"We found found out she was deaf when she was about this age," she said. "She was 15 months old. We lived in Oklahoma at the time and drove here everyday for four years."
Lamar Elementary School is part of the Regional Education Program for the Deaf, a schooling track that brings hearing impaired students from communities across the High Plains to Amarillo to get an education targeted specifically to their needs. All students attend Lamar for elementary, Fannin for middle school and Caprock for high school.
When Cindi's daughter started kindergarten, she says she fell into a job at Lamar-- working with second graders in the program. She did that for 16 years; she's since moved to pre-K.
"In afternoons, I travel all over the Texas Panhandle and see hearing impaired babies from birth until three," she said. "Once they're two, they have the option of coming into our program daily."
Cindi says her instruction is very similar to teacher a child with normal hearing.
"The same way a hearing parent would talk to a child, we say it to them and sign it. We build language through talking and playing," she said. "It's just like a hearing child, but we just happen to sign."
Admittedly, Cindi had very little understanding of hearing impairment when she learned about her daughter's condition years ago but was able to learn to communicate with a lot of hard work.
"When you have to learn for your kids, you just do it."
"I love being with kids; seeing them learn and watching them hit the milestones that they reach each day just amazes me."
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