Thursday, November 1, 2012

Learning from the past and moving forward...

I now know that "planning" to update a blog and actually doing it are two very DIFFERENT things.  I still have the desire need to document this journey we are one.  My goal is still to gather information, advice, learn from others and to perhaps offer up something that might help others along the way.

To reach any goal you have to have a plan.  That is something I was lacking when it came to taking the time to actually write down what we are doing with Nathan.  So learning from the past and moving forward I have some clear goals on what I want this little spot of cyberspace to become.  I've written some steps on how I will get there.  I'll share those with you in the week to come.  You'll notice themed posts that will start to build a library.  A resource center if you will.

Stay tuned.....


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So Thankful!

Today Nathan is home sick from school and I titled my post "So Thankful".


A year ago Nathan would not have been able to tell us he was sick.  He would have woken up crying and looking around - desperate for us to understand what was going on.

This morning he woke up - tears in his eyes - and signed to us he was sick and his tummy hurt. So for that, I 'm thankful.  He was able to convey what was bothering him.


Monday, May 14, 2012

I'll take the small steps!

For Mothers Day my family went to a local park for an afternoon picnic.  My nieces took Emily and Nathan to play at the playground.   Nathan asked for help!  This is HUGE for him.  He put together a sentence all on his own (no copy signing) and used his voice.  For someone other than Mommy or Daddy!

"Can I have help, please". 

Yeah!  So proud of him.  He has come so far in a year since implant!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

He said "I WUV YOU"

Last night as I tucked Nathan into bed I leaned over and did what I've done countless times.  I turned his head and said into his Cochlear Implant ~ I love you.
Much to my surprise he turned my head and said so very clearly into my ear "I WUV YOU"!  I quickly said my good nights and slipped from the room before he could notice the tears forming in my eyes.
Nathan tells me all the time he loves me....signs it to me.  He is an affectionate little guy.  Telling me he loves me is nothing new.

Saying it was!

Be still my heart.  This Mommy is overwhelmed.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Love this video

Someday I hope and pray that Nathan will be able to understand this my head I know he will, but my hearts wants it sooner for him.  It is beautiful.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

So much to learn

Nathan has much to learn as he "catches up" on language and communication.  It can be daunting at times.  I'm sure it frustrates him as well.  Everything must be taught...nothing is learned by just "overhearing" for a Deaf child.  Think about it...Nathan is learning English, sign language, social skills that are different from the first 6 years of his life, how to fit in a family...the list goes on and on.  It can be down right exhausting and a lot to expect from anyone.  My goal is to make learning essence to "play games".  This includes his weekly spelling list.

I'm not monkeying around about it either.

I'm always trying to think of new ways to present the same old boring thing.


Monday, April 9, 2012

A start of a converstation!

Nothing and I mean nothing is as exciting to be able to communicate with your children for the first ask a question (a question we've asked for 2 years) and have them ANSWER!!!! Yippee! Our family loves to share the highlight of our day with each other (okay Art and I do).

We started from day one asking Nathan what he liked best about the day - we finally had an answer.  We took Emily and Nathan to an Easter Egg Hunt at the local Children's Museum and on the way home were asking what the best part of the day was.  Emily of course chimed right in, right away.  Nathan was looking around and I wondered if he really understood what we asked.  We signed and spoke again and waited....and waited...and waited.  Apparently, he was really thinking about it.  He told us he liked looking for eggs above his waist! Had to chuckle because that was the rule for his age group - above the waist eggs only.  I asked if he liked anything else and signed "fire truck" (they have 1/2 of a truck for the kids to play on) and riding all the cars (they have all different types of transportation from around the world). Not complete sentences but enough "correctly" signed words that we all knew what each other was talking about.

Praise God - what an answer to prayer!  The whole communication thing is FINALLY starting to click....Nathan is such a hard worker and desperately wants to talk/sign with us.  He tries so hard.


PS - we've been INCREDIBLY sick for over a month and blogging (sometimes just getting up) was beyond the scope of what I could do in the day. Starting to feel some better....lets hope it sticks this time!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Game On!

Nathan wants to play Battleship so badly and he wants to play with his hearing friend that don't sign.....While Nathan is doing an amazing job learning to listen, this is a difficult task for a little guy that only has 1 year under his belt hearing.

Starting with the game Battleship really wasn't going to work.  We need to work up to it.  So my task is how to make learning the game, sounds, letters and numbers fun.  How do I get him to the point he can play with his friends?

Next post will be our first Battleship Prep!

image sourced

Friday, March 2, 2012

A little bit of background on Nathan

We adopted Nathan from Kunming China in January 2010.  We knew he was Deaf/Hard of Hearing according to the information that China provided.  Our plan at the time was to raise him in the Deaf Community and use ASL as his primary language.  Once home we enrolled him in a Deaf/HH program and set out to teach him ASL.  In May 2010 we saw a specialist to evaluate his hearing and find out just what Nathan could or could not hear.

Nathan is Profoundly Deaf.  He hears without aids or CI  at 105 dB across all frequencies.  He had already been signing to us "hearing aid".  The Dr.'s felt we should try them since he was asking for them.  My husband and I decided to honor our little guys' wishes and ordered his aids.  He got them in July 2010 - put them on and never took them off (well just for sleeping).  He LOVED them!  The Dr's thought he might get up to 70dB - he surprised them all and was hearing around 50dB. 

 Soon he came home from school and signed "implant".  We checked with his teacher and sure enough he was asking her at school where his implant was.  In September 2010 we started the process to see if Nathan would even be considered for a Cochlear Implant.  He was almost 7 years old with no known medical history.  We had no idea if he had ever heard, or if he would get anything from an implant.  We just knew HE was asking for one.  We had to re-consider OUR plans.  We had to think long and hard if this was something we wanted to do.  Nathan kept asking and went through a lot of testing.  In the end we decided to once again honor Nathan's wishes and with the Dr.'s blessing scheduled surgery.

In February 2011, one year after he was home, Nathan was implanted.  We went with the Cochlear N5.  We liked some of the features and thought it would be the best fit for our very active little boy.  Upon activation Nathan smiled and shook his head, like he just couldn't believe it.  We knew he was happy.  We knew that we had a long road ahead of us.  We didn't know if he would get anything out of it or not.  We just knew it was what he wanted.

At his 9 month check up he was hearing 15-20 dB.  At one year he is understanding and testing at 2 years 8 months.  Amazing progress.  We think now that Nathan was born hearing and lost it some time in his toddler years.  He calls his Daddy - Baba, Chinese for Dad.  We had never used that name for Daddy in our house.  That was all Nathan.

This blog was started to share our journey and the decisions we've made (or Nathan has made).  The things we've learned along the way, including it's okay to change your mind and your course.  To share some of the things we've done as a family to help facilitate Nathan's language acquisition. 

I hope those that visit will find it to be helpful and useful. I hope to get new information from you as well. I've learned one thing in the last two years - life is DYNAMIC!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Family emergency!

My goal was to post three or so times a week.  February was fraught with family emergencies.

Look forward to posts about Aural Therapy we do at home, helping with homework, resources for parents with Deaf children, new technology and much more.

First up next week will be "Today at our house" a little feature I will do each week on some of the therapy we do to help Nathan learn.   I also have a 3 year old hearing daughter that wants to join in all the time.  My challenge is to engage an 8 year and a 3 year old...make it fun so they don't know they are working on anything!

Have a great weekend and stay tuned!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'll be the first to admit!

I'll be the first to admit I don't have all the answers!  I don't even know all the questions yet.  I do know I'm passionate about my children, their education, their sense of confidence, their development and trying my hardest to provide for them emotionally.

So what is "I see what you're saying"? 

Our son is Deaf.  This is a blog about our journey as a family.  Our experiences,  learning,  frustrations, the decisions we've made for our family and hopefully along the way a place that can be an open forum for others to share. 

What it is not is a place for people to pass judgment.  The journey is different for everyone and every family - yet at the same time our paths run parallel.

My goal for the blog is talk about the issues faced raising a Deaf child, how we facilitate learning, our frustrations in getting information, finding out what others are doing and learning more about Deaf culture.

So follow along.  Learn how to see what is said.