Elijah is a deaf pre-teen. I know this deep down in my heart, but the majority of the time I can forget that he is. He wears his cochlear implants and he HEARS and HEARS very well. He can be playing the Wii in the den and hear the beep from the refrigerator door(it beeps when you leave the door open too long). He hears me when I call him from the back of the house and he is in the front of the house.
I live with a deaf-hearing pre-teen. There are times however, that I am reminded that he truly is deaf. When he takes a shower, I have to open the door, FLICK the lights to get his attention and sign for him to GET OUT! He loves to take VERY long showers and he sometimes makes a pretty good mess in there with water on the floor. Other times, he is just making a LOT of noise by banging things in the tub and I sign for him to be quiet!! This isn't too inconvenient and since I have been signing for 22 years, it isn't too big a deal. Other times, he is in bed with his CI processors OFF and he is YELLING for me. There is no great emergency, he just wants me to come back so he can tell me something or show me the cat that has jumped in his bed. Tonight, I had tucked him in and had made it all the way to the den when I hear my name being called. Now, you have to realize, I can't yell, "I'll be there in a minute," because he can't hear me. Sometimes, I do what I need to do and then walk back, but that results in him continuing to yell my name over and over again. Again, I don't really mind, but some days I am just TIRED and want to go and sit! Tonight, it was just me and him home alone. Jacob is off with a friend and my partner is working late. So, he calls me to his room and he asks me when Jacob will be home and I sign to him that he will be home soon. He voices back to me, "Jacob will be home soon" and I sign back YES! He then asks where my partner it and I tell him she is working and coming home. He confirms this by saying, "She will be home soon." I sign back YES. Well, I thought this was very sweet of him. He was worried about his family. I sign to him to go to sleep and that I love him. He told me he loved me. I guess I shouldn't mind having to walk back to talk to him and at least he knows enough sign that we can communicate without having to stop and put his ears(CI processors) on.
Most people don't realize that even a child with cochlear implants is still DEAF when their ears are off. I know my family forgets sometimes, because when we go for a swim without his ears on they just keep talking to him and most of the time he can't see their lips. I sometimes forget that Elijah is deaf, but not for long. I always have my mommy sensors on to keep an eye on him and keep him out of harms way when his ears are off!
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!