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!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Raising a Deaf Child Who Hears

Elijah is a deaf child who hears with his cochlear implants. He functions very well with them, so much so, that at times you almost forget that he is deaf. This is great, of course, but then there are times when he cannot hear. This is all compounded by his tourette syndrome, OCD and ADHD also. When his "ears" are off he is even louder than his usual self and harder to discipline. It is like he knows he can't hear and so he acts up even more.

Many in my family forget Elijah is deaf when his "ears" are off. They continue to talk to him at the pool and then realize "DUH, he can't hear." Weclome to my world. When he bathes we communicate well, except for the constant, "mom, mom, MOOOOM, mom, mom, mom...." that comes from the bathroom at times. I may be in the middle of something and can't quite get to him and usually it is NOT an emergency just him wanting to tell me something. This same thing happens at bedtime. There are times when I am tired of hearing my name. I waited a LONG time for him to talk....A LONG TIME, and now sometimes I wish for least for a bit!

Tonight was the final straw. We went to my dad's house to swim. No one was home, so I needed to start the filter. I went in to the house to start it and can hear him just yelling for me over and over again. With his ears on I had told him I was going in to turn on the pool and he had taken his ears off after that. Here we go again with the constant, "MOM, mom, mom, mom...." over and over again. I get outside and he yells at me in a gruff voice to turn on the blowers in the hot tub. My stepmom was on the phone with me telling me how to do it and I was signing to him that I was going to turn them on, but he keeps yelling. I wasn't swimming and was just going to watch him swim. He did fine and played well in the hot tub area. He then yelled at me about losing something in the pool and not having his goggles. ARG. Almost every time we go swimming, even when we discuss behavior prior to him removing his ears, the same thing happens. He yells about something and just gets irrate. I know this is due to his other conditions but it is frustrating nevertheless.

We are planning a swim party with his friends in a few weeks and I just cannot have all of this at the pool. I have seen where others have waterproofed their child's CI processors to swim and I decided it was time. I ordered an Aloksak bag(waterproof) and a lycra swim cap. We will try it with one ear only and with his backup processors. I think if he could hear while swimming many of these behaviors would cease.

Dealing with Eiljah's hearing has not always been easy, but we have dealt with it and handled it. Dealing with his tourettes, OCD and ADHD on top of it has been the most difficult. Hoping to get these in the mail and hoping he will tolerate trying this. I asked him about swimming with is processors and he said NO, he knows they cannot get wet. Well, if he wants to swim he is going to have to try.

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