Before our children were born, they had a special conversation with God. They asked Him to give them parents that would care for them, help them with their special needs and most of all love them more than anything else. With that we were chosen as parents to these beautiful children. And for that we are honored and forever grateful. 
Thank you Emma & Harrison for choosing us.

March 25, 2009

Did you just say what I think you said?

One thing that parents of normal hearing children don't realize is that a good portion of their child's language and development is due to incidental hearing. They pick up words and phrases by what is being said around them, not just to them. 

Children who are deaf and have cochlear implants, and especially depending on the age of implantation, don't have incidental hearing. Eventually it may come but everything has to be learned from the start. My brother was having a hard time with this because a couple of years ago he asked Emma to go stand out on the grass and he would throw her the ball. She just stood there because she didn't know what grass was...and she was three! But we never taught her that, so it went on the list!

Now, after having been implanted for over three years, and definitely being in mainstream school with hearing peers, Emma vocabulary has vastly improved due to an increased amount of incidental hearing. Gone are the days that my husband and I can say whatever we want with no worries! Here's a list of some of Emma's favorite phrases, all learned by listening to others around her:

"But don't worry.."

"It's no big deal" (which usually follows some sort of fiasco)

That's a great idea!"

"Holy Crap!" (That's my fault!) She doesn't say that anymore :)

"May I ask a question?"

And many more. But teaching her what grass is and what the white fluffy things in the sky are, and what shoelaces are is all VERY hard! You don't realize how hard it is until you're in the middle of it. But it has to be done. It's our job as parents to do it. 

Unfortunately not all parents look at it that way. And sadly some don't bother. But it is our job. Imagine if your paying job was to answer phones for a company whose customers are calling in and that is their one source of revenue, and one day you just decided that you weren't going to answer the phones. If you continued to not answer the phones day after day, the company would eventually fail. Look at your child as that company. Do the job you have to do as best as you can so your "company" doesn't fail. And eventually, you will see positive growth and be surprised and pleased with new words and phrases everyday.

1 comment:

  1. MB ~ you have no idea how many parents of children with Ds do the same thing. I can personally give you many examples. They figure - it's just how "they" are - it's just the way life is.

    What they're missing is that - it doesn't have to be that way!!! You can change the rule books but not without parental involvement and serious parental commitment. Our children didn't asked to be born with special needs and it's our responsibility to give them the tools to be the very best they can be. But, how can they if we're not even willing to put our best foot forward?