Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Iphone and memories

I got an Iphone back in September and both boys enjoy playing games on it. One day I was in settings and was checking out some of the choices I had for ringtones. Elijah happened to be around and got facinated with listening to the different choice. They ranged from a dog barking to a robot type sound. A few days later he asked for my iphone and wanted to find those SOUNDS! I showed him how to find them under the settings menu. Now when he asks for my iphone he likes to go into settings and listen to the different sounds. It amazes me that here we are 8 years after his activiation of his first CI and he still is fascinated by sounds. He got his second CI at the age of 4 1/2.

It reminds me of another story from when he was six years old. We had gone to Mobile, Alabama for my grandmother's 80th birthday party. She has 10 children, 17 grandchildren and at that time 9 great grandchildren. She was also from a large family and so as you can imagine it was a HUGE celebration once you added in friends. She had a live band and food! This is a mardi gras town y'all so it was a PARTY to beat all parties. We danced and had all kinds of fun. Elijah liked to go up and just watch the band. Now he had heard music before, but I don't think he really knew the instruments or how music was made, so he wanted to WATCH and figure out the sounds. He later danced and had a grand time.

Around midnight(yes ya'll we were up that late), my grandmother had a dixieland band come in. This is a band that consists of a drum, trumpet, trombone player and I think there was a bass violen. Well a little while after they started playing I look over to find Elijah standing in front of the trumpet CUPPING his ear(not that it would help with a CI on, but hey). He then stepped in front of the trombone and again cupped his ear. It was so cute to watch. He really wanted to know the sound that each instrument made. This was 5 years after activation.

I find that Elijah's cochlear implants and his learning to hear with them has been such a true blessing. He is now able to communicate and function as most 9 year olds would. He was diagnosed with Tourettes back in the summer of 2008 as well as OCD and anxiety. he was diagnosed with ADHD in 2006. I truly don't know if we could handle these disorders as well as we and HE does if he didn't have language. These disorders are harder for me to deal with at this point, but he is doing better and we are seeing progress with behavior. LANGUAGE is so important and he has that. We are still on our journey, and I always wonder what it will lead to next.

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