Dr. L Fleischer re: IEPs & Fixing Focus (translation in text English below the video box)
biggest thanks to Dr. Fleischer’s family for allowing this clip to go up and also to Patrick Boudreault for sending the clip.
ADDED: After Larry’s death, Mel Orr (a Hearing mother of a Deaf son) wrote a “We Never Landed in Holland” blog entry sharing how generous and pivotal Larry was to her own son’s IEP meeting many years after Larry’s experience with his daughter’s IEP. It is beautiful how Larry always remembered that we were once strangers in a strange land and how he worked not just for his own family’s equality but for family’s he did not even know.
Dr. Lawrence Fleischer:
Around the time PL 94-142 had already been passed and become official I had an IEP meeting for my daughter.
Look, you should already know this and not find it surprising. At this IEP meeting, my daughter, who is Deaf, and I were surrounded by others. My daughter at this time was about 4 or 5. So who was seated before us? Of course there was the audiologist, the SLP – speech and language professional, adaptive PE, the principal and the teacher. This made up the IEP meeting.
First up for bat was the audiologist –
“your daughter needs audiology services?” And my answer, can you guess, was what?
“Oh, that would be a bad role model for the other deaf children.”
THAT was their big concern.
“I’m sorry. Deaf will be Deaf. Deaf will be Deaf. Whether or not they are d (deaf) or D (Deaf) the child will still continue to be deaf, finish!” Quibbling worthless, the person left.
Next up is the SLP – Speech and Language Professional who asks, “Do you need any services?” To which I ask? “Can you sign? Do you know ASL?” The SLP replies orally with a bit of gesture “I’m sorry I can’t sign.”
“One way communication. Nope. Be gone with that.” And so s/he left. Next in line is the adaptive PE. I took a good look at this person and then my daughter, who by the way is very athletic – run fast and jump high, and then I returned my gaze to the specialist and indicated “you work with her??” And s/he quickly realized their services were not applicable and made for a hasty exit.
So we come to the principal, who by this time in the IEP is very M-A-D. I am telling you s/he was MAD! I’ll be honest here. He was like, “this is an embarrassment.” I just let him have it out.
“You have said NO, NO, NO, NO, which leaves us with NOTHING except for this teacher. So this teacher will teach you.” The teacher nervously replies, “OK, so I will be teaching using the ‘Apple Tree.’” This was an antiquated, artificial system. So I replied, “No you won’t. An artificial system – No, I am sorry. I can not accept that.”
So guess what the teacher said next?
“All you say is ‘no, no, no’ to everything which leaves us with NOTHING to offer. Nothing is left.” “Really, truly, there is nothing else left?” I asked. “Really? Well, you haven’t yet discussed math, haven’t yet discussed science, and haven’t yet discussed history. All you have been focusing on is the EARS and the MOUTH. That’s all!”
Translated to English from the original ASL – pls alert p.durr to any needed corrections.
Dianrez – thanks for ur assistance with that the wording – “Deaf will be Deaf. Whether or not they are d (deaf) or D (Deaf) the child will still continue to be deaf, finish!” Quibbling worthless, the person left.