Saturday, February 14, 2015

Begging for expert guidance

After intensively prodding the staff, we won a meeting this past week with the Special Education expert from an esteemed overseas school for the blind and multiply-disabled. She visits C.'s school about twice a year and always exudes warmth, expertise and knowledge - scarce commodities at C.'s school.

About two years ago, again due to our badgering, parents were invited to a presentation by her and her colleague. But only the Hubby and I and one other parent attended.

Since then, the administration has barred parents from all lectures given to the staff while arranging none for us separately. "Parents aren't interested in any case," they've told us.

Well, they're right if you deem us two inconsequential.

So before each visit from these talented experts, we need to remind the administrators of our wishes. It's an annoying task but well worth it.

This latest meeting was pleasant and fruitful. We shared our cannabis experiences, C.'s  progress in hydrotherapy and the signs she has already more or less mastered.

When the expert asked what we would like to learn from her, I requested: "New signs." Then we learned.

She suggested the following two. First, the sign for "more":

The idea is to stop C. in the middle of some activity she is enjoying in order to elicit the sign/request for more.

A second sign, which denotes a harder concept and which we'll postpone teaching until we've progressed with the first is for "help":
What we found odd was that C.'s hydrotherapist - who was, inexplicably, the one therapist invited to attend the meeting - noted that, in this school, the children are taught a different sign for "more". Here it is:

The Hubby and I wondered (silently) "For heaven's sake, why?! When there's a perfectly good universal sign already in use?!"


Elizabeth said...

We taught our daughter the sign for "More" many years ago, and she used it inconsistently for many years. Even today, she will tap her mouth for more -- her motor planning is very poor, though, so we have to be patient and "wait" for her to respond.

The Sound of the Silent said...

Yes, the waiting can sometimes feel like an eternity. But isn't the slightest sign so thrilling to see? Unfortunately, C.'s school has left us to our own devices in this realm so I concocted my own signs. (Never occurred to me back then to search on line for universal signs.) I'm so glad to finally have some professional input.