FAPE stands for Free and Appropriate Public Education. Under United States law, students with disabilities ages three to twenty-one are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education. What does this mean?
The process of preparing an Individual Family Service Plan (ages birth to three) or an Individualized Education Plan (ages three to twenty-one), can be a nerve-wracking process for even the most resilient parent of a child with hearing loss. These meetings can be stressful, emotional, painful, confrontational… and good. While there are many factors that may be out of your control, there are also quite a few things that you, as the parent, can do to build the strongest case for what your child needs.
If your child has mastered foundational listening and spoken language skills and is good at early reading comprehension, it’s time to take the task away from parent/teacher/therapist-read stories and to give the child tools for independent reading and comprehension of more complex written information.
Reading comprehension is the ability to understand written text and use that information in meaningful ways. It’s a skill that can be difficult for many children, including those with hearing loss, but it is an important one to master.
On day two at the school, I started by learning some great new songs that I can’t wait to bring back and modify for English speakers! Then, I observed a reading lesson. It was very clear to me how much the teachers cared for their students, but it was equally clear that there are many factors stacked against them in their quest to teach these students to listen and talk.