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, July 26, 2013


Sometimes, I wish Elijah was just deaf. Dealing with his deafness has been relatively easy, when compared to dealing with his behavior due to his Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD issues. Most people understand that he is deaf. His cochlear implant processor are a clear indication that he can't hear. However, he hears everything while wearing them and does pretty well with communication. Explaining his other issues is more difficult sometimes.

Just yesterday we went to the library. They have a teen room that he enjoys going to and I have let him have some independence and let him go by himself. They have video games and laptops the kids can use. I spend about 20 minutes in the recreation center working out and then check on him. I then stay in the library so I can keep an eye on him. I usually check on him after about 45 minutes and then we head home. A few days ago, when I entered, he was being asked to be quiet. OK, no big deal. We discussed it and how he needs to behave. Well, yesterday they moved the Teen room to a larger room. They had board games, along with the video games, a raffle, and some snacks. I checked on him after about 20 minutes and he was doing fine. I then told one of the librarians where I would be, and went to read some of the newspapers. I came back after about 30 minutes and started looking for him. Well, one of the librarians found me. They told me he was a bit aggressive, pushing some other kids. He didn't understand that he couldn't just have one of the raffle items. He was now crying and trying to get his way using tears. He does get a bit of sympathy due to his deafness and people will give him a little leeway, but only so far. I thanked the librarians and we left.

Elijah and I talked about his behavior. I told him that he could no longer stay in the teen room while I went to the recreation center. I told him we could go to the rec center together and then I would go to the library with him. I would let him go in the teen room alone, but check on him every ten minutes. This would allow him to "practice" how to behave. He could stay for 30 minutes and then we would visit on another day. I have found that if he practices an activity, he does better. We can then move up to me checking on him every 15 minutes and so one. We can then work on him staying for 45 minutes.

When he has done well in the teen center, I come in and he is playing with other kids. No one has teased him or made him feel uncomfortable. I am glad this is a "safe" place for him to play, but it also not a daycare. As his mom, I have to help him learn to be around others. The only way his behavior can improve is if he practices how to behave and learns what is acceptable.

I really don't mind having this "duty" as his mom, but there are days when I wish I could just be a typical mom and not have to PLAN all of this out. I love him though, and he is worth it!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Swimming with a Nammu Hat

The rechargeable batteries, aLoksak bags and Nammu hat all arrived this week. Today was the first time we got to go swimming and have Elijah use all three to swim with his cochlear implant Freedom processor. Compared to his other swimming caps that we have used in the past, the Nammu hat was much easier to put on him. He enjoyed being able to hear while swimming and had a really good time! He even let me help him try and swim. He is still not very confident in the water, but being able to hear increases his confidence.

He looks a bit like a pirate! I let him pick out what design he wanted on his Nammu hat and he chose this black one with green letters on it. Here is a link to the Nammu website.

I am sure he will want to go swimming again really soon!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Filed the Claim

The rechargeable batteries for Elijah's Freedom Processors arrived on Friday. I went online and found my invoice and filed the claim by fax to be reimbursed. The insurance company said it would take about 30 days for them to pay on it, and just hoping they do. I have decided that I will probably keep the batteries even if they don't pay on them. I will just have to suck it up and pay for them out of my own pocket. At least I can write it off on my income taxes, and YES, I have enough to write medical off on my income taxes. Between both boys, they have MANY prescriptions and Elijah has several doctors he sees each year. I keep it all in an EXCEL document and keep it updated!

We are still waiting on the Nammu hat to arrive to use for swimming. The aLoksak bags arrived yesterday! We use his backup Freedom processors when he swims!

I'll let y'all know when insurance pays on his batteries. This is ME being optimistic.

Monday, July 15, 2013

UPDATE on Ordering Rechargeable Batteries

I last wrote about dealing with my insurance to get rechargeable batteries for Elijah's Freedom CI processors on June 10th. Finally, today, July 15th, I was able to order four rechargeable batteries! It was definitely a process.

  1.  I called my insurance company and was told I needed a pre-determination letter from Elijah's doctor for the batteries.
  2. I finally got the letter emailed to  me, but it had a mistake in stated that he needed batteries for his N5 processors, so we got that fixed.
  3. I faxed the letter to my insurance company.
  4. I called to make sure they got the letter, and they had.
  5. I called two weeks later, and the purchase of the batteries was approved. However, I waited until the doctor received the letter.
  6. My insurance company told me that the doctor had to order the batteries, but the doctor's office said they didn't order supplies.
  7. I called the insurance company back and got a different person. This person told me that I could order the batteries, but I should get a prescription from the doctor. He also told me how to file the claim and where to find the claim form online.
  8. I finally got my copy of the letter from the insurance company saying they would cover the batteries.
  9. I called my doctor on Friday and got the prescription today, July 15th.
  10. I ordered the batteries today.
I made sure that I wrote down who I spoke to and on what date I spoke to them, each time I talked to my insurance company. The last associate I spoke with was very helpful. He said that they would cover 80% of the cost of what they allowed for the batteries. Basically, I will get reimburse about $480 of the $850 it will cost to get the batteries. I wish they would cover more, but at least they cover this amount.

I am only going to open one of the batteries when they arrive. My insurance company said they will reimburse me within 30 days and Cochlear says that I can return the batteries within 60 days if they are unopened!

I can't wait for the batteries to come in so he can swim with his CI processor. I will write about that next!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Elijah is GROWING!

I took Elijah to see the endocrinologist yesterday and it was a GREAT visit. He has grown two inches since December and is definitely in puberty! The doctor said this was exactly what he had hoped to see when we came in. He said that we don't need to come back in for any more visits. Finally, one less specialist to see! The doctor also said he expected Elijah to reach the height of 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches! That is as tall as Jacob!

Elijah is also has the appetite of a teenager. He is eating hamburgers, ham, cheese, pork, and many other things that he has NEVER eaten before! He helped mow the yard last weekend and acting more mature, at least some of the time.

The visit to the doctor was a quick and Elijah was very happy that he didn't have to get any SHOTS! That is all he was worried about!