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!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Music Links

Elijah loves to play on the computer or on his nintendo DS. Unfortunately, I am doing my own thing usually and don't want the noise. I bought him Music Links about a year ago, but he was never really into them. Well, I pulled them out again recently and he loves them. He has learned how to turn on this Mic/telecoil settings on his CI processor and he gets himself going. He has some issues with his fingers and fine motor skills so this was not an easy task for him.

He leaves the music links plugged into the computer and then puts them on behind his ears when he is ready to use them. It has cut down on the noise quite a bit and I am glad to see him becoming more independent. Now if we could just remember them on long car rides, so I don't have to listen to the Nintendo DS all the time!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Where are the doughnuts?

"Where are the doughnuts from yesterday?", Jacob asked as he entered the kitchen about 9:00 last night. I looked at him wondering why I was being asked this question at this time of night. I had gotten doughnuts prior to our garage sale on Friday. We had eaten all but four of them. My friend who did the garage sale with me was back on Saturday so we finished off the doughnuts that morning. Jacob didn't even get up until 10:00 yesterday morning. So I looked at him and said, "We ate them this morning. You snooze you lose." He sighed loudly, rolled his eyes, and cringed a bit as he exited to his room.

The boy is an eating machine! I give him his box of cereal on Saturday morning and he doesn't get a new box until the next Saturday. If he eats it too quickly, well then he goes without. I bought ten boxes on sale and used a coupon with them all, but I still can't afford to go through three boxes of cereal in one week! If I buy grapes, he goes through them within two to three days. I also find stray grapes throughout the house. UGH! I also hide Power Zone drinks in the garage and ration them out as needed.

I hide Oreos from Elijah or he would eat them all in one sitting too! He is starting to get that teen appetite as well! He is also becoming more independent but I'll write about it later.

Pray I can continue to afford Jacob! He is eating like a MAN!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Second Summer of Swimming and Hearing

This is our second summer for Elijah to swim with his CI processor on. We use his backup Freedom processor, aLoksak bag and a swim cap. He loves being able to swim and hear. My dad and step mom have a pool and he loves to go swim there. Once I say we are going, he dashes to get his swim suit and swim shirt on. He will then come find me and remind me to get his swim cap!

Once we get to my dad's house, he asks again for the swim cap and we now have it down to a fine science. Before we even left the house, I have put his one back up processor on. He just has one processor once we leave. We get there and I put the processor in the aLoksak bag, he holds the CI and bag on his head and I put on the swim cap. I ask him if it is OK and if he responds I know he has heard me.

We were at my dad's house for about an hour tonight. He communicates with his cousin, uncle and me very well in the pool. If he misbehaves, I can handle it quickly by talking to him. He also has a lot less anxiety when we swim and he can hear. I do turn his sensitivity up on on his processor so he can pick up more sound since he has the sack and cap covering the processor.

I asked him if he likes to hear when he swims and he says, "OH YEA!" I am looking forward to swimming with him the rest of the summer!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Watching Elijah!

We joined the city's Recreation Center yesterday! It has some really nice work out equipment and a basketball court for the kids to play. I can work out on the second floor and see Elijah down playing on the basketball court. When we went to check it out he cried when we left, he wanted to stay. We had joined, but I wasn't really in work out clothes, so I promised we would go back and we did.

Jacob went with us yesterday and I walked a mile on the treadmill. Jacob kept an eye on his brother, but I told him he didn't really have to "watch" him. Jacob is a good big brother, but like any brother he is annoyed by his little brother. They did pretty good though and Elijah interacted well with many of the other kids.

Elijah and I went back today. He got a basketball and headed for the court and I headed upstairs. I walked on the treadmill so I could watch Elijah. At one point I saw a boy about Elijah's age in Elijah's face pointing a finger. Elijah did well and didn't get back into the other boys face. I don't know if Elijah did something to the boy or touched the boy's ball, but he has to learn to deal with these things. Elijah walked away and joined some other boys who were playing and started talking to them. It was so hard for me not to run down and see what was going on. Of course, I also saw Elijah kick another boy's boy across the gym rather than giving it back to him. Elijah had not taken the boy, but he could have been courteous and helped the boy out.

Once I was done with my workout I went down and shot some baskets with Eiljah. We talked while we played and discussed the things I had seen. He did really well and listened. We then played some fuss ball with a game table. It was a lot of fun. I am glad that Elijah likes the Rec center and that his behavior so far has been good.

When I watch Elijah, I so wonder what is going through his head. Here he is with his CIs that make him look different. Most kids don't make a big deal about it, but some do. He then his tics and other neurological issues. I was proud of him both today and yesterday. It is good to see that he can be independent around other kids and control himself.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our Summer So Far

Well, our summer has been fairly uneventful so far. I had a 2 1/2 day workshop last week and Jacob watched Elijah for me. Things went well and no one killed anyone!! I ordered a new swim cap for Elijah and we used it tonight so he could swim with his processor on. He does so much better with his behavior when he can hear!!

We have a week worth of doctor's appointments this week and I have some errands to run. I plan on taking both boys to the movies later this week. We want to see SUPER 8!! We will go and see my sister in July and go to Fredricksburg for two days too!

Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer so far!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Heat is ON!

Well, summer is definitely here! It was HOT today and will continue to be hot. The boys are both done with school as am I. I do have a 2 1/2 day workshop next week, but other than that I am DONE! I am planning on taking the boys swimming tomorrow at my dad's house tomorrow. I am going to wear my new bathing suit!

We have several doctor's appointments in the next two weeks. I will be glad to get them done and over with! Nothing major, just the typical stuff. Elijah has an audiological appointment at the end of the month. I am hoping to get some better MAPs for Elijah so he doesn't let the left coil dangle!

Jacob got his hair buzzed off the other day. He wanted his hair SHORT and easy to take care of. I also got Elijah's hair cut a bit shorter than usual. I plan on having ready to me each day or at least every other day. I am also planning on having him doing some writing with me also. He really needs to work on it. I am hoping that I can make it fun for him, or as fun as you can make writing!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to Chose?

I blogged a few weeks ago about Elijah's IEP(ARD meeting in Texas) and how he would be going into 5th grade next year. Today I went to his 5th grade promotion ceremony at school. He did quite well, but sat in the audience with his teacher and I. She said he had had a hard time on the stage yesterday keeping still and being quiet. Even as we sat in the audience he had some "large" tics, but thankfully not loud. The teacher did a nice job of stroking his arm to calm him so his tics would lessen.

Part of me is scared to death to send him to a new school, but I can't keep him at elementary school forever. He will be riding the bus to school next year and riding it home. He won't have a sitter anymore. He has matured quite a bit in the last year, but still has a long way to go. I know there will be many bumps in the road, but we can't stand still and not travel down that road.

I am hoping that he and I can visit his new school and meet his teachers before school starts. I want him to have a "plan" for where he is to when he arrives at school and then how to get on the bus after school. I want him to have a "plan" throughout the day and for him to transition to being more independent. I know he can do it, if there is a good plan in place.

Jacob is going into the 10th grade next year. He seems to be growing up so fast on me. He is going to participate in ROTC again next year. He has a bit of a beard coming in! Where does the time go?

We should have a fairly laid back summer. We do have doctor's appointments and a mini vacation we are starting to plan. Before you know it, it will be time to return to school!