Just registered Caelan for Junior Kindergarten.
This has been a very long and arduous decision.
We have been considering many different options at a variety of schools all offering different things for our boy. They all meant something different for our family. For the time being though we've decided to stay put, where we are, and have Caelan attend the same school as the girls for Junior Kindergarten.
Nursing is guaranteed since getting an education is a right. In addition to nursing, Caelan should get an EA (Education Assistant) and we're keeping all of our fingers and toes crossed that we get someone fluent in American Sign Language. This has been a huge sticking point for us deciding where to send Caelan for school. We know that the odds of getting an EA fluent in ASL in our district are very slim but we're trying to remain hopeful.
We had been considering a Deaf Program at Vincent Massey in Ottawa, a program that focuses and teaches in ASL. We thought that Caelan would benefit from being immersed in ASL and his language development would just take off. It was something we were willing to fight for, maybe even move for...
However, today we were advised that he may not even be accepted into that program because he does still have good hearing in his right ear. It's something we will have to look into at our next audiology appointment. In addition, they encouraged us to do everything we could to focus on the fundamentals of the English language, teaching him reading and writing in English before he experienced any further hearing loss. It raised another point of view that we hadn't considered yet. ASL and English are truly two different languages and we do feel that Caelan's life will be easier if he can read and write in English, even if his main form of communication is ASL.
I have to admit that it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I was spending more hours than there are in a day flipping through all the different scenarios in my mind, writing out all the pros and cons of all our options, looking on-line at houses and running numbers through the calculator constantly. It's been exhausting.
For now though, a decision has been made.