and I have Down's Syndrome.
I am 13 years old and
I am not afraid of anything!
Hello! Thank you for stopping. I live in San Antonio, Texas with my Mama and Papa and my older brother Joe. We have 2 dogs, one named Buster and another named Checkers and lots of Tropical fish. We used to have an Iguana named Iggy. She was over 3 feet long and very ugly. But one day she ran away and we could not find her. She is probably living in a tree in someone's yard and is very happy.
I have been going to school since I was 1 month old. I have been in public school since I was three. I just started Middle School this year. My class is for Handicapped and Learning disAbled children who are Hearing Impaired. I can hear a little and I can talk, but it is hard for others to understand what I am trying to say. So, I use Signed English, speech and gestures to help me communicate.This is called "Total Communication"Signed English is sign language in the order it is spoken. ASL (American Sign Language) uses the same hand signs, yet ASL is a language in itself with it's own syntax.
I use a device called an "Easy Listener" when I am at school. I wear hearing aids attached by wires to a small box I carry in a "fanny pack". My teacher wears a microphone. The microphone transmits her voice to my hearing aids. She and her Classroom Aids also use Total Communication.
My school is the only public elementary school in the district that has a Hearing Impaired program. The school is very far from my home so I ride a special bus to and from school. It is a long day for me, but I love school.
My school has an "inclusion" program. I am "included" in Music, Art and Reading with non-handicapped children in the Sixth Grade. This year will be my 8th year of public school. My parents, teachers and therapists (I am in Speech Therapy and Adaptive P.E.) have an ARD meeting every year to review and update my IEP to get me ready for the next grade. ARD means "Admission, Review, Dismissal". IEP stands for "Individual Education Program"
At home we use "Total Communication" also. It really is a fun and animated way to converse. My parents started "Total Communication" when I was a newborn, even before we found out I was hearing impaired. I talk very loud. I am trying to learn to talk softer. Not everyone is hearing impaired! ( Except my Grandpa! ) My parents have me wear headphones when I watch my favorite television cartoons "Cow and Chicken" and "Scoobee Doo". With the headphones I can hear the program without having the volume too loud for everyone else.
I really like school. All my friends there are kids my age even though I am smaller and may seem to be younger. I can talk & sign to them and they understand what I say. I love riding the special School Bus to and from school. The Bus Driver and his Assistant are very nice people. Everywhere I go I meet and make new friends. My family loves me very much and I love them too! If we could have cake and ice cream and pretend it's a birthday party everyday I think my life would be just about perfect!
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