Friday, May 14, 2010


We tried e-hub today...puppets and myth debunkers. Here are some facts (well not so much facts as a frame of reference):
  • The people who run e-hub are wonderful and accommodating.
  • The teachers are great and try and make things work.
  • The world is auditory. Even the 'visual' and hands on classes require MUCH auditory.
  • Kensington rooms have the worst acoustics of any place we have ever been.
  • Mix all that up with a child who is hearing impaired and on the spectrum and you feel like you have been hit by a bus.
I truly was googling 'hit by a bus cartoon' and found the above.. We tried puppet and myth debunkers class today. Even though both classes are hands on, they both involved much auditory. Andrew has incredible listening skills and I have the papers to prove it. He even has improved much in a noisy environment but the acoustics of a cement wall, windows, large room, an overhead fan running just proved to be too much. (He can hear in the grocery better than he can hear at e-hub.) We worked very hard for years to get Andrew to learn to listen and it proved to be the right thing to do. Just this week in a home-schooling webinar I learned how early listening skills lead to better reading and learning. I believe it. But Andrew already has a deficit in 'referencing' people visually. He doesn't look to others for information when it is needed to learn, answer questions or calm his anxieties. This is a core deficit of autism and add to that, that we reinforced the auditory track for years.. it will take some time to correct. We are working on it through RDI but it is a marathon and not a sprint. I am in no way sorry we did what we did (AVT)- but I have a complex kiddo. I love him so much but left the parking lot in tears.

We have considered an FM several times but it was so complex that we could not even get the audiologist to get it to work. Advanced Bionics came out to help but I am concerned about spending upwards of $2000 on a piece of equipment that may or may not work for one or two classes that may or may not work. I have thought about using the schools but because we homeschool, we'd have to go through the entire IEP process and even then may not get an FM for home use.

Anyway- that is our saga of the day. I feel deja-vu except I HAVE been here before, as the chicken in the cartoon.... Maybe in the fall I will get the courage to try again. The part that breaks my heart is that Andrew WANTS to go. He says, "I made a friend." But his attempt at new friendship was strange and contrived. I looked on in pain as he was bombarding a new 'friend' with questions and comments, telling him how cool his shirt was and wondering if he liked video games. (He couldn't hear the answers which again was another painful moment.) As he was drifting off to sleep he asked, "can I take myth debunkers mom?" I just don't think I have the courage to do it right now...


The Glasers said...

How heartbreaking for you both? Do you think he will do better in such situations when he is able to reference both teachers and students? That has made a huge difference for Pamela!

Sally said...

We really need to get the kids together don't we :(

I'm sorry that you went through all of that, and I wish that I could help.

Penny said...

Amy, I'll give you a page from my experience in similar, frustrating situations, where I thought my girl might be able to handle a class setting (Sunday School, mainly).

I learned through trial and error that NOISY venues are better opportunities for us. Listening isn't as important there - visual referencing is. We've been in two noisy settings (a restaurant and a bowling alley) in the past year where I had one stranger (a waitress, toward the end of a meal in a noisy Applebees) and one acquantaince (another parent of a child w/ special needs) comment that they didn't realize my girl has autism. She didn't stand out because she didn't have to be constantly directed verbally. She referenced and interacted at non-verbal levels in ways that were more typical.

Hang in there - you'll find opportunities that fit along the way! You're doing a great job!

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