Thursday, October 29, 2009

Am I Missing Something?

Although I have pretty much given up on my school district providing an education for Ashley, some of the school staff are trying, and I do appreciate that. At the beginning of this current school year (Ashley's first year in high school), two folks from our state's deafblind project visited the school and did a training for the school staff. I'm really hoping that helped because usually teachers and other staff just don't get the whole deafblind thing.

For example, Ashley's 2nd grade teacher came to an IEP meeting and in all seriousness said, "Ashley is a visual and auditory learner."

Still, I give this year's staff credit for trying harder than staff in the past.

However, one of the things that someone, perhaps the speech therapist, is working on with Ashley is getting her to sign jokes. I'm not sure of the reason why - perhaps to fit in with her peers more or maybe to work on some more signs - I'm just not really sure. But, at the end of the school day, the jokes come home written out on a piece of paper, and attached to the joke paper is a page with pictures of the signs that were used.

This week's joke was, "knock knock - who's there? - train - train who - train makes the flowers grow".

I get it - train - the rain - but let's think about this from Ashley's perspective.

She can't hear - she's deaf. The whole point of the joke is hearing the sound of the word train. So sure, she can sign all the words - but it makes no sense to her.

I wonder if the school staff understands why she is not laughing.

Today I am thankful that tomorrow is Friday :)


Cheryl said...

Help me out. There's something I'm not grasping. Some jokes def, but jokes such as "a guy walks into a bar. ouch;" I don't get where you need to rely on sounds for that one. You just need the concept of the fact that there are 2 kinds of bars...

Ashley's Mom said...

Cheryl, I get your second joke about the bars, and Ashley would think that was funny also. But a joke that relies on hearing a sound - in this case 'train' - for it's punchline, she won't get. Signed it would just say 'flowers grow train makes'. She would say, "no it doesn't." She would miss the subtle sound of the joke - train/the rain.

Corrie Howe said...

I love the face in today's post. I agree. Maybe they can teach her some jokes that don't depend upon sounds of words to understand the punchline.

Marla said...

Good Lord. I am sorry but can't they think of anything a little more productive to be working on? This is exactly the type of stuff I have seen with M and it tends to send me over the edge, way over.

I personally would find it insulting to Ashley. Children like M and A see the world very differently. M can hear and see and she still does not understand jokes. She just does not see much humor there. That is part of having a severe communication disorder.

I hope this was not homework as well? That would really upset me. I can't stand homework that is pretty much pointless since getting M to work at home can be hell.

Sigh. You caught me in a very forthcoming mood right now. Sorry if I seem harsh...but geesh. What are these people thinking? I bet the teacher thinks she is super creative too in doing these jokes.

Anonymous said...

Sadly the issue of people not getting deafblindness isn't unique. I'm blind and hard of hearing and attended a school for the visually impaired. The only accommodation for my hearing impairment they made was the rather obvious one of giving me a desk near the teacher. For the rest I was just expected to cope like everybody else, which of course I didn't.
BTW, I didn't get the joke either until I read the xplanation and I'm hearing :)

Michelle Morgan-Coole said...

My first thought was (and tell me if I'm off base here) that the joke was a little age-inappropriate (too young) for Ashley. No, I'm not suggesting that they teach her the jokes some of her peers might be making but something a little bit older perhaps.

BTW , just out of curiousity, would she "get" this one?

Knock knock - who's there? - Dwayne - Dwayne who? - Dwayne the bathtub, I'm drowning.

Ashley's Mom said...

MMC, yes, it is age-inappropriate. I was just ignoring that. I also don't think she would get the second joke. Most, if not all, knock knock jokes rely on hearing words - words that rhyme or have different meanings. In your example - Dwayne versus drain. If you can't hear the word, the joke sort of loses it meaning. Ashley doesn't know that Dwayne sounds a little like drain, and thus, she would just scratch her head at the joke. Maybe if the joke could use signs that are similar, it might have more meaning. But the signs for Dwayne and drain are so totally different that it just wouldn't make sense to her.