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!

Lisa

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