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!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Much Better Week!

I am happy to say that Elijah had a much better week at school this past week. He earned many more "greens" than "reds or yellows". He had no aggression at school and just some yelling. He did refuse to work quite a bit today, but we will just have to work on that too. He earned a LOT of tickets and got the privilege of using his electronics. Needless to say, he was very happy! He also gets to stay home with his brother tomorrow while I run errands. However, if he doesn't follow the schedule then he will have to go with me on Sunday! I think that is some good motivation!

Monday is the start of a new week and he will start all over again! I have to remain consistent and follow through. It can work, but boy it can be tiring! He is worth it though!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

On Lockdown!

Elijah is on lock down right now. His behavior at school has been awful. They had benchmark testing for four days and that may be part of it, but I really don't know what to do. I went to pick him up for his doctor's appointment last week and the principal happened to see me. She mentioned an incident from that morning and that is what has him on lock down.

He has a status sheet each day at school that has a list of his classes. He can earn a green or move to yellow or red. He used to be able to earn his way back to green, but I told the principal to try letting him stay on yellow or red, if that is what he earns, then that is what he gets. He earns ten tickets for a green, five for yellow and zero for red. He then has to "pay" for electronic usage and toys at home with his tickets. Oh and I also cleaned out his room, so he really does HAVE to pay for his toys. The only thing he gets for "free" are books and crayons. If he has any acts of aggression he loses electronics for two days. Needless to say, he has lost all electronics until Monday and even then he has to have a good day to get the privilege of using them. I guess you could say I am running my own behavior unit at home.

Elijah has come a long way, but he still has a long way to go. He went with me on my mystery shopping run today. He was in the car with me for five hours. He was bored to death, but that is the point, isn't it. I also had a long talk with Jacob about how he reacts to Elijah. Now typical brothers can get into arguments and older brothers are known to be bossy, but all of us have got to watch how we talk in the house. Elijah carries over yelling and being bossy to school. That just doesn't work with a teacher and he can't differentiate all of that. Jacob has really put forth some great effort in improving how he handles things with Elijah. It isn't easy for him...he is only 15 and a boy! He has had to grow up quickly and I love him even more for it! I love my Elijah too, but I sometimes wonder if I can keep this up. I have good friends and a good support system with one of them. She helps me deal with all of this!

I'll keep you all posted! I have my drill sergeant's hat on and I am ready to enforce the rules. Consistency is the key!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Endocronologist Visit Yesterday!

Twice a year we go down and see the endocronologist and yesterday was one of those days. Elijah had not really grown at all and he had gained a bit of weight. They did an X-ray of his hand to see his bone growth and he is about 2 years behind there. Bascially, we are still on wait and see for his growth. He may just be a late bloomer and enter puberty around the age of 14 instead of 12. I made another appointment for July and we shall see what we find out then. The doctor said that his chronic lung issues as a baby could be what has slowed him down. He was on so many meds back then and on steroids quite a bit. It may be the meds he is on now that are slowing his growth. At least we only have to go twice a year and the next time, I won't have to take off of work!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Elijah Got a New MAP!

I took Elijah back in today to the audiologist to reMAP him! Well, what a change in his MAPPING. He has not had a new MAP since November of 2006 in either ear. Today, the audiologist worked only on his right ear since it has been bugging him. For those who don't know, to make a new MAP the audiologist sends a signal for each electrode to that ear and Elijah has to respond. Today he uses blocks and put one down when he heard a sound. She only did the threshold sound...the quietest sound he can hear.

When she was all done, she showed me his new MAP. The only thing that stayed the same were his high frequency sounds. All of his other electrodes changed quite a bit. She put in two more programs for him to try. We will go back in the next 2-4 weeks. I need to "test" him and see what he can hear and then decide when we need to go back. She will then adjust his MAP if needed and do a hearing test. She changed his comfort levels too, but in relation to the threshold levels and how they were spaced apart on his old MAP.

Elijah made a few funny faces when he went live with his new MAP, but otherwise has done fine. He has told me he likes how it sounds. I just tested him and he could hear the LING sounds, but did not repeat them well, so he can hear them. He could answer a few questions, but not some others, so he still needs to adapt to this change. All of this MAPPING stuff can be so confusing!! At least he not upset by the change! I'll keep you all posted!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Memories!

I am taking Elijah to the audiologist tomorrow for a new MAPPING. I am hoping we can figure out why his right ear "bugs" him. Now he hasn't complained about it lately, but he is at school most of the day so I am not around him for him to complain too. I would just rather go in and check it to be on the safe side!

I started thinking about how far Elijah has come since he was first implanted and how far technology has come. When Elijah was implanted in September of 2001, there was no behind the ear(BTE) CI processors. Everyone use the Sprint(pictured in this blog). He wore the processor in a harness and I used toupee tape to keep the mic on his ear. He received his second implant in December 2004 and by that time there was a BTE called the 3G, but we stuck with the Sprint. One reason was because we had heard about a 4th generation(Freedom) processor that would be coming out some time in 2005 and also because Elijah was only four and a half years old and we didn't think he was ready for the BTE. We did have a 3G in the box but wanted to hold on to it, IN THE BOX, so we got more for a trade in.

I also started thinking about how far Elijah has come in language development. A cochlear implant is only a tool. The therapy and the work by the parents is what makes the difference for a child learning language. We did work hard, very hard, and now Elijah does very well, but he still has some catching up to do. He got his Freedom processors in Oct. of 2006 and hopefully one day he will get the Nucleus 5! I am thankful for this technology every day and for all of the people who have helped us along this journey!