Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. They live with their mom, Mary, who is the writer of this blog. Jacob is 19 and is now four inches taller than his mom! He also has ADHD and gorgeous red hair. He is a freshman at a technical college studying computer maintenance. Elijah is 15! He is in 9th grade and he is not in ROTC at his high school. He also had red hair, but it is lighter and not as thick as his brother's hair. He is hearing impaired(auditory neuropathy) and wears two cochlear implants. He also has tourette syndrome, ADHD, OCD and anxiety! Mary just started her 25th year as a teacher of the deaf. She is also in her last semester of graduate school to be a diagnostician! She will graduate in December of 2015!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Compassion and Understanding

Today I took Elijah to lunch with my brother, his wife, and their daughter. We went to Chic-fil-a, our new favorite place to eat. There is an indoor play area for the kids and we enjoy the food. It was a little crowded, but not too bad. We had been there for a while eating and Elijah was in the play area. My sister-in-law says, "Elijah just threw a shoe!" so off I went.

I walked into the play area and called Elijah down from the tubes. He had seen me coming and had taken off! I asked him if he had thrown a shoe, and he denied it. He then said the other boy was bothering him. I see a boy across from us putting on his shoes. Another boy said, "he didn't do anything" meaning the other boy. I knew this of course. I asked the boy putting on his shoes if Elijah had thrown the shoes at him. He said yes. I asked Elijah to go and apologize and he did. The boy with the shoes said, "no harm done." Elijah kept playing and the little boy, who I later found out was in 2nd grade said, "He is a good boy." I pointed up towards Elijah and said, "him?" and he said, "yes, he is a good boy." I said, "yes he is, thank you."

Well our conversation didn't end there. The boy with the shoes asked about Elijah's processors. He wanted to know what they were and I explained how they helped him hear. Two other boys joined in our conversation. They were a bit younger than the other boy. The older boy asked if Elijah could talk and I told him YES he could. I asked Elijah to come down and had Elijah tell them where he went to school. I showed the boys how the coils were held on with magnets. They thought that was pertty cool. All in all it was a good conversation.

I looked out into the restaurant and saw a group of adults watching us and figured it was the boys' family. I stepped out and spoke to them. The first thing they asked was if their son was mean to my boy. I told them that NO he was quite the opposite. What a caring young man he was? How he somehow knew Elijah was a bit different, not just because of his cochlear implants, but just in how he acts. I explained his Tourette syndrome, OCD and ADHD a bit. The parents thanked me for stopping to talk to them and I again thanked the boys as they walked up.

As I was sitting with my brother and sister-in-law talking about this, a man walked up and asked me about Elijah's implants. He said he had seen how easy Elijah conversed with the other children while playing and what a blessing the cochlear implants were and I agreed!

All of this made for a very nice day for me. I am usually making excuses and having to explain why Elijah is acting the way he is. Yes, he did throw shoes, but in doing so it opened the door to educating others...and he did apologize. In the past it could have gone the other way. What strides he has made!


  1. awwwww Mary , that is a good story!

  2. That is great! I always talk about how important to educate others about our 'differences'. It is always best to spread the awareness and to teach others, rather than try to hide and keep certain things a secret. Once we talk about it and the secret's out, then the mystery is gone and people move on.