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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy Birthday to Brody's ears!

Happy "hear"iversary Brody! In the cochlear implant world, the day your processor is activated, your ears are "newborn." Aka they are 0. So while Brody is almost 27 months old, his ears are 12 months old as of today. If you think about what a year old baby is doing (figuring in some advancement due to his actual age), Brody is doing pretty amazingly!

I even got Jordan to "guest post" for this special day...

It’s hard to believe it has only been one year since the day we went to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to get Brody’s Cochlear Implants activated. So many emotions went through me at that time. Fear, anxiety, happiness, excitement…everything was pretty overwhelming.
Looking back at it now, I can honestly say the support of my wife (Katie) is what got me through it all. I kind of felt like I had a personal CI/deaf expert that was always with me! I may not have asked Katie many questions, but just knowing that she had background with deaf kids and Cochlear Implants helped me tremendously.

Enough about MY experience, this is after all, all about the Brody Monster! Over the course of 1 year I have watched my son grow from a little baby to a little boy. His personality is starting to show through more & more the older he gets. Seeing your own child start to become a walking & talking little person is a very fun experience. He has plenty of bumps and bruises from being a typical toddler. Chasing the dog, doing somersaults, and singing/dancing to Mickey Mouse are some of his favorite things right now. He’s even started gymnastics to help with his balance and coordination….or maybe it was for all the built-up energy! The greatest thing I’ve been able to see is his speech & listening development.

The combination of services & therapy has made Brody excel in only 12 months after being implanted. His listening skills still amaze me and they get better & better every month. I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t think it would be this quick to get results from the Cochlear Implants. Being profoundly deaf and getting no benefit from hearing aids was essentially starting Brody at a hearing level of 0 until the Implants were activated. From day 1, Katie & I were adamant that Brody wear his sound processors at all waking hours. I think this has paid off. Brody really understands that the processors are very important and without them he cannot listen to anyone or anything around him. Of course, 2 year-olds tend to test their parents so we have had to deal with processors being thrown and a little boy with a mischievous grin waving them out of our reach.

Brody’s speech continues to improve. He is putting words and phrases together. He will still use some sign language if he doesn’t think we understand him, but for the most part he is completely oral. He likes to mimic everyone and even has tried singing a couple of times! It’s fun to see what new words and phrases he comes up with every week. It really is amazing how quickly he picks things up.

In the end, it has been well worth it. Over a year later, I have no regrets about getting Bi-lateral Cochlear Implants for Brody. I have seen his progress. I have seen him turn and smile when I call his name. I have listened to him say “I love you, dad”. This wonderful technology has helped Brody to adapt to the hearing world that he will inevitably have to face on his own. Katie and I wanted to give Brody the best opportunity to thrive on his own. I hope as he gets older he will agree with the tough decisions that his mom & dad had to make when he was just a baby. In the meantime, we will continue to help him succeed and help him to be the best self-advocate he can be.

Happy Birthday to Brody’s Cochlear Implants…they deserve it.

Enjoying a hot fudge sundae to celebrate!

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