I Don’t Get It – My Son Has 3 Classrooms, but Only Needs to Hear in One?

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My child has a cochlear implant. His IEP states that the school will provide a sound field system in his primary educational classroom. This year in 6th grade, they move between three classrooms, so we requested two more systems.  The school said they would not do this because of budget.  My question is what is considered “primary educational classroom”?

Primary means “first” or “most important,” “…of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondary.” But knowing the definition of primary is not really the answer to your question.

A More Important Issue – Your Child’s Needs

As your son gets older and his school environment and classroom setting change, so do his needs. That is why IDEA allows for review and revision of the IEP, in order to accommodate your child’s unique needs.

In elementary school, your child remained in one classroom, his primary educational classroom, so the school was able to meet his needs using one sound field system.

If the IEP says the school will provide a sound field system in his “primary educational classroom”, which class that would be will be in 6th grade? How will the school determine which of the 3 classrooms would be the “primary” classroom?

Your son will be required to move between three different classrooms, but only needs to hear in one of those rooms?

If he needs a sound field system to learn, then he needs it in all classrooms.  If he needs the system in one classroom, it is illogical to say he does not need it in the other classrooms.

You need to write a short letter to document what the school told you:

  • they cannot provide the system in all classrooms because of cost.
  • they will only provide the system in the primary educational classroom.

Ask what they mean when they refer to the “primary educational classroom.”

More than likely, once the school has to put it in writing, the answer to your question will be different.

  1. You might also ask them to change to an FM system. As your son gets older and goes to high school he will have even more classrooms. An FM system can either attach right to the cochlear implant or he could use a loop system accessing the telecoiil in the CI processor. I would get his CI processor set to have a telecoil/microphone mix.
    My son wears cochlear implants and he uses an FM system that directly connects to his CI processors. He is in 4th grade.

  2. By sound field system do you mean an FM system?

    FM systems are not that large, it seems strange the school cannot simply have the system carried from class to class for the teachers to use.

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