EDUDEAF: Maturity and Deaf Students

Key Words: Instructional Strategies, Deaf Education, K-12

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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1996 23:02:57 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hi folks,

Tonight I did three of my four home visits. One of the students I have is very immature for his age. In discussing this with the parents tonight they both said they do recognize it. The mom asked me how do you help a child with this.

I offered the - don't do FOR him what he can do for himself. That works a bit more toward accepting responsibility which I believe will lead to maturity.

But, things like acting childish, interupting, being overly silly to get attention, etc. are things I couldn't come up with specific TO DO or DON'T DO's.

Any ideas or thoughts on how to help a child become more mature?

Cathy - who should not schedule three home visits in one night - I'm brain dead

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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1996 23:38:04 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Brad Ingrao

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Any possibility this kid is ADHD?

My son (Deaf) did the same things, often behaving 3-4 years below chronological age (he's 6). After diagnosis and medication therapy, much improvement and a great reduction in these behaviors.

Brad Ingrao
Jax FL

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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 06:42:53 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: randey

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hi Cathy,
Interesting question... may I answer it with a question? Is this an only child? I say that because it sometimes seems to me that parents will become over protective and do more or let the deaf child get away with more than they do their hearing siblings.

Randey

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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 06:03:02 -0500

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: KNPONGOR@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hi Cathy,
In working with several kids like you described [silly behavior, interrupting, etc.] I have some things that I use in the classroom that might also be adopted at home. I have a growing chart that I put up in the room. The kids cut out pictures of children at various ages and we place them on the chart. We also have card with their names on it next to the chart. I put a big star [or some other symbol] with each child's name on it on the chart, next to their chronological age. Each time they demonstration a behavior that is 'below' their age, I move their name to that level on the chart. I don't say anything, just put their name there. If they demonstrate behavior at or above their age level, I move their name to that point, giving alot of verbal/visual praise and they also earn a reinforcer. I find that helping the kids with a visual system really helps them understand what is acceptable for their age and what is not. We also have discussions about various types of behavior and why they are or are not acceptable. After a while, in the classroom at least, the kids start to monitor each other, reminding each other what is or is not age appropriate behaviors. It also helps to model some appropriate strategies and practice them with the kids for things like interrupting, acting silly to get attention, etc. Often, kids don't always know what to do in those situations. Hope this is useful!

Kathy Pongor
KDES 3/4/5 Resource Teacher
[Yup, a new grade level for me!]

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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 07:41:53 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Birgit Woelker

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hi Cathy,
What you are describing does not necessarily mean the child is immature. He might act like a 3 year old because he wants to have some attention or wants to control the situation. My daughter (now 6) acts sometimes like you describe. We deal with it by giving her some "responsibility power", she can for instance choose a silly character and decide what silly character each family member has to play. She recognizes it as a game which lasts a couple minutes and then is over. We take turns talking at home. She has to recognize other people's turns. I involve her actively in decision making. Even small decisions like what do you want to eat today, what to want to wear, how to you like your hair, what sticker do you want on your calendar, where do you want to sit, who do you want to visit, with whom do you want to play this weekend..... all give her the power to decide and to control the situation and to determine the outcome of it. It makes her very proud to be actively involved in decision making and the result is she no longer needs to determine the situation by disrupting other people in order to get the permanent attention she desperately needs to fight her fear of not understanding everything.

Birgit
P.S. you can give this letter to the mom ____________________________________________________________________________

Dr. Birgit Woelker
State University of New York
Department of Molecular Genetics
and Microbiology
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5222
phone: (516) 632-8798
Fax: (516) 632-8891
e-mail: birgit@asterix.bio.sunysb.edu

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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 09:20:17 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: Message of Tue, 27 Aug 1996 23:38:04 -0400 from

I would say we must say just about anything is a possibility. I don't believe it is in this situation. From my point of view it is much more the family environment, the way they interact, the way things are managed in the home. It is my opinion that too much is done FOR the child and not enough is expected FROM the child.

The child was identified late and lost the first four years of language reception, exposure, etc. Thus in many respects he has only been experiencing and "really" developing for the past five years. So, in that sense we might say he is "developmentally appropriate" just not "chronologically or age appropriate."

He plays with the three and four year olds in the neighborhood because supposedly there are no children his age. However, at recess he is not interested in playing with peers his age or playing age appropriate games.

Ideas?

Cathy - who is reminded again and again that I'm not a parent and thus don't experience child rearing first hand

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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 09:13:00 -0600

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: "Johnson, George (M&C Don)"

Subject: Re: Maturity

I wonder if the child might need/want more one-on-one time with his parents. Do they read with him, help him with lessons, etc? Just spending personal time with him might help eliminate some of the attention getting behavior.

George - just one dad's opinion

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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 21:23:45 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Brad Ingrao

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Cathy,

I think you hit the nail on the head. We all need to be looking at developmental milestones relative to the kid's functional level. When a kid has such a significant delay, chronologic norms must take a back seat to realistic developmental goals.

Brad Ingrao
Jax FL

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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 1996 08:58:46 -0500

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Candace Krepel

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To:

I heartily agree with Birgit, with one caveat: limit the choices. One of the things I have learned in 18 years of parenting is that the most important thing in most situations is the presentation. For example, "Would you like to have dessert first, then change into your sleep clothes, or change first and eat your ice cream while I read you a story?" The child is empowered, *but* either choice is acceptable to me. Giving open-ended choices can create absolute chaos by the time they are teens. (Even if you offer limited choices you will still find yourself doing a lot of driving on the weekends, because their friends never live in bike-riding distance!)

Candy Krepel

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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 1996 19:17:15 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Gina Tanza

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Providing choices is a wonderful approach. With the class of preschoolers I teach I usually offer two choices (i.e. in completing a project I may offer white glue OR a glue stick). The power to choose is the child's. My goal being the item be assembled, how is not as important. At home, if a parent wants the child to drink milk with dinner, the choice wouldn't be "MILK OR PEPSI", rather I'd offer "BLUE OR RED CUP".

Gina Marie Tanza

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Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 23:50:57 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: "LUCKER, JAY"

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: In reply to your message of Tue, 27 Aug 1996 23:02:57 EDT

Cathy,

Here's two persons' points of view regarding helping the parents of the child about which you are concerned become more mature.

First, much of the behavior we see from children regardless of their age is a reflection of what has been accepted by the parents. As for the child in question, you described some behaviors which just are socially and pragmatically inappropriate.

The parents need to establish acceptable and unacceptable behaviors for the child, and make the child responsible for those behaviors - rewarding the acceptable behaviors by attending to the child, and responding to the behaviors and telling the child that they (the parents) are proud that he/she is "doing what is correct" if you know what I mean.

Now, when the child misbehaves, then there must be two consequences, both immediate. One, the parents must not respond to the inappropriate behavior, otherwise, this behavior will be reinforced; two, the child must know that there is a consequence for the inappropriate behavior - with the consequence immediate, age/chld appropriate, and with an explanon, if possible from the child, why the child's behavior led to that "punishment."

Believe me it works, but it requires mature parents who are willing to be parents and not "best friends" to their children.

Dr.J!

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Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 00:15:05 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: Message of Fri, 30 Aug 1996 23:50:57 EDT from

I think it is often difficult for a mom to distinguish between being a "good mom" and enabling a child. This does take maturity as well as other characteristics which I don't know if I really know how to define.

I think we often see moms and dads who do FOR a kid because they simply and sincerely want to "take care of" their child, provide a good environment, and make life "good." However, I often think that depending upon the kid many of these "well intentioned" things can cause problems.

One problem with which I struggle each year is having parents allow their children to become responsible for their own homework. I want parents to be involved in their child's work, to know what they are doing, to discuss this and build on it throughout their family life. But, I DON'T want the parents to do the homework FOR the child, hand-hold while the child does it, taking the ownership or responsibility from the child. Nine to eleven year olds can certainly be responsible for thier own homework.

To help with this I created a sheet this year which is basically a reminder sheet which also communicates to me and the parents that the child understands the homework. The child checks off each area in which he has homework. Then he must check if a teacher has gone over his homework with him. And finally, he must paraphrase or write "What I'm supposed to do at home." At the bottom of the sheet the child is then to check if he finished the work or if he worked for an hour but could not finish - and the reason why or why the homework is not done at all.

This was my attempt to help the children accept more responsibility for their own work. Today in the parent chat book which is basically a journal I am keeping with the parents the MOM writes to me that ____ didn't understand how to write the paragraphs retelling the story and that also he had not learned the One Word of the Week (a vocab word which isn't a part of their spelling assignment). Said she couldn't even think of a sentence in which to use the word TEMPORARY!!!

I wrote back and said that this was a perfect example of an area where I believed the child should be responsible for this information. He should have filled out the sheet and brought it to me to discuss. *He* needs to be talking to me about HIS homework, not mom.

Am I off base here. Parents, what do you think? Teachers? I told her to feel free to discuss homework with me in the chat book. But, that I wanted her to encourage the child to use the sheet to record what he didn't understand and to talk with me about it.

I've actually gone through this with another set of parents - a bit different. But, still similar homework issues. We've worked on this and now that it is clear that the CHILD is responsible life at home during homework time is much calmer and happy. Twice this week this child brought in work to ask me to help her with it. She is so funny when she asks - reminds me of going to the principal's office when I need help with various tasks. She's so professional about it and takes it very seriously when we sit down to work together.

But, SHE is the one determining when she doesn' understand, with what she needs help and takes the responsibility to gain help. The World of the Week is actually a week long assignment that is meant to develop interaction between the parents and the students as the parents are to use it in their conversations with the child without defining or explaining it. Each day at school I give clues. They are to use various sources to determine the meaning - parents, dictionaries or other reference material as well as context. By the end of the year I want the above three to reverse in order as to where the students goes first.

We also do a city of the week. The kids get to pick these from their week's work or can do research on their own to come up with them. They love doing the research to find this information. I learned this week that Philadelphia was the largest city in Pennsylvania and the fifth largest city in the United States. I'm still unsure about the latter one. I have to check her references which for that one was the computer. :)

Enough of my rambling - good grief. All this to say that if folks have ideas or thoughts about this homework responsibility issue, I'd love to hear from you. Both parents know I've put the question to this list and do look forward to getting all of the information I can gather (that's the initial question about responsibility and maturity).

Cathy - who's really tired tonight

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Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 16:25:34 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: John & Robin Henne

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I absolutely DO NOT think that you're off base here. How will children learn to handle big respnsibilities if they don't practice on smaller ones from the very beginning? The hour that you allow for is certainly reasonable for the age, you have mechanisms in place for checking comprehension of the task, asking for help when needed, and deciding when to stop because they've worked a reasonable amount of time. Seems to me you've covered the bases.

Given half a chance I could go on and on embroidering the point, but won't.... I do hope you have administrative support, since without it you'll have a hard time following through, and children who are able to get away with not doing the assigned work will learn a lesson different from what's wanted.

Robin - sliding smoothly off her soapbox

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Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 08:26:36 -0500

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Candace Krepel

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: <960831.002552.EDT.CBRAN00@ukcc.uky.edu>

No, you are not off base. There are so many things that a child cannot do for him/herself at that age, especially if the child has a disability and needs additional advocacy. But, there are lots of things a child *can* do. Certainly beginning to make choices among limited options, learning to take responsibility for those choices, and, yes, falling on one's face are all things that a child should be doing. It is far better for a child to learn to take responsibility for homework in elementary school, and accept the consequences of not choosing to do it, than to have to learn that lesson in high school, when the stakes are much higher. It might be easier for the parent to make excuses for the child, than to teach the child (that takes a long time), but that strategy will not work with the geometry teacher. I suspect that the parent just doesn't understand that you really want the child to ask you, and perhaps, that the child doesn't understand this either. Even though I'm sure you don't regard yourself as an intimidating person , from the child's point of view, you are. I have had a very difficult time with all my children getting them to ask the teacher *why* they got something wrong on a test, that they didn't understand. The teacher is an authority figure, not to be questioned. They have a hard time with the notion that the teacher also has an obligation to explain something that the child doesn't understand. Maybe in this case, you could be proactive with the child, pulling him aside and checking to make sure that he does understand. Then he will discover that you are not so big and fierce.

Candy Krepel

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Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 13:00:00 -0600

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: "Johnson, George (M&C Don)"

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I have a question. I understand the first paragraph. The second I am not sure what is meant by, "the parents must not respond to the inappropriate behavior". For example, our 22 month old son has started little temper tantrums when he does not get his way. I assume you mean to not respond by giving into his wants. But yet respond in a way to let him know his behavior is not acceptable? Our daughter never went though the "terrible twos" as some people say. So this temper stuff is a little new for us. (Must be mom's side of the family.) BTW, I personally don't think that it is appropriate to label any child's behavior or development in such a way as "going through the terrible twos" so please don't flame me for using the term. :-)

George

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Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 20:55:30 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Christofer deHahn

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Also, does this child spend a reasonable amount of time with other children his age, deaf or hearing? Maturity grows with expanding social skills (until their teenagers 8^)).

Chris
Chris deHahn.....CdH.....System, Network, CAE Administrator
Sun Microsystems, Inc....dehahn@tiac.net...'91 Buell RS1200

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Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 21:31:35 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Christofer deHahn

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I don't think you're off base, but I do wonder if the chat book is the right vehicle for student-teacher communication. Ask the parent what they feel the chat book is for. If they tell you that they think it's for parent-teacher communication, then they weren't off base at all writing what they did in the book. If the chat book is for student-teacher communication, or family-teacher communication, then I would talk this out with the family. I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding.

Chris
Chris deHahn.....CdH.....System, Network, CAE Administrator Sun Microsystems, Inc....dehahn@tiac.net...'91 Buell RS1200

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Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 21:40:45 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: Message of Wed, 4 Sep 1996 21:31:35 -0400 from

The Chat Book is for Parent-Teacher communication. Kids have their own journals. It is my attempt to give them a vehicle to express their ideas and concerns. Last year it seemed that 2-3 times a week particular parents would call with questions, concerns etc. It's not that I minded parents calling at home. But, it was becoming overwhelming. Additionally, MANY of the things were things which the CHILD should have been dealing with and not mom. The Chat Book has worked well thus far. Most of the parents only write occasionally. But, I have one parent who typically writes daily.

The reason why I didn't think mom should be writing to tell me that is because I want the CHILD to discuss homework with me and tell me when he/she doesn't understand. This is to lead to asking the teacher in class when one doesn't understand, asking the mainstream teacher for help, taking reponsibility for one's own learning, etc.

It's actually fine for mom to tell me as long as the child discusses it with me, too. But, if he/she knows mom will talk to me and figure it out then he doesn't have to worry about it and he's not responsible for the information.

>communication, then I would talk this out with the family. I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding.

I don't think it was. I think it was mom not expecting the child to come and tell me about his own homework and thinking SHE should be the one doing it. I happen to think she isn't.

Glad to have you back sharing with the list. :)

Cathy - who has a picture of this good looking 5.5 year old on her filing cabinet - can't figure out who the geeky looking guy is with him, though

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Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 22:02:56 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To: Message of Wed, 4 Sep 1996 22:03:10 -0400 from

I did discuss this with the whole family during the home visit last week. It is an area where they are trying to make progress - allowing the child to be responsible for certain things. I happen to believe homework is one of those.

Yes, of course, parents should discuss any homework concerns they have with the teacher if they are wanting to gain a better understanding of the work, why it is being assigned, what is the overall goal, etc. But, in this case the mom was clearly communicating something to me about the child's work. It is my position/opinion/thought :) that whenever a parent communicates FOR a child what he/she should be learning to do for him/herself then they are taking away an opportunity for both language development and responsibility development.

Mom is in the habit of communicating FOR the child. I believe this is one reason why he lacks maturity. And it's my opinion that was her purpose for writing in the Chat Book - to tell me what he could and could not do. This is something he should be doing himself. MHO

Cathy - who also has an adorable picture of this kid in a wave with these two women sitting in front of him with one holding this GORGEOUS baby with an equally gorgeous name!

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Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 22:03:10 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Christofer deHahn

Subject: Re: Maturity

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I think that you should discuss it with her. If what you suspect is true, then this is an issue that you should address with the whole family. If I were the teacher I would want to make very sure that there were no misunderstandings.

But I'm not a teacher, just a geek. 8^)

Chris
Chris deHahn.....CdH.....System, Network, CAE Administrator
Sun Microsystems, Inc....dehahn@tiac.net...'91 Buell RS1200

Uploaded by: Jessica Soltesz/Kent State University/Deaf Educaton Major