Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. They live with their mom, Mary, who is the writer of this blog. Jacob is 19 and is now four inches taller than his mom! He also has ADHD and gorgeous red hair. He is a freshman at a technical college studying computer maintenance. Elijah is 15! He is in 9th grade and he is not in ROTC at his high school. He also had red hair, but it is lighter and not as thick as his brother's hair. He is hearing impaired(auditory neuropathy) and wears two cochlear implants. He also has tourette syndrome, ADHD, OCD and anxiety! Mary just started her 25th year as a teacher of the deaf. She is also in her last semester of graduate school to be a diagnostician! She will graduate in December of 2015!

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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