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!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

"Houston, We Have a Problem!"

Elijah's cousin, Tabbie, is over today for a few hours so they can play. They played some Wii games and now they each sit on the couch with an electronic device. They are chatting and comparing games. I just heard Elijah laugh and say to Tabbie, "Houston, we have a problem!" I now sit here wondering where HE heard that phrase and amazed that he then used it himself and most likely appropriately.

I have written several times about my amazement of hearing Elijah speak and use the vocabulary and grammar structures that he does. I work with hearing impaired kids every day don't hear them use the vocabulary that Elijah does. Just the other day, Elijah was in the bath when he YELLS for me. It sounds like he is in terrible danger! I go in and he says to me, while pointing to some blisters on his heels...."MY SKIN IS DISSOLVING!" He has no processors on so I motion/gesture to him to finish his bath and BLAH basically, don't worry about it. I then turn around and GRIN from ear to ear thinking..."DISSOLVING!" WOW, what a word for him to use!

DEAF children can learn and pick up language incidentally. Even children who rely on sign language can IF their parents sign with them and use language around them all the time. I don't dumb down the language for Elijah. I speak to him like he is a 13 year old, and if I see he doesn't understand I change the way I say it and then say it the original way I said it again. I have done this since he was a baby. THIS IS WORK and it is a LOT OF WORK, but it has paid off!

I look  and listen to Elijah in amazement sometimes, and wonder HOW did we get here, but I know it was all the work we did in the past. We still have work ahead of us, but it is worth it when I hear...."Houston, we have a problem."

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