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!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Life is Funny

Body Worn Processor
I met a friend of mine at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate our graduation from college and earning our Master's Degrees in Special Education. Elijah went along with me because I didn't want to leave him at home alone. My friend and I talked and we all ate a great meal. Elijah was busy playing games on his iPhone and really didn't pay us much attention!

My friend and I were talking about the certification test she still needs to take and our future plans in education. One of the managers of the restaurant came over and asked us how our meal was. My friend spoke to him about another manager that works there. She said he husband went to college with the other manager and they spoke for a few minutes. This manager then said, "The reason I came over is my son is deaf and he just got his cochlear implants." I asked him how old his son was and his son is 12 months old. I told him a bit about Elijah and how he was turned on with his first implant at 18 months of age and how he got his second one at the age of 4 1/2 years. He asked me how Elijah was doing and I proceeded to ask Elijah some questions. Elijah answered them all without even looking up from his iPhone. The manager then showed my friend and me a video of his son being activated. It was exciting to see how the boy reacted to hearing for the first time. The gentleman stayed and talked to us for several more minutes and I encouraged him to make sure he took his son to auditory verbal therapy and to TALK all the time to him. His son has the Nucleus 6 processor like Elijah wears now. I told him about Elijah's first processor which was a body worn processor. He was surprised to hear they used to be so big!
Nucleus 6 Processor
I also told him that I had continued to sign with Elijah when he was first turned on, and that sign slowly faded as Elijah learned to talk!

It was a very interesting conversation. The man was very encouraged and thanked me for my time I have not had this happen in a very long time. When Elijah was younger I was approached by parents of deaf children and adults with hearing loss all the time it seemed. I am not sure if it is becoming more common to see CI processors on people or if I just don't have Elijah with me as much as I did when he was younger. It was nice to hear this man's story and see how excited he was about his son's journey with hearing. I am happy that Elijah and I could be a part of that.

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