Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nik is deaf

Yes, I know this is not a new story for sure.  However, it never really occurred to us before b/c he can "hear" with his implant on.  Follow basic instructions such as put your shoes on.  Or , don't touch that, it's hot.  Well, Nik has one implant.  No spares due to some wonderful FAS residents in this house....URGHH!!!  Long story for sure.  So, if his one and only implant is broken, he is 100% deaf.  He can not hear a thing.  He was at first nervous of this fact now, he uses it to his advantage.  The other day I was yelling at him at the dinner table for being rude & obnoxious(common theme as of late at our dinner table) & he took his implant off, looked at me and laughed.  Was not happy about all that.  Anyhow, as of yesterday he has no implant.  Nothing works.  Could it be from when one of the kids jammed the coil in upside down or could it be from when Nik wore it in the shower and got it wet?  Well, no one really knows.  We just know it's broken, he can't hear us and it really is frustrating.  With the device, we get that comfort zone and don't realize he's deaf.  For others considering just verbal or auditory-verbal communication, you may want to consider adding sign.  From a personal stand point, I'm glad we did not back down and stop using sign as we were advised to do when Nik got his implant.  Nik has been taught the total communication route and glad we did.  At least now, when he is totally deaf, then we can communicate with him.  This is very nice for sure.  And it is not just when equipment is broken that Nik is deaf.  how about most of the summer when he's a fish in water?  No implants on then when he's in the pool or at the beach.  Or when he gets a shower?  Or when he's going to bed?  I like being able to sign goodnight, I love you and give him a kiss.  Though he's getting better at reading lips, I'm still very glad we at least have some basic ASL to communicate with him.  Just wanted to let others know our opinion on it.  I know communication modes are different for every family and each child is different.  However, I truly believe they can learn both.  Shoot, most parents want their children to be bilingual if they had the choice.  Speaking from experience today and yesterday, being able to communicate in ASL is priceless when it comes to your own child.  Otherwise, I would not have been able to ask him how his field trip was to the forest.  Okay, so I don't know how to sign field trip.  I just used trip.  He understood and that's what counts. 

Implant is being sent off for repairs tomorrow and he'll receive a loaner.  this won't be so bad when he has both implants.  Still, we will continue to sign with him.  BTW, whatever signs he knows by just verbal, then we don't sign it, just say it.  Hope all is well.  Tomorrow is the dentist for 3 of my kids.  I guess we won't have speech therapy today.  LOL.  Friday I have a few kids here as school is out.  Next week is absolutely insanely busy.  I mean insanely busy.  MRI is this week as well...Friday.  I have to leave all the kids here and go to get an MRI.  I'll be terrified NOT b/c of the MRI(had those before & this one is only of the knee so cake walk) but b/c I'll be leaving the bunch here.  Hospital is literally a few miles away so shouldn't be too bad.  More to catch up on.  Second half of farm post coming later tonight.  Enjoy your week everyone.

1 comment:

  1. IMO - ASL and spoken English can exist together. I'm not an advocate of Sim-Com, but being bilingual and have competency/fluency in both languages is great and spoken English is just another element in being bilingual.

    Both Kendall (DC) and MSD Frederick (MD) have programs and services for kids with CIs, and the opportunity to not only develop ASL skills and written English skills but spoken English skills as well. MSD recently introduced a spoken English program where most instruction is in spoken English and they use bilingual methods and ASL to support/bridge instruction. ASL is also used in social situations, and many use ASL at home. Seems like a successful program so far and I'm glad that deaf schools are beginning to embrace bilingualism and they are also embracing technology (like hearing aids and CIs) and accepting that Deaf kids can sign and speak.

    MSD also has classes where the primary language is ASL, and English literacy and spoken English are also taught. Depends on the needs of the child and the wishes of the parents.

    Unfortunately there are still those who are strictly "either or". Some auditory/oral advocates claim that sign hinders speech (it really doesn't). And some ASL advocates claim that children should only sign. However, there's a lot of people, like myself, who advocate bilingualism and support the use of CIs and hearing aids as well.