Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I last posted. My apologies, it has been an exhausting fall thus far. Anyway, before I get back to Max and Claire, I want to take a moment and thank Advanced Bionics for putting us on their website. You can find a link on our blog.

Originally, I had planned on explaining Max and Claire's implant turn on days in great detail. However, I think that I would rather catch everyone up to their current lives. I will say this. Both Max and Claire's turn on days were blessed occasions and their lives have been full and happy ever since. Their cochlear implants are truly a miracle. I will do my best to post a video of each turn on day as soon as I can figure out how to do such a thing. I'm not the most computer savvy person in the world.

Max's implant was turned on around five years ago in Atlanta, GA. He is now six. Even though he was born deaf, Max lives a wonderful life. He is in pre-first grade at David Lipscomb Elementary School in Nashville, TN. His talented teacher, Mrs. Seay says that Max is in the class's top reading group and that there is nothing keeping him from graduating at the top of his high school class! He enjoys playing soccer and baseball. Unfortunately, he also likes to watch cartoons and play on the computer. As most parents know, it's a tough balancing act to manage. He is an awesome kid. His speech is behind that of his peers, but he is quickly catching up with the help of my awesome wife Stephanie and the Auditory Verbal Therapy that he receives through Emily at Vanderbilt's Bill Wilkerson Center.

Claire will be three in January of 2009 and her implant was turned on when she was fifteen months old. I know that I should not compare their hearing journeys, but it is almost impossible for me not to do so. While Max passed most of his speech milestones quickly and with flying colors, Claire is a different child. She is a very smart little girl and completely capable of great achievements. However, she is definitely moving along a bit more slowly that Max. In my opinion, her slower progress is probably a combination of several circumstances. Number one, Claire is just different from Max. While Max was eager to please during his therapy sessions, Claire is without a doubt a stronger willed child. She can do what is asked of her, the problem is, she just does it when she wants to. We are also a busier family than when Max was born. We have two kids instead of one, Stephanie now works full time and we have done a poor job of avoiding the rat race. ( Have I mentioned how great Stephanie is? Not only is she a "looker", she is also a full time HR Manager and still finds time to teach Claire's therapy on a consistent basis. She also manages to take care of Max and me. Stephanie is awesome! ) The final reason that Claire is coming around a little more slowly ( in my opinion ) is that I assumed she would automatically be on par with Max in the speech process. This caused me to become lax in my help with Claire's sessions. I guess I just assumed that she would absorb her vocabulary from Max through some sort of weird osmosis. Don't get me wrong. Claire's implant is working great and she has become quite the little speech trooper. She is quickly learning her colors and numbers and seems to say something new just about every day. I think that she enjoys music as well. I caught her dancing to the tunes today at San Antonio Taco Company! She is Daddy's precious girl. We are debating a second implant to give her more sound, but that is another discussion for another day.

Like I said earlier, I'll try to post their "turn on" videos ASAP. Thanks for reading.

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