July 14-17, 2000--Had the First Annual Auditory Neuropathy Parent Conference in New Orleans, LA. It turned out really nice thanks to the help of Dr.'s Berlin, Hood, Keats and the staff at LSU, Dr. Shallop from Mayo Clinic/Rochester, and Arnold Starr, MD from UCI. It wouldn't have been possible without the generous donation from Cochlear Corporation and an anonymous gift from an audiologist on the email list. There were 25 families with AN children and one adult with AN participating. It was great to put faces with the names on the email list. I'm quite sure this was the largest group of auditory neuropathy children (14) to be in one place!
July 28, 2000--Jake is picking up more incidental language because I know that he hasn't ever heard me say, "Wow Mom, that Pokemon is way cool." He heard it somewhere! We got a new puppy, actually TWO new puppies and Jake is as happy as he can be about it. He talks alot about them so I keep telling myself this was a good idea because of the language! I have orders to put a picture of his brother in this page so here is a picture of both boys and the dogs, affectionately called The Punks.
Now, back to Jake and language issues! In January he would say, "puppy sick...poo-poo yuck." Now he says, "Mommy, Rascal sick, poo poo on floor...him make stinky mess." So just the difference in that sentence has been great. Okay, I know that is a gross example, but that is all I can think of right now!
August 27, 2000--I am so very pleased with Jake's results that I cry with happiness. Tonight he came up and told me "Take my tooth out, it's stuck, it hurts." Eighteen months ago he would have said, "stuck, hurt," and point to his tooth. He also can not stop talking about Cierra and Halston that he met in New Orleans. He keeps telling me, "Cierra have implant, Halston have implant...not like Jake's...why not the same?" (They have a Nucleus and he has Clarion.)
August 14, 2000--Jake has not really been interested in reading and that is a MAJOR concern I had in school this year since he is repeating Kindergarten. Friday we visited the school so he could meet his new teacher and he was very involved in these books he was looking at and we wondered if he was reading more than we knew. Well, he has gotten this reading bug out of the blue. Last night I read him three books and tonight I had to read him 6 big books, like the Bernstein Bears books....finally had to say no more tonight...boy my throat hurts now! He was able to say many of the words when I pointed to them and was tickled pink that I made such a big deal about him reading the words. I feel like Christmas has come early! Makes me feel a bit better about school this year. Another milestone was that he actually told the new teacher good-bye when we left. His deaf ed teacher had already told her that Jake may not talk to her for a couple of weeks because he doesn't like change at all.....but he surprised us all. He is really starting to come out of his shell! For him to talk to Misty and Cierra at the conference was just mind blowing to us, because he doesn't usually talk to people he doesn't know for days or weeks!!!!
September 2, 2000--Today is the one year anniversary for starting the email list. I'd have to say this is one of my major life accomplishments to be proud of. There are 210 members on the list now. Without Jake, I would have never had the opportunity to touch so many lives. So, to answer the question I have asked myself so many times. Yes Elaine, God did have a reason for giving Jake to you. :)
September 28, 2000--We are currently working on possessive markers in speech. For instance saying, "The boys puppy," instead of puppy or his puppy. He doesn't like the drills but is catching on. We have also worked very hard on subject/pronoun issues in his speech and he is doing great with it now.
October 10, 2000--Today the headlines in the paper are that the school that Jake goes to is going to be a year round school starting next July. They have to vote on it, but the board has already said they are changing two schools to the year round program and there are only two mentioned in the paper. In other words...Its a done deal. So here I am, thinking things were going good and going to stay that way and now I feel like the program is crumbling just like the preschool program did. Hopefully I am worrying too much.
October 15, 2000--Jake's exciting sentences for the week!
October 18, 2000--I found out today that Jake was approved to do the Fast ForWord computer language program. I am EXTREMELY excited because I have been hinting for it for quite a bit now. They claim that the average child gains one to three years of language and increased reading skills so that would be a great thing for Jake. Hopefully, we can get started soon. He needs pre-testing and then to get the program loaded and started.
November 14, 2000--Tonight the school board voted to make Jake's school a year round school, they didn't care what any of the families said in the end. Most of the core PTA and active parents are going to be redistricted to other schools. Total worry and fear for the schools future looms overhead for our family, especially what will happen to the hearing impaired program.
November 20, 2000--Jake learned how to say the voice off TH sound today! He keeps saying Thursday, three, and think over and over and he is so proud of himself! It is rather soggy around here though as he is splattering us with spit everytime he does it. (SMILE) Hey, what's a little spit among family, right!? On another humorous note, I forgot to put his speech therapy folder in his bookbag this morning and he was giving me this lecture about being in big trouble when he put his hands on his hips and said "You are going to bed a eight tonight, you got it?" I about died laughing! I wonder where he heard that before? He is very talkative today and was excited about the snow we got yesterday. Another major hurdle we crossed is him saying "snow" instead of "snope"! Been a nice day here!
November 23, 2000--Jake has said Happy Thanksgiving at least a thousand times showing off the new TH sound he has learned. He also told his Grandma Lulu on the phone. It is happy and I am so very thankful for the cochlear implant that has changed his life so much.
December 2, 2000--Today Jake said the sentence, "I see a white car and a black car too," which I thought was pretty good since he used "and" and "too" in the same sentence. He is still saying Happy Thanksgiving just to irritate me, so I am working on getting him on a Merry Christmas kick!
December 4, 2000--Jake is so comical sometimes I have to bite my lip so I don't laugh at him. Tonight we were doing his speech homework and I told him he was doing a good job. He looked at me and said "No Mom, Russo say very good work Jacob!" THEN he said "I am so smart, huh Mom?" He's a little brat! The school board met tonight and decided to delay changing the school to year round until 2002! One less worry at least for another year.
December 6, 2000--Today Jake told Josh to "I will fix it later, okay Josh?" when they were playing with their Lego's. His sentence structure continues to improve more every day and he is expressing complete thoughts orally.
December 9, 2000--We went out to eat tonight and as usual, the boys argued over what to eat. Jake said, "I don't want no pizza Mom, I want some chicken nuggets." A pretty big sentence for him. I was just looking at the Bloom and Lahey language chart and he has advanced from phase 2-3 up to phase 8 in several areas since implantation. Cool!
December 19, 2000--Jake mastered the goals to use the words between, in front of and behind expressively today! He also completed the on, over and on top of goals about a week ago.
December 22, 2000--Jake will not stop singing "Jingle Bells" and is about to make me crazy. His speech is so clear people can't believe it. He is very excited and keeps saying, "Papaw is coming Lulu's for Christmas, down from heaven.....yay, I get see Papaw!" Breaks my heart to have to tell him it isn't true, but he keeps on saying it over and over.
December 30, 2000--We had a nice Christmas, Jake was very excited and talking everyone's ear off. Now I can't shut him up! Never in a million years did I think this would happen! He also had a "hearing moment" while we were at my Mom's house. It was the first time she ever saw what we had talked about so many times. When I got up they were all up talking and Jake was talking with them. I asked him a question and he answered me, then another and he answered. At that point my Mom asked me if I knew that he didn't have his implant on! I said "really?" and she said that he had been talking and answering them all morning and didn't have his implant or aid on. Finally, she saw this and knows that we were not crazy when we said that he heard us sometimes without equipment. He has refused his hearing aid the entire break from school.