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Looking for the best school for my daughter who has a moderate cognitive delay


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natureschild77 November 3, 2009


I am looking for a high school in the Chicagoland area (either Chicago or northern suburbs) that focuses on children with cognitive delays. My daughter also has a hearing impairment. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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healthy11 November 3, 2009


Hi. I'm in the Chicago area, but it's a huge location. Did you recently relocate here? Does your daughter currently have an IEP? Are you seeking a private school, or a public one? In many communities, which public school your child would attend depends on where your home is located. I know in my community (NW suburbs) there is one high school in our district that has a special program for kids with cognitive impairment, with an emphasis on life skills learning. I've been told the entire 3rd floor of the building has been converted to special "classrooms" including kitchen areas, etc. I don't know if your daughter would be looking at that type of program, or a more academic one? You might try contacting groups like www.thearc.org, to see if they can give you any recommendations.

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natureschild77 November 4, 2009


Thanks..We are in Chicago, close to Evanston. Regarding Chicago Public High schools, I have found one school, Vaughn Occupational, that has a program but they have limited enrollment and I have already been discouraged about her chances of enrolling by her case manager at her current school. Her main disability, according to her IEP, is her hearing impairment(she is profoundly deaf without her cochlear implant, but with it does fairly well.) My concern is her cognitive delay which is becoming more apparent as time goes on. I really do not know much about the quality of that school and am willing to relocate for a school with a proven track record.

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healthy11 November 4, 2009


A friend of our family has a young son with a cochlear implant; what is the reason your daughter doesn't use it all the time? I have no doubt that if she's being measured against students who are constantly increasing their vocabulary through what they can hear, she's bound to show cognitive deficiencies. I can't help but wonder when your daughter's last comprehensive evaluation was? Did they give her a non-verbal IQ test to establish her potential? That would seem like an important factor to know.

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natureschild77 November 4, 2009


She does wear her implant all the time. She had been tested lasted spring prior to her IEP. She tested with a mild cognitive delay, however, she will be retested this spring. I believe her delay is not soley attributed to her deafness. She had a difficult birth and there were other underlying factors. She is in a small class setting with other kids who have hearing impairment. Communication method is total communication (speaking and signing). She has trouble staying on task and needs constant reinforcement and one on one attention to stay focused.

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healthy11 November 4, 2009


I'll admit that if her hearing wasn't a consideration, your description of your daughter's difficulties with concentration and focus would make me think ADHD is behind her difficulties. Frankly, it still could be a part of her struggles. If you feel her inattention is problematic, especially when compared to her peers in the special hearing impaired class, I would really encourage you to ask her doctor about the possibility.

My own son is very bright, but he couldn't stay on task without a lot of redirection and supervision in his classes. I started researching everything I could, had him evaluated, and ADHD was identified. After we acknowledged that structure and a reward system wasn't helping him enough, we did do a medication trial, and the improvement was significant. As they said, the best instructors in the world, using the best methodologies, still aren't going to be able to help a student learn as much if the child isn't able to focus on what they're being taught. I really wonder if your daughter is already in a good class placement, but she's just not able to retain the knowledge because she's dealing with an attention deficit, above and beyond her hearing difficulties. Do you mind if I ask which IQ test they gave her last year, and what did her results show?

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faithandfamily November 6, 2009


Please see www.visionandlearning.com Consider that often if our children have delays in one sense, sometimes we also have it in another. Prayers!



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