Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 12-12-11 Micah's Hearing Levels Confirmed

So little Mr. babbling, Micah finally, after several long long tests, has had his hearing levels evaluated successfully.
This involved lots of comforting, sleeping, holding his head still instead of using his clever side to side maneuver to shake off the electrodes, our new doctor, Dr. Mancl of Childrens and UW health, had a different kind of quiet room, one with pillows and a reclining rocking chair.
I put Micah in my moby wrap and snuggled him close and the test was successful!

Afterwards, the doctors explained the results, and talked to us about communication opportunities. Including ASL/Speech cues/and the cochlear implant/hearing aids, etc.

My boy has hearing levels that are called Profound Permanent Hearing Loss. He didn't LOSE his hearing though, he never developed most levels of it. He is in the "profound" range which means he cannot hear speech, or regular household noises, but he can distantly hear things like vacuums, or blenders or loud trucks. As if they were across the street. The good thing is, he hears some things. The question is how can we help him communicate if he cannot hear letter pronunciation. We learn all methods, and teach him total communication, using speech cues, sign language, lip movement, and all other methods, combined into one to give him the best advantage.

He is a very visual little guy, he will laugh and talk and play and interact, you would never know that he is not hearing much sound. But as a Mommy, I did know, I always knew that if I am not in his range of vision, he cannot hear me sing, or talk. So I am always sure to speak in front of him or where he can see me. I use some exaggerated facial expressions and lots of and motions.

It is the 14th, 2 days later.

Suddenly everyone is an expert on the Deaf and the cochlear implant. Really?
Guess what, if you are not experienced IN THE DEAF community, I don't really want to hear about how you "studied" ASL in high school for a semester or something, and how you hear the entire Deaf community shuns implants or how being Deaf is a horrible, saaaad disability, etc. bleh bleh bleh
 It's ignorance...
What you took a class and now you are an expert, now you are speaking on behalf of the ENTIRE Deaf community? Really?

Sorry had to get that off my chest. I am fortunate to know people who
can provide substantial information about Deaf children and individuals as well as experience around the cochlear implants, both the pros and cons.

I think friends just need to support us and love us not shove their mis-informed opinions
in our faces.

The thing is, my son is, how he is. My feelings about putting him through invasive surgery to fix his hearing, to me, almost seems unnecessary and unfair. Yes it might make him fit in a little better with the majority main stream society, which we are surrounded by daily.

But what's wrong with being different? He is not alone, there are many Deaf children.
Someone said to me that sigh language is becoming outdated, that it is going EXTINCT?
 Who says it is outdated?
There is an entire community, Deaf CULTURE, Deaf Society, who use ASL every day, and more and more are learning it, even many hearing folks!
It is a specialized language and is everywhere!
4th most used language in the US.

My feelings about the cochlear implant is that they are wonderful but I do not know if
it is the right choice for my son.
I realize that studies show that the earlier he gets them, the better his speech will develop but I am leaning towards letting this be HIS choice when he is old enough. I love him just the way he is, and I , in only 2 days have already learned like 15 baby sign words:) My whole family is on board with learning it. We have 8-12 months to think about it.

Peace world!

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