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.
Is my child receiving good services from our teacher of the deaf/SLP/AVT/early interventionist? Well, how on earth would I know? How can I tell “good” therapy when I see it? How do I choose between Program A and Program B for my child? Where do I go from here?
We began our trip today at Centeno, a school for deaf children in Costa Rica that uses sign language. The school is just one department on the campus of the Center for Inclusive Education in CR. I’m not so sure what they mean by “inclusive,” though, because it was a school of all deaf children, across the street was a school for all blind children, and next door was a school for all children who had developmental disabilities. Inclusive? Not quite. Maybe it’s because they the children at this school are “included” in education at all, but it was a very sad thing.
We began our day today at Kinder Papillon, an inclusive preschool that educates children with hearing loss (along with some children with other disabilities) and their hearing peers. The children in the school range from about age 2 until pre-kindergarten age, at which point the children are mainstreamed into their home schools. While at Kinder Papillon, we observed the children during snack time, play time, and even their English class! In all of the classes, the children with hearing loss participate along with their hearing peers using listening and spoken language. During the school day, they receive both pull-out (child goes to the teacher of the deaf’s office) and push-in (therapist comes to the general education classroom to provide support) services.