Translate Blog

Monday, May 19, 2014

Educating Strangers

Part of having a child with a disability involves educating others on that disability. When you have a child that has blinking devices on their head for everyone to see, people stare. If I didn't know what it was, not going to lie, I would probably be staring too. I take every opportunity to educate people. Sorry if you didn't really want to know, but I caught you staring and now you will learn! Kids are the easiest to talk to. They usually ask, "why's he wearing those?" We simply reply, "They help him hear. Without them, Brody is deaf and can't hear anything." Short, sweet, and to the point. Kids don't need a lot more than that. Sometimes they will respond back about someone they know who wears glasses to help them see. :) Adults usually get more information. Actually, adults are the ones that stare the most. Once I explain that Brody was born deaf and had cochlear implant surgery, a lot of people will respond with someone they know or have heard of that is deaf too. Some want to know if they hurt (not at all...even surgery seemed to be a breeze for Brody) or if he can hear without them on (no that is the point of the processor...they then sometimes get an earful about that). I don't do it to be mean or rude, but while I let things bounce off me when people make rude comments, they might come across the next family who isn't through the gre icing process and can't handle the comments as well. We also have the other side of the line with people that do know about cochlear implants. We have had people come up to is on more than one occasion to tell us that they know so and so who has cochlear implants and they are graduating high school, going to college, getting married, having a baby, etc. They usually reassure us over and over that we have nothing to worry about and our handsome boy will be just fine. (I know that, but it's good to hear it from others!)

I was super excited when we went to Young's Dairy Farm outside of Dayton. We were eating some ice cream (It was super yummy!) sitting on the picnic tables. A little boy about 8 and his mom sat down behind us. I could tell the boy was staring Brody down. I heard him ask his mom what "those things" were. To my surprise, she told them they were cochlear implants! She then went into great detail with him about why Brody needed them and how they helped him. I couldn't resist and had to tell her thank you when I saw them later on.

While we were at the Walk4Hearing, we had a family come up and ask us about the Cochlear Implants. Because my classroom is a constant mixture of hearing aids, cochlear implants, and BAHAs, I don't usually think about kids out in the school districts not coming in contact with other kids using different devices than theirs. The family had a set of twins that wore hearing aids. From what I gathered, the mom was explaining the cochlear implant to the boys. They were really concerned that it hurt Brody and he couldn't take it off. I took it off Brody's head for them to look at, then Brody put it back on and continued chowing down on his ice cream. They seemed relieved that he wasn't screaming in pain when we touched it!

Speaking of the Walk4Hearing...we surpassed our goal! Thank you for everyone that participated in walking with Brody and for giving your generous donations! Our goal was $1500 and we raised $2155! The walk itself was pretty miserable. It rained pretty much the entire time and was pretty cold. Hopefully next year is better! Our shirts won 3rd place in the t-shirt design! I'm sure the cute little monster among all the adults didn't hurt our chances! We were also 3rd place for overall fundraising. We had a huge group walk with us. A lot of Jordan's high school friends and his Ohio family were able to join us.

Brody is continuing to improve through all of his therapies. He is finally comfortable enough in the swimming pool to go underwater and to follow Ms. Melody's directions. He will kick, paddle, and jump/walk on the stairs. He is talking more and more thanks to Ms. Shelby and Ms. Christy. He loves Ms. Debbie (his OT) very much and thinks of all of his "work" as play. He also "plays" with grandma all day. He is starting to put two words/signs together. He is super interested in finger spelling. He has been trying to sign his alphabet. Brody is imitating a lot of words through speech and less with sign!

He still won't say dada, but we are getting a da or da-e every once in awhile. He is signing "I love you" now and will say, "I o" meaning I love you.

Brody, Jordan, and I stopped by Gallerine farms this weekend to get some flowers. My mom and Brody used to go a lot to see the petting zoo, but they have closed it for renovations. The lady working said it should be open in July. They are redoing it to make it more educational. Can't wait! We did get to see 3 horses. Brody loves horses. I guess he is a Kentucky kid. It's in his blood.

Brody had gotten super into animal videos on Vine. He can open the app himself and find the animal tab. He'll watch them over and over for ever!

And for those of you who I'm not friends on Facebook with, here is a throwback Thursday of the Massey family. 3 Dalmatians and a princess :)