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 25, 2014

Using Sign Language to Communicate

Elijah hears very well with his cochlear implants, but there are times when I use sign language to communicate with him. Of course, when he is not wearing his processors I use signs to communicate. This is usually when he is dressing or bathing! There are other times though, that I do rely on sign to communicate with him.

Yesterday, we went to the recreation center for archery tag. This was in a huge gym, that was split down the middle and there was a lot of NOISE. All of the kids got to practice shooting with the bow and arrows and then the game started. He had to wait with the older kids while the younger kids played first. I was about 20 feet from him walking to try to get my steps in (I wear a Fitbit and am trying to lose weight) and he would whine and say he wanted to play. I was able to sign to him "wait, stop" and threaten to take away his iPad later....all in sign language. Later when he was up playing with his team, I was able to sign to him "good job, stop" and a few other things. Even with his processors, in a LOUD environment it can be hard for him to hear.

Even today I used signs with him again. We were at a loud restaurant for my brother and soon to be wife's after rehearsal party. He was at the kid's table with his cousins and I was able to sign ask him if he wanted his iPad later, and he voiced yes, and I signed for him to stop whining. My brother looked at me and said, "I wish my kids knew sign so I could speak to them quietly like that." Elijah really does understand sign language, even though he voices back and doesn't sign to me. I am glad that I have this way to communicate with him either due to background noise or distance!

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