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!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mansions Have Ghosts!

Elijah and I have the house to ourselves this weekend. Jacob is away for two nights on an ROTC field trip and my honey is out of town until Monday! I had a dinner mystery shop, so Elijah and I set off for a 20 minute drive to eat dinner! We had a pretty interesting conversation driving there and then driving back!

Most of the drive is on a two lane road that has a lot of nice homes on it. You can even see a large lake! We discussed some of the homes and other things we saw as we drove there. We had a nice dinner and much of the conversation on the way home was on what we saw. We had seen a three story house and Elijah was looking for it again, because he had never seen a three story house. We saw it again and then we came upon a LARGE house up on a hill. There is even a gated entrance to this house. I pointed it out to Elijah and he said, "that's a mansion!" I was quite impressed he knew that word! I wouldn't say this was a HUGE mansion, but just calling it a house was not appropriate. Plus it sits on top of a hill and has a gated entrance. I told him he was correct, that was a mansion! He then said, "mansions have ghosts!" He laughed as he said it. I asked him why mansions have ghosts and he said, "because they are OLD!" I started laughing at that one! He told me the house was one thousand years old, so then I told him how old I thought the house was and we talked more about houses! I wondered where he might have heard the word mansion and realized it was probably from "Scooby Doo" cartoons and of course, in that cartoon mansions usually did have ghosts!

I still marvel at my son and how well he has done with learning language and using his cochlear implants. Today was a day that I realized how lucky I am that there is this technology out there and good therapists to work with us! I wish parents would realize that implants do work, but there is a LOT of time and effort that must be put in. It is not an easy fix. I look back at all of the therapy sessions we attended when he was first "turned on " and wonder how we did it all. How we drove back and forth to Dallas once a week for me and then David too him once a week. Jacob went with me when I took Elijah and we were after 6:30 getting home most days, after sitting in traffic for at least 90 minutes. All of those sacrifices were worth it though and as I watch Elijah today, I am thankful that we did put all of that time in with him. He is a joy to me, as is Jacob.

Things are not as hard these days. Tourettes, OCD and ADHD seem to get in the way some days, but for the most part things are going well there. He has had good days at school, with some minor issues, but nothing serious. I am glad he and I have had this time and still have time until Jacob comes home tomorrow afternoon/evening!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Am So Confused!

I vented last month about how Cochlear Americas didn't have an option for people who had CI processors with warranty coverage, but not loss/damage. ESCO is no longer covering Cochlear America's CI processors. I remember calling Cochlear last month and the person on the phone telling me that Elijah's processors only had a warranty. Fast Forward to now and we get a letter from Cochlear saying we should call them and check on coverage. I called this morning and they are now offering loss/damage on its own with no warranty. The woman told me to call back with Elijah's serial numbers and we could take care of it. I called back this afternoon and was all set to pay for the loss/damage with the person told me Elijah's processors were covered under loss/damage until June 2013 when the warranty expires too. I AM SO CONFUSED! I am glad I don't have to pay, but what changed or why did it change. I am going to call back again in a week or so and just double check to make sure that Elijah has loss/damage on his processors!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Well No Wonder....

Elijah has had a pretty good start to school this year. He has had some issues when there are substitute teachers at school, but nothing too bad. The principal mentioned in an email that Elijah's schedule changes each day and that may be part of the issues. This was due to all of the services he receives. She said she would work on his schedule and send it out to me and his teachers.

Well, NO WONDER he has is all over the place, because EACH day his schedule is different. He has sever periods, but he also has Speech and services by a deaf ed teacher as well as social skills. Each day he has his core classes--English/Reading, Math, Social Studies and Science. He also has PE, Art and that Social Skills time. Well during all of this he has Speech one day at one of those elective times, then for three more days he has deaf ed. time during an elective and then social skills is thrown in there. He has a different schedule each day and that is not good for him.

The principal typed up a schedule for each day and I printed it at home. I put it in a clear protective sleeve so he can pull it out and keep it from getting all torn up. If it does get torn up, then we print another one. He really has done well, even with all of this craziness with his schedule, so hopefully things will just improve from here!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tourette Syndrome Support Group Meeting 9/8/2012

Elijah and I finally made it to a Tourette Syndrome Support group meeting yesterday. We had not been to a regular meeting in almost a year. My weekends had been spent mystery shopping and taking Jacob to soccer games to referee(and he is refereeing again this year), but I am setting aside ONE Saturday a month to go to this meeting. Elijah and I both need this time! We did go to the back to school meeting in August but it was bowling and laser tag, not a regular meeting.

Yesterday's meeting went really well. There were several new families that I had not met before and the speaker was from the Tourette's Texas branch, so she is over all of the support groups in Texas. She gave us some great handouts and we all discussed our kids and how they handle things at school.

Elijah played with a group of kids in another room and did fairly well. He got upset once when a ball hit his head and another time the ball knocked his processor off, but overall he did well. The kids he played with either have Tourette's or a sibling with it. Everyone is very tolerant of each other, because they are all the same.

I also found out more about a camp that they have for kids with Tourettes here in Texas. It is Camp du Ballon Rouge. It is a three day/two night camp and I am planning on taking Elijah this year. My honey and I can have a nice weekend together in the area, so we are close by to take him and pick him up. He can have a weekend with other kids and get to be himself. I do worry about him being DEAF at night when his "ears" are off, but the person yesterday assured me that they could handle it!! I know he will be a bit anxious about it, but I think it would be great for him to go! This will be some time next Spring!

I plan on attending the meeting next month! We both really need to go! It recharges my batteries!