The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Friday, October 15, 2010]

What a Difference an S Makes

I got to the school where I see my deaf kiddos yesterday during their lunch. I was waiting for a college student, who was coming out to observe me, so I hung out in the cafeteria, which is close to the front doors. Of course, my little Favorite came right up to me, as did Glued-to-Me girl (Obsessed with Speech and Oblivious were also there).

As a side note, Favorite and Obsessed got their math tests back yesterday. The ones I had administered on Wednesday. 95% and 90%. With no modifications! Standard issue district tests! Obsessed got moved from sped math to regular lowest math group math. Favorite was already there. And I spent most of math class yesterday trying to get her to look at the interpreter (TOD was out, and the sub was useless). Rolling my eyes. You'd think a deaf child would want to look at the person who makes sense, but she'd rather take the crumbs that fall from the general educator's hands. "Oh, she touched the number two on the board; I'll touch a random two on my paper." And she expects that the para will repeat any directions she missed (which would be all of them) and can't figure out by copying others, so she just ignores all the language coming out of the interpreter and waits for the Reader's Digest version from the para.

Anyway... Glued was trying to hold my hand and showing me her headband and how she put her lunch box on the cart, and Favorite came over to say hi. I'm going to differentiate between spoken and signed in this little story. It kind of matters.

I signed to ask him how he was, and he signed fine, and he spoke, "Obsessed!" and pointed to her. Well, he used her actual name. I signed, "Obsessed happy?" (Sadly, we're at the mercy of her moods.) He nodded, smiling. Then he frowned. He shook his head and spoke, "Obsessed bitch!" The lunch monitor (hearing, of course) gave me a "What do you people teach these kids?" look. He did NOT learn that at school! I said something to the para, who told me that he's been picking up vocabulary from his adult brothers. Hm. I went to where he was now sitting with Glued, and he looked at me and spoke again, "Obsessed bitch." I signed, "Obsessed what? Bitch?" He looked at me like I had ten heads. Of course he absolutely would not know the sign, since he sees signing only at school, and we would never swear in front of kids. Actually, we don't even swear when we're not in front of kids. I signed, "Word [spoken]bitch, [signed] not nice. Mean. Obsessed she friend." He shook his head and spoke again, "Obsessed bitch" while signing, "Obsessed speech."

Right. Thursday. Obsessed has speech. And it did relate to my original question of whether Obsessed was happy... Obsessed had probably been told scolded all morning for signing, "Speech! Speech! Speech!" during class. Yes, she signs with exclamation points. If you saw it, you'd agree.

I don't normally drill Favorite on his articulation, but I can see that there's one word we need to sit down and practice.


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