It's hard to believe that Drew is now half way through the second grade. His interests still remain entrenched in sports; he has added a love for playing ice hockey to his already long list of football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse. It continues to amaze me how his deafness doesn't hold him back from anything he wishes to do, and anymore, we only have minor adjustments or accommodations in order for him to participate fully.
Drew has found that wearing a skull cap works well when playing any sport with a helmet, particularly ice hockey. And he now enjoys wearing sweat bands, similar to what LeBron James wears, to keep his coils in place while playing football and basketball. He is active, healthy and happy, which makes us very blessed.
We are coming up on the three year re-evaluation of Drew's IEP. With that comes new assessments, which I thought I would share, primarily for those that are new to the world of deafness and cochlear implants.
Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - Fifth Edition
On the CELF-5, Drew scored above average on the word structure (measures the ability to (a) apply word structure rules to mark inflections derivations, and comparisons; and (b) select and use appropriate pronouns to refer to people, objects and possessive relationships). He also scored above average on the formulated sentences tests (The test assess the ability to formulate complete, semantically and grammatically correct spoken sentences of increasing length and complexity.)
For the remaining CELF-5 tests, Drew scored in the average range. This includes sentence comprehension, linguistic concepts, word classes, following directions, recalling sentences and understanding spoken paragraphs.
In addition, the CELF calculates a Core Language score, which measures a child's overall language performance, which helps determine the presence of a language disorder. Drew scored in the above average range.
The district also looked at Drew's Language Structure, which measures his use of receptive and expressive language to interpret and produce sentences. Drew scored in the above average range for children his age.
Yes, a child who is deaf, scored above average in language competencies and structures. Cochlear implants work. And they work well.
Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement - Third Edition
In addition, Drew was given several assessments from the KTEA-3. This test showed that Drew has very well developed skills in decoding and encoding written language as compared with peers his age. This means that his spelling was very well developed! For a hearing impaired child, this is remarkable. If you can't hear the sounds in the words, it's very difficult to spell.
Cochlear implants work. And they work well!
The overall evaluation for reading reads: "Paired with the KTEA-3, results suggest reading skills in the areas of decoding, fluency and comprehension to be secure." According to Drew's classroom teacher, he is now reading at a mid-third grade level.
The school psychologist working with Drew told us in our meeting that we should treat Drew to a milkshake after school! (And we did!)
Honestly, none of these results surprise us. We see how remarkable Drew is daily. Early identification, early intervention, early implantation. They have all worked together to be where we are today.