If there was anything I could change for either Jacob or Elijah would I? I can surely say for Jacob, that the answer is a NO! He is such a typical kid and now young man. Now for Elijah.... I wonder? Would I change anything for him if I could? How would this change affect him or me?
Elijah has had such a hard journey. He was born premature and struggled to breathe. He was on oxygen for nine months. He is deaf, but does wonderfully with his CI processors. He has asthma, Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is who he is because of his journey. Would I like the Elijah he would be if I took one of these away. I cannot imagine him as a different person.
Elijah has made me a better person, mother and teacher. When I speak to other parents of deaf children we relate in a way that other teachers can't. When I speak to parents of children who are deaf with other special needs, we make that connection. I have walked a similar path as they have. Our journey's may not be exactly the same, but we share a common thread. I hope this connection to other families helps these families with the choices they are faced with. I hope the stories I share with them help them with their choices.
Would I change who Elijah is? No, I don't think I would. He is who he is and I love him for who he is. He has a heavy burden to carry sometimes, but I will be there to help him along the way.
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!