Saturday, July 30, 2011

Camp Cheerio-- what we learned (old post)

It is amazing that we have been to this camp for four years in a row and we have taken away something new each and every time.  Astounding for sure.  You do not only learn from the workshops but from the numerous knowledgeable people you are surrounded by.  There are not only professionals but parents who have walked the path that you are getting ready to walk.  You get to ask them questions.  No one is afraid to answer.  No one.  YOu don't feel stupid asking any questions.  You are comfortable and the other parents are so, so willing to share what they have learned.  It helps incredibly.  It really does.  I have asked older deaf campers there how they feel about certain things in their life.  Was it isolating going to a regular school?  How do you feel about being deaf?   Helps me to know how I should treat Nik, what concerns I should have, etc.  For me, I know that we made the right choice by learning sign language.  Well, trying to learn sign language.  It is a process for sure.  A slow process.  The camp we went to is called Cue Camp.  Cued speech is a great communication mode for those who are deaf as well.  Warren and I took a cued speech class at this camp about two years ago to see if it might work for our family.  Though it did not work for us, it has indeed worked for many and highly suggest other families w/ kids w/ hearing impairments to check into it.  This camp is a great way to be introduced to cueing.  The camp is put on by the National Cued Speech Association.  It is well organized and beneficial to all who attend.  They welcome not only cuers but signers as well.

My kids have always felt welcomed there.  Really welcomed and I can not express how much that means to them and to us as parents of special needs kids.  Makes a real difference.  They literally count down till Camp Cheerio.  They see the Christmas tree farm and go nuts.  They tell everyone back home of all their adventures and people they met.  Alyona took her bag to class first thing Monday morning.  Nik told his class what he had done as well.

For us, it is the workshops where we get information.  And from other parents of HOH/ Deaf children.  They teach us so, so much.  Even help us correct our signs.  LOL.  A speaker had her parents there and they spoke very openly about their feelings and their daughter's deafness. It was heartwarming, heart breaking and eye opening all at the same time.  Something in me just clicked.  I knew we were doing the right thing for Nik and I knew at that moment in time, there would be absolutely NO limits whatsoever for my son.  None.  The world is his to conquer however he sees fit.  It is our job as parents to nurture him but his responsibility to grow  and mature into the person he wants to be.  Deaf or not, he can do anything he sets his mind to.  I will admit it, I was one of those adoptive parents who checked off the box deaf of lists of things that we couldn't handle.  Ironically, the only 2 items on those 2 pages that I checked that we couldn't handle was deaf and blind.  When we first arrived home, Nik was dx'd as deaf due to AN(auditory neuropathy) and blind( due to Retinitis Pigmentosa--RP).  Quite the shocker.  No one told me how to act.  You at first think it's devastating until you meet someone w/ the same disability and really think, "how in the world did I ever think this was a disability?"  I know it is but all the deaf adults I meet are very intelligent and do have a life and hold down jobs just fine.  I was ashamed I didn't know more about this so called "disability" before we adopted the rest of our kids.  Many are afraid of FAS.  To us, we don't see it as a big deal.  I think if you live w/ a certain disability on a daily basis, it is just normal.  I look at my son and see great things for his future.  Great things.  Since all our children have disabilities of some sort, it has always been said in our house "you are no different than anyone else."  Sounds simple but true.  This camp teaches you that.  No limitations.  No excuses.  Love it.

The main workshop we went to and liked was titled "Love and Logic."  It is a whole program.  Now, I've heard of it before for sure.  Just didn't realize how simple the message was and how it could work in our home.  Well, to a point.

I really am sorry I never finished this post.  It has been too long for me to recall all the love and logic info.  Wish I could.  It was informative for sure.  Just want to reiterate that we learn so much from this camp every single year.  Do you know I went to a gold party tonight and the lady there came to the camp b/c of what she read on this blog?!  She said since all my kids looked forward to it and I managed to get 9 of us packed to go every year, she could surely go and check it out.  They too learned stuff there.  It just really is a great place, reasonably priced and you can not, can not beat the views.  Relaxing is an understatement.  There are only a few RAD posts left.  I do think I will post them. I think they need to be posted.  I may not hear the end of it but I do think they should be posted.  Well, got to go for now.  Hope you've enjoyed another catch up post.  I promise, very few left.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment