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Deaf School vs. Public School

Member Posts: 2 Join Date : 31 Jul 2014
My daughter will be four at the end of August. Diagnosing her hearing loss has been months is the works starting back in the spring when here preschool teacher tentatively suggested she might have trouble hearing. Pieces started to fall together, we pushed her doctor to do more than treat her for allergies, and here we are: she is getting her hearing aides in early September.

She has bilateral sensorinueral moderate deafness. (If I sound like a newb, it's because I very much am)

I assumed, maybe wrongly, that with her hearing aides and speech intervention provided by the public school starting this fall (she has very slight delays in her abilities to properly pronounce words. She talks a lot!), that she would be good to go in a public school setting.

I guess because her hearing loss has never really slowed her down, I didn't think it was a huge issue.

But I recently met a father of two boys with similar hearing loss. He sends his children to our local school for the deaf. A school that is supposed to be really amazing. It would be a bit of a haul (30 mins in good traffic) for my daughter to attend this school. Of course, it would be a different school than her older brother who is in walking distance up the road at our local public school.

This father said my daughter would have trouble being mainstreamed because of the large class size/amount of noise. That the school for the deaf is an awesome community that can best meet her needs. I don't deny this, I just want more opinions from people who have mainstreamed or mainstreamed their children and from other who attended deaf schools or sent/send their children to them.

(I'm going to talk to both the schools and see what information I can get as well, of course)

What option did you use?
What are your feelings on it?
Posted on : 31 Jul @ 10:58pm


  • Member Posts: 4 Join Date : 01 Aug 2014
    My son is 3 and has moderately severe to profound hearing loss. He will start school this year at the regional day school for the deaf. What made me decide this is because asl is technically his first language and he doesn't have hearing aids as of yet so we don't know how well they will improve his hearing and speech. At a public school (at least here in texas) they set up an IEP and they can have it where the teacher wears a microphone and it connects to the hearing aids so even if there is background noise the teachers voice is still over it. I forget what it's called but they also use them at the day schools for the deaf here. Also day schools for the deaf take the total communication approach where they are talking and signing. I would definitely look into both of the options. Also if you choose the deaf school you should be able to get transportation from your local public school.
    Posted on : 01 Aug @ 3:50pm
  • Member Posts: 12 Join Date : 04 Nov 2017
    Hi, my father is deaf and grew up attending a deaf school but ended up transitioning to a mainstream school because he would've graduated at 16 years old if he stayed in the deaf school. His principal was actually the one who recommended he shift to mainstream school. 

    From my discussions with my dad, he's a big supporter of children 0-5 learning ASL so they have a language framework and the total communication approach (as stormystar15) mentioned. He's a big believer in this because he grew up in a hearing family and feels (now at 65 years old) that he didn't have a language framework to build upon when he was less than 9 years old. 
    Posted on : 04 Nov @ 4:00am
  • Member Posts: 65 Join Date : 17 Dec 2016
    I am a product of a Maryland school mainstream system. I went through 12 years of public school with a(then) moderate to severe hearing loss. In first grade I had only one hearing aid on my right side, which was my "bad" side. By second grade, I had two HA's(hearing aids).
    My teachers had to put them in and out, so I would not "break" them. I had speech therapy, as well as counseling about my loss.
    Fast forward to middle and high school. I had been picked on, shoved, name called, (otherwise now known as bullying..). But I survived. I was mostly a loner, because I was in a school with 1400 students, and probably the only one with HAs. I spent a lot of time reading in study hall and library times.
    I graduated 103rd of 320 students. So I think I did OK. My only regrets? Not learning ASL and using the tools available to me at the time.
    So in answer to your question? I would say use the public school system, but use ALL available tools for your child's learning(technology, IEPs, talk to and stay in touch with teachers, counseling- social and mental, and keep a positive attitude with your child. If you find your child really struggling then consider a deaf school, but as long as your child has some residual hearing, let them learn as much as possible with it, because once the hearing is gone, aside from a cochlear implant, it won't come back.
    Please consider the BEST interests of the child.
    Posted on : 20 Nov @ 5:22pm
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