FIONA’S Rights!

Last night I see the moon, it’s big and bright. Beautiful. I have put the babies to bed and finished cleaning up. I’m relaxing on the couch, reading and writing in my journal. Now I am sitting at my desk writing. It’s been two days since I wrote the first sentence. Since then I’ve been in a world wind of politics and the rights of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. I’ve gone through and am going through so many emotions. Fiona has the right to learn and use sign language regardless of what the standardized tests say. See how that just jumped right out there. I am so mad, I just want to rebel against standardization! Nothings even happened yet except some conversations with representatives of the San Rafael School District and I’ve visited both public programs. I’ve had the recommendation to mainstream Fiona and to only do oral and no sign. This upsets me; when Fiona was born,  and we found out she had a moderate hearing loss we were  presented with a packet of information about deafness in children. (I will refer to people with any degree of hearing loss as deaf, that is what I’ve noticed in many of the books I’ve read) Anyhow in this group of information I was presented, the first question to answer is, “What mode of communication is best for your family?” I answer “Total Communication” right off the bat. That is using sign, speech, visual, the right environment, amplification, everything. I had to convince Alan though, he thought she was fine, that she could hear well enough, that she could rely on the hearing aids and didn’t need to learn sign. It took a long time for me to convince him it was important for our family to become fluent in sign. But today he gets it. I feel like the school district downplaying Fiona’s need to learn sign, both SEE and ASL, is stripping her of part of her identity. She’s also being put in a hearing world and expected to perform like a hearing child, at three years old. To deny her of a program that is designed for children exactly like her, her best chance at success going forward in the Public-School System, seems unjust. I am in the heart of politics, real life politics. I feel ashamed, I never read the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bill of Rights until this weekend.  And if they are trying to cut costs that’s really not fair, we pay over $14,000 in taxes to the San Rafael School district, we have paid over $80,000 in taxes in our lives together before we had any kids in the system. They’ve gotten enough money from us to send Fiona to an appropriate preschool for two years. I get it now. I understand what we’re fighting for.

2 thoughts on “FIONA’S Rights!

  1. I understand your frustration and say have you contacted regional center or exceptional family resource center? They may be able to help with services and or recommend services. We had to hire an attorney to fight the school district for my dsughter for her iep. Good luck and love

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins