does not begin to describe the bizarre behaviors that he exhibits. Although he is six, he is at the cognitive level of the average 18 month old. He is too challenging for me to exclusively homeschool, so my husband and I have prayerfully chosen to send him to the local branch of the state school for severely developmentally disabled children. I plan to afterschool him with handwriting since the school refuses to place anything related to scribbling, using writing instruments, and such to his IEP. I believe that my son is capable of learning to make meaningful marks on paper no matter what any of the specialists say.
Snicklebritches is five years old. She went to Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) since she was three. We were concerned with her speech development due to her having a deaf mother and when she was evaluated, they discovered she was also autistic. The promise of daily speech therapy for free was very attractive so we went ahead and enrolled her despite our misgivings. We should have listened to God’s whisper. Sure, her behavior around other children improved drastically. Before ECSE, she was unable to maintain her place in a line, but after ECSE, she is able to stay in line. Before ECSE, she was unable to sit still because she has a lot of energy (and what toddler doesn’t?!) but after ECSE trained her to sit at a desk for much of her time at school, suddenly she was able to stay at the dinner table with us the entire meal. But what we had hoped to see improvements in, we didn’t see. We hoped she would speak clearly and coherently. We hoped she would learn to use art materials in the appropriate way. We hoped she would learn to count. She babbles a lot, but still isn’t carrying on meaningful conversations.
When we discovered the teacher had reprimanded Snicklebritches for correcting the teacher on how to sign “spider” during their fingerplay of “Eensy Weensy Spider”, we were shocked and angry. She is a CODA. A child of deaf adult. They are growing up bilingual. Snicklebritches became withdrawn and too shy to sign in front of other people since that incident. We decided to pull her and fully homeschool her. Hence this blog, which will chronicle our family’s journey, stumbling blocks and all.