I've actually been trying to think of the right words to say this past week for a blog. Its taken me this long to work myself into writing it. And of course now that I want to. ALL kids are being super clingy. Wanting to sit ON my LAP and me be in their face. Literally making want to rip my own face off lol. Cant mom get just 5 minutes! AHHHHHHH hahhahaha. OK.
I've made it a point for the last year to make sure that I stay tuned to some awesome blogs. Blogs that Can relate to our family and want we want for our family. I've made it a point to also follow different point of views in reguards to having a deaf child. Some blogs are all about the Oral approach and the great benefits of CI's. Others are about ASL, others about Using both ASL and oral. I like to read up on what works for other people, and remind myself that no 2 family are alike.
The Progress that Sophie has made since February in my OPINION, is tremendous. Even in the last Month she has come leaps and bounds. Further than I thought at this point she could be(not that I didnt have faith, and know shes brilliant cuz I do). Not only did she say On the 4th "AH BUG" AND then said "BUG" again later that same evening. BUT shes now also yelling "MOM" when im a ignoring her screams. And Im not kidding. But its not like shes standing there using a low inside voice. She's only using it when YELLING for me. But thats awesome right? So I feel, and will continue to feel thats awesome. But Sophies damn Aural Therapist, begs to differ. Feels that Sophie is no where near where she should be 4 months after implanting. Because shes not using MORE words. Not really puttings beginning sounds together enough, not responding to her name.Or doing task like "sit down" the doll when Rebeccas asks her too. But I ask you..."Did your child respond to their name at 3 or 4 months old?" NO, they reacted to your voice maybe, or smiled to hear you. But if you were behind them calling "Sophie, Ryan, George" or whatever your childs name was, at 4 months they are not going to turn around and look at you. And in retro spec. Sophie's only 4 months old in the hearing world. NOT to mention the fact it had been quit the battle to even get her into wearing her processor full time. Its been just over a month now that she wears it almost all day. That she will ask for it,(sometimes) or tell me it has to be on...due to us being outdoors, or out and about runnning errands.
She is doing well in my opinion again like I said. She bopps to music. She points out helicopters that fly over head. She turns to comfort Ryan when shes crying. Will mimic a Sneeze after she herself does it. AND laughs when you say Ouch, and will want to hurt you again cuz its funny. Will copy someone coughing. Makes an umph sound where you would usually hear something, like taking a picture you hear the click. So in pretend play Sophie "clicks" with a umph. She says "poosh" when Pointing a gun and pulling the trigger (playing of course) She counts to 3 on her hand and then grunts for "go". And During her last therapy, AGAIN when Rebecca and I were speaking and Not paying attention to Sophie, while she played she was making noise "bahs" everytime a chip would land in this cool connect 4 toy. "BAH" = Bounce. HELLO!!!!! and yet again A person who sees Sophie 1x every 2 weeks is grading her low. And Im annoyed and pissed. AND think, how can they judge her in a session, in 45 minutes time, a girl whos not a trained monkey and doesnt want to "perform" for someone she barely knows.
Then theres Sign language. BEAUTIFUL sign language. Our Sophie is finally using it to really get her point across. Now putting 2 and 3 signs together. often its "boy, where, scary" while on my lap telling me that Ryans on his way to scare Sophie. Which they do often, chase eachother from room to room, Ryan roaring like a monster and the girls running and screaming in "fear". Its so cute. But AMAZINGLY just this week, Sophie has FINALLY replaced "boy" sign with Ryans NAME SIGN. Which is the same sign for boy but with your hand making an "R". "Ryan, where,scary" "I want dad" "more milk please" "movie on" "processor off please" "skirt on" "shoes, outside, play". And as I see it all written out, and As I was thinking to myself this morning while Signing with Sophie about eating breakfast sitting dow, or she will have 5 minutes in time out....I realized. How naive I was a year ago about signing. Really till 2 months ago. As Sophie started to really catch on and sign more, and using ASL never using helping words like me. ASL is the way to go. ha. Who knew? All the talk about Speaking when you sign and ultimately you want Sophie to speak, so using S.E.E and words like the, it, is. TO form proper sentences, was the right idea. But really is takes SOOOOOOOO LONG. Sophie is 3, she doesnt have an attention span long enough to wait for my point."where is the ball, go get it please" takes way longer then signing "ball,where? please get" I always knew the difference in S.E.E and ASL. and knew that ASL why it takes so long to learn is because of grammer. Propper deafie sign. :) But long term....its the best to use. It may not make sense when Speaking and signing at the same time. BUT We've always said sign language is Soph's 1st language and we want and need to continue with it. Being a part of the deaf community however we can be is KEY! Even if that only means meeeting up with groups, or attention conferences a few times a year. Even if we do not get a duty station close to a school for the deaf (our biggest hope).
My point is that Sophie isnt your average CI user, ASL speaker, or cookie cutter deaf toddler. She seems to be my little master piece who has been made according to Gods Grace. and is who she is for God's Purpose. Not the purpose that Seattle Childrens Hospital wants to see her as...the cookie cutter patient. She fits in, our family, the quirky, insane, loud, crazy, busy, family we are. Im so thankful for Signing. Im thankful for her communicating things now. Her understanding punishment when shes mean, that she must say Sorry and give kisses when she hurts someone. She knows what a time out is, and that I mean business. She understands bedtime better now. Especially now that she and Emily have separate bedtimes. She knows ALL her colors, counts to 5 in sign. Is learning her letters. NOW finally will sign animals. Signs about Shopping and money like a Little girl always knows best. Is in the 3 year old tattle tale phase, but thankfully its when Something Serious is happening that Im not aware of. AND ALL THRU ASL. Im all for her hearing (obvisouly) speaking and being a part of the hearing world. But Come on People. Shes using language. Her IEP scored her right at her age group for all things but speaking. She knows her shit! Shes Brilliant. And with School right around the corner. I expect By Christmas she will know more then I do.
Im just tired of people putting these expectations on her. Im tired of therapy. So far shes not learning anything of value, that We don't do at home. I want everyone to realize that ASL is just as good as listening, and speaking. LIFE GOES ON! With or without working ears. Saw in a blog today an artistic horse. Where they painted eyes on the Horses ears. Ceramic of course lol. With a sign below it saying MY EYES ARE MY EARS. ANd I love that.
We may live in a hearing world. But there are millions who do not hear. and The World is still rotating. The World still goes on. They still live and florish, and smile, and laugh, and get humor, and fall in love. Live their dreams and write books, give speeches, and win games and pageants. Still play music and sing. have babies and have high powered jobs. Buy houses, give back to the community. Deaf People live! They live life just like a photo I saw this morning as well "LIVE LIFE LIKE SOMEONE LEFT THE GATE OPEN" and a little fluffy dog running so fast with a big smile on its face for the gate! :) If you take hearing out of the situation....You'd never know they wear deaf. In a society where we are all about anit-bullying. We should also be anti-stereo typing as well. Give people chances and stand for whats right. EVEN IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT.
If I can teach my kids anything, besides having compassion, it would be to Give everything a chance, and stand out. Have expectations for yourself and live up to then, not for what people WANT you to be. Because how can that make you happy? Dont people please by letting yourself turn into something you arent and not happy with.
Life is that much Sweeter because of Sophie. And Emily, and Ryan. And who cares what everyone sees. We are who we are. Totally NOT a cookie cutter family.
Heres some photos from July 4th. Dont mind Emily without a top on. COuldnt find her swim suit and she refused to wear a tank. oops! lol.
Thanks for Reading