Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Great Article on the Cultural Changes Brought About by Cochlear Implants

 This was a news story that someone else shared on Facebook.  It illustrates what I've been saying for a long time now about the changes that are coming to the Deaf community because of cochlear implants. Not everyone is happy to see these changes as more and more medical miracles emerge, but I am so grateful to see these things happening.  Cochlear implants have given CJ and Liam a fighting chance at being anything they want to be.  I've never allowed my boys to use their hearing loss as a crutch or an excuse for not being able to do something, but it's wonderful to have the cochlear implants as a tool to be able to do so much more.  I'm interested to see the comments and input from others as they read this particular news story. Some, like the AFA for example, will be upset by it. Others will find hope in it.  Either way, it's worth discussing. I think.

One thing I did notice was the price tag listed for the implants and the surgery.  The article quotes a price that is less than half what CJ or Liam's devices cost us.  That's not so much up for debate, but I wanted to acknowledge it anyway.  Happy reading!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Whoa!!! That's a LOT of Progress!

Liam's teachers have been telling us he's making good progress, but we don't always get a chance to see a lot of that at home with him.  This weekend is a four day weekend for him, so we've gotten a lot more one-on-one time with him.  Let me just list all the AMAZING things Liam has shown us this week.

1.  He can argue! I know this sounds funny to be happy about, but it's a new skill for him.  Yesterday morning, he came downstairs and we weren't ready for him to be running amok destroying things, so Byron brought him up the stairs. As he was being brought up, he said to Byron, "No! Downstairs Liam!"  The most exciting part is that Byron understood him!!! They had a little discussion, which Byron able to completely understand.

2. He can count to ten!  He can look at any amount of items up to a count of ten and tell you how many are they without needing to count them.  He can then match up the items to the corresponding number. We have a puzzle that does this.  If there are six apples, he finds the number six and puts it into the place it goes.  He gets these correct 100% of the time.

3.  He knows almost all of his letters!  There are two or three that he doesn't quite get, but the rest are also accurate 100% of the time when capitalized. I haven't tried showing him lower case letters yet.

4. He can write his letters!!  I handed him some sidewalk chalk yesterday and he went to town putting chicken scratch (but still legible) letters all over the deck and patio. Then he would proudly tell me which letter each one was. It seems that his favorites are A, H, 1 (yes, that's a number), and L.  He did the same thing this morning with the steam in the shower.  I went to wash his hair and he proudly showed me his writing on the shower windows.

5. He can play turn taking games like Memory!!!  I took each set of pictures and put a sticker on one from each set. I set up the game with stickerless cards on one side and stickered ones on the other. This makes it slightly easier to find the matches.  He remembers where to look and tells me about each picture on the cards. I'm astonished at his comprehension and the vastness of his current vocabulary.  It's amazing.

Potty training?  Well...that has some work to be done. He stays totally dry all day and is proud of his underwear, but poop is a complete nightmare. He's nowhere close to getting that part down yet. Dang!  Still, I can't complain much. When I look at all the changes we've seen in him just in the past three months, all I can say is "Whoa! That's a LOT of progress!"