THE SHADDOX BOYS
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!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
It has been nine years since Elijah got his first cochlear implant and I am still amazed at the technology. He got his second cochlear implant about six years ago. He only had 18 months of his life without at least one cochlear implant.
What amazes me is how well he does with them! He can hear a whisper across a room. Last night, he was on the computer with his back to the TV. He was very focused on his computer game, but I noticed him sort of dancing to the music from the TV commercial. He was just a grinning and turned around to see what was on the TV. He is able to HEAR background sounds and react to them. He can pull that background sound OUT of the sound he is focused on. Some may not get how COOL that is, but it is cool.
I have also noticed that he has the ability to over hear conversations. He can be focused on something and then hear part of a conversation. He will then say something like, "what are you talking about" or just join the conversation. He hears very well in the car with background noise. He is also to the point where he incidentally learning new vocabulary as well as idioms.
As a teacher of the deaf, I know how far Elijah has come. I work daily with students who are on this same journey. Some are ahead of Elijah and others behind, but they are on their own personal journey. All of the hard work I put forth so many years ago has paid off. There is still much work to be done and there always will be, but it is so much easier now.
I am amazed that I can still be amazed. You would think that the thrill of his hearing would wear off with the passage of time, but it hasn't. I still marvel at it daily!