I am finding that I am taking longer to write between blogs because life is so normal these days. Yes, Kevin has a cochlear implant, but that doesn't seem first and foremost in our minds these days. Life with him is just normal. I never thought I would get to this point, but we are really enjoying it!
I do, however, have some fun updates on Kevin. Last Saturday, Feb. 21, was Kevin's 2 year hearing birthday. We marked this milestone with taking cupcakes to his oral-deaf school and having a family party on Saturday. This was such a significant day in our lives that I always want to remember it and celebrate it somehow. Where did the last 2 years go? I seems like yesterday that we were sitting in the audi's office and listening to the beeps hoping that Kevin would turn his head... and he did... and he smiled. He hasn't looked back since! Kevin is a completely auditory child!!! Happy 2nd Birthday, Kevin! I really need to upload some audio samples of him. The problem is that he gets goofy when the camera is on him and doesn't talk the way he normally does. Hopefully I will get some good footage of him soon and let you all see for yourself how great of a talker he is! :)
The one area of focus we have had is articulation. His artic is getting much better and I think that is due to 2 reasons. One, he is almost 3 and so his age and development is helping with that. The other is that his tongue strength and movement is soooooooo much better. I can't even begin to tell you how much better it is! We have been working a ton on this is therapy and I also have let him chew gum. Between those 2 thing, his movement has really increased. This seems to be helping how he is articulating.
We are also working on his IEP. That is coming up in less than a month, so we are getting all of our ducks in a row for that. I'm not anticipating many challenges with this, but you never know. All districts are cash strapped now and Kevin is the first deaf child in his district. So, he is paving the way for others... assuming there will be others. We are hoping for a 2 day a week in his oral-deaf school and 2 days in mainstream. I also would like to have him start using an FM system when he turns 3. I'll keep you updated on how this process goes. So far, it has just been a lot of paperwork and testing/observation. I'm not one to enjoy having to 'go through the process'.
2 cute stories that happened tonight that I have to share are this:
1. I was in the kitchen cooking with the fan on the stove and Kevin and his brother were in the family room about 20 ft away. My cell phone was about 10 ft. from me, so 30 ft. from Kevin. They were playing trains and making moving sounds and the fan was loud and my phone isn't that loud, but it started ringing. I didn't hear it that well. Kevin says, 'Mommy, your phone is ringing'. Why thanks, Kevin... my deaf child alerted me to my ringing phone! How cool is that!!!
2. Before we put the kids to bed, I made a fort with the couch cushions and we got underneath and turned on flashlights to tell 'spooky' stories. I went first and then my other son told a long and detailed story. I assumed that was it, but Kevin wanted to tell and story and I swear he talked for about 4-5 minutes non-stop with this detailed story. He was making up names for characters (monsters) like 'bullet-train' and 'curious george'. He told what they did and where they were going. I was so impressed that he could tell a made-up story all on his own! He never ceases to amaze me!
On another note, something did come up today. I have started taking them to the childcare at the gym. For the 2nd week in a row, Kevin has been bonked in the head by a 'friend' with a toy. Now, the child today was 2.5, so I am sure it was just a 2.5 year old thing, but on the way home I posed the question, 'Kevin, why are you getting hit in the head?' My other son said, 'maybe they are making fun of his implants'. Gulp... what did you say???? He told me that he doesn't think they are funny and no one has said anything to him, but maybe that is why they are doing that. My other son is almost 5. We have never had the conversation about Kevin's implants being 'different' or 'weird' or 'funny'. Just how great they are. Somehow, he has learned that people might poke fun at him for it. We talked about how he needed to be there for Kevin is someone did poke fun at him for them. While I am sure today's incident was simply a 2 year old asserting his power, it did make me aware that the time will come when some uneducated child will say something or do something to hurt Kevin's feelings about his implants. Hopefully Kevin will be at an age to have the confidence to soar through this, but I am dreading that day. I also never realized it might come at such a young age...
All in all, we couldn't be happier with Kevin's progress. He gets mapped next week! It will be interesting to see how much his map has changed in the past 6 months... this is the longest we have had between mappings!