St. Rita School for the Deaf offers hope to many families that struggle to find a school community for a child who is hearing impaired or struggles to learn because of diagnosed conditions such as Apraxia, Down Syndrome or Autism. The private, Catholic school offers education and socialization programs to students, highlighting the dignity of every human person. It is one of the six ministries that receive funds each year from the Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
This is a first-hand account from Courtney and Andrew Seitz on how St. Rita School for the Deaf is helping their daughter thrive:
“Madison is our oldest child. She was our first experience of childhood education. In addition, we were navigating her growth and development with hearing loss. We were in two different school programs prior to finding St Rita's and what we heard from those schools were things like "we adore her, but" or "she cries and hides in a corner when we have an activity" or "she isn't welcome back next year, she can't keep up" or " we will give her an iPad and she can communicate with others that way.”
My husband and I were dumbfounded. She would often be by herself while other children played together. She was not able to express herself or share her needs which caused her frustration and anxiety. Instead of our introduction to education being an exciting milestone for Madison, it was quite traumatic and eye opening.
My husband and I later realized we were on our own to figure out the right program for Madison. I actually considered giving up nursing and homeschooling her because I thought there was no other option. Then one day, I drove by St Rita's and read the sign "School for the Deaf" and scheduled a tour soon after.
I would simply say that the rest is history as Madison is active and growing every day at St Rita's. Prior to St Rita's, doors were closed to her, assumptions were made, and she was growing in dependence versus independence. All of that is history now.
St Rita's has given her the confidence to put her mark on the world. She adores her friends and teachers. She loves math and science. She tells us about her school day. The teachers and staff partner with my husband and me in her academic and social development. They challenge Madison and treat her holistically as a 10-year-old child instead of only focusing on a child with special needs. She is becoming her own person every day and St Rita's is providing the guardrails to help her continue in her academic path and thrive in life. “
More information about St. Rita School for the Deaf can be found at www.srsdeaf.org