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!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our Night Out!

Elijah and I attended a Cochlear Americas presentation this evening in Dallas. I really wasn't sure what it was about but we had gotten an invite so we went. We rarely get to go to these things because they are either on a school night or too far away.

Elijah's teacher of the deaf, who has bilateral cochlear implants, happened to be there. Elijah enjoyed seeing her. I also saw a few people that I had not seen in a while and catch up. I also met some really nice people. I spoke to the person who did the presentation and let her know if she ever needed me, as a parent of a CI child, to speak to a group, to let me know!

It was a two hour presentation. I did get to see some cool assistive listening devices that Elijah can utilize as he gets older. The coolest one was a blue tooth that he can wear as a loop around his neck and send the signal to his processors. I had seen one for a hearing aid, but not for a CI.

Elijah got to see the Nucleus5 processor and even try one on. It looked REALLY nice on him and so small compared to his Freedom processors. It will be a while before we can upgrade though. First of all, it is not compatable with his internal unit and secondly the cost. Insurance just paid for two new Freedoms so it will be a few years before they will want to purchase two new processors. I had seen the Nucleus5 before, but he had not and to see it on his ear really made me realize how much smaller it really is! If I had the money, I would buy him two more as soon as they were available to him!

It also comes with pretty cool remote control!

One thing that I was most proud of though, was Elijah's behavior. We arrived a few minutes late due to traffic. We were in the car for an hour! He chose apples and strawberries from the snacks they had available. He played his nintendoDS, drew some pictures, and played on my iphone(all electronics had sound off). He was having lots of tics, but he kept them as quiet as he could(not at my request). A few times he tipped his chair back and forth and I had to redirect him, but he responded well and fixed his behavior. I was able to whisper in his ear and ask him to discontinue something or answer a question. He used an indoor voice the whole time and never whined about going home. My heart never raced because I was afraid of him doing something that wasn't appropriate or out of control!!

At the end, we stayed and spoke to a few people. I got a new "Hear Now and Always" bracelet and key chain. Elijah picked up one of those personal portable fans that you might use when at an athletic event. Oh and it had lights on the blades and it spells out words....Cochlear, join our community(something like that). He really likes the fan! Even during all of this he was GREAT and I mean GREAT! It was awesome to see and experience!

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