“Both of my girls have hearing loss and bilateral cochlear implants which offers them hearing at a level equivalent to their peers. Portland Public Schools preschool program offers eight hours per week of school for their oral program, 20 minutes per month in a pull out (in the corner of a classroom) with a teacher of the deaf for one-on-one speech. There is no interaction with their hearing peers. Yet they are mainstreamed into a regular classroom at age five. When you visit the classroom you find children who don’t play together and have limited language. And these are kids who have hearing aids which means they should be speaking almost as well as their hearing peers.
My oldest has been with Tucker-Maxon for three years. She received her first implant at age two and entered into the Early Intervention Program. She is in school five hours per day, sees a teacher of the deaf daily, speech pathologist twice a week and in three years my daughter went from no language to testing on par with her hearing peers! The school has typically hearing children along with deaf/heard of hearing children which has proven to be the best model for all children with hearing loss to learn language. So when my daughters do ‘mainstream,’ they will already know how to communicate, navigate and comprehend the mainstream classroom.
Where would she be with only eight hours per week of school in a contained classroom with professionals who do not believe in her?”
–Helen Lieser, parent of two Tucker-Maxon students