|Kenzie and Travis |
in our (hot) hotel room in Fuzhou
"Even after decades of language use, later exposure to ASL meant less processing in language brain regions – highlighting that the sign language acquisition window is not longer than spoken language. Generally, delayed acquisition leads to less specialization of language in the brain." (Leybaert & D’Hondt, 2003)This certainly shows up in the classroom. And his perfectionist tendencies don't help. He wants to understand everything perfectly the first time. If he doesn't, he shuts down. He will look away or just not pay attention at all, saying, "What?" and "I don't understand," or "I don't know." He can be socially awkward, as he doesn't always read subtle social cues. (I'm glad for many of his peers being "deaf blunt," because he responds well to that! He struggles to read cues from kids who have been taught "beat-around-the-bush-politeness").
This year, we are starting a battery of tests. One screening we completed was the GARS-2 (and 3), which tests to see if he's on the autism spectrum. We are open to that being a possibility, but after filling out the screening, I highly doubt that will be diagnosed. The above behavior of not picking up on subtle social cues is the one type of behavior that fits, but not otherwise. The other screenings that look at his sensorineural differences all seem to fit. He has grown out or is growing out of a lot of his behaviors, such as fit-throwing or being a horrible sport, which hung on for years, but we still see some behaviors we want to address before he hits middle school. We feel confident that he will benefit from PT and/or OT next year, in addition to some extra tutoring and specific work on language comprehension and expression.
|Always giving bunny ears!|
|He wanted a selfie with Mom.|
There is so much more to share about Travis and how his language has developed over the years as well as how we plan to address the gaps we see as he finishes up fourth grade. We are fully confident that we can close some and nearly close others of these gaps. When we get his results back from the testing being done, I'll share that here. It can be a scary process, but also a necessary one. Finding professional support for a deaf adopted kid is no easy task and we are in the heart of a Deaf Mecca, so imagine how difficult it is outside of cities like Austin or the DC area. In future posts, I'll share about those challenges as well.
I could go on forever about this kid, but will leave it here for today. Thanks for reading and I have committed to do a better job for responding to comments!