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Our Journey

January 4, 2000--Jake got a puppy from his Grandma and is telling everybody it's name, Cricket. He is pronouncing it correctly too! He said, "Cricket go boing, boing, biong Mommy." That is where the name comes from, the bouncing around!

January 17th, 2000--Jake is very confused, his puppy died on the 14th and he cried his eyes out. My father died last night and Jake can't understand why Papaw is gone too. I told him that Cricket needed someone to take care of him in heaven and he seemed to be okay with that. But, I know he really doesn't understand.

January 28, 2000--Jake was a real Papaw's boy and can't understand that he is gone. It is kinda funny though because we keep telling him he went up to heaven way up there in the sky. He knows where Mississippi is on the map and tonight he pointed at Mississippi and said "Lulu down there" then pointed at Canada and said "Papaw up there" There is no convincing him that he is wrong, but it was funny. A much needed laugh around here.

February 2000--Not much this month other than school. Jake is working hard on basic skills and is catching up slowly but surely. He is making friends and is very popular among his classmates. He is mainstreamed for four hours a day now.

March 1, 2000--Jake has been able to answer to his name on the phone since the first few weeks of activation and repeat Lulu and Papaw back to my parents. He could recognize certain voices but not really understand unless they were on speaker phone. The speaker phone is how I started him practicing with listening over the phone. He moved up to answering yes and no to simple questions but usually only when my Dad talked to him. He would hear my Dad say "Hey man, what ya doin'?" and respond "okay papaw," "hi papaw" and that kind of thing. He has been lost since my Dad died and is always asking "Is that Papaw?" when you are on the phone. Well, tonight a friend of mine called and he talked on the phone to her! He answered "uh huh, dentist fix tooth" "no, not hurt" He kept saying that I was in trouble and when she said what did you say Jake, he replied "Listen! Mommy in big trouble (for) talk on telephone". I was so excited. This is a person he has never spoken to! The thing is that he always wants to talk on the cordless phone and tonight he was on a regular phone and he understood a lot more. Once he put the phone to his aided ear and said "Wait, not hear you, (with) hearing aid" He changed back to the CI side and answered the question! I thought this was cool and his Dad wasn't home to see it, rats.

March 26, 2000--Okay, this auditory neuropathy is such a puzzling problem. Once again, I have been blown away because Jake responded to me without his CI. This is probably the most obvious "hearing moment" that he has ever had. I slept in yesterday and when I got up Josh and Jake were headed out the door to play (Dad was outside). I noticed that Jake only had on a shirt and underwear and not shorts. I went to the door and called his name and he answered "What Mom?" and I said that he needed to come get his short pants on. He said "okay, I coming." He was in the garage, about 40 feet from me and we couldn't see each other. As I turned to walk back into the house I saw his IMPLANT and HEARING AID were still in the dry pack!!!! I ran back to the door and yelled at my husband "Did you hear that?" to which he said yes. Then I told him that Jake didn't have his equipment on yet. He was just as amazed as I was. HOW DO THEY DO THIS? He has absent OAE's now and still has those moments. He answered a few short questions that I asked with my mouth covered then 2-3 minutes later he was a deaf as the door again.

June 1, 2000--He had a breakthrough at school the next to last week too! They were studying the ocean and its life and talking about sharks. The teacher asked a question and Jake raised his hand. Usually if she calls him he gets this scared look and bows his head down and doesn't say anything. WELL, this day he actually answered the question! So it may be trivial to some but it is a HUGE step for Jake.

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. There were 25 families with AN children and one adult with AN. Was great to put faces with the names on the email list.

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! Even 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. 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."

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 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 he hit 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 3, 2000--Jake started back to school two weeks ago and loves it. He is now 6 yrs 8 months old now, implanted for 18 months and is repeating Kindergarten. He immediately fit in with the new teacher, her assistant and the other children, but is having some issues with the small room they moved his TOD into. He doesn't like it because it has no windows or room to do anything and that is our issue every morning, getting him in the door to get his soundfield microphone for the teacher. It is his responsibility to get it and carry it to the classroom, but we have this stand off about him trying to get me to do it almost every morning. Finally, on Friday he took it himself and went to class! We have worked very hard this summer on making complete thoughts and sentences and have finally had a breakthrough. I am HAPPY to report that he has started to use the words "it", "him", and "her" in his speech. In many areas of language acquisition charts he has gained over 2 or more years since he was implanted! Finally, after weeks and weeks of trying to get him to use the word "and" to connect thoughts he did it! We were getting books out to read and he said, "I want to read this one and this one and this one and this one and this one," before I finally told him that was enough. But he kept on getting books and saying it. He loves to be read to and is trying to read some on his own but doesn't like for me to ask him to read. Tonight he was going upstairs without his implant so I stomped my foot to get his attention. When he turned, he saw I was irritated and said "Ok Mom, who's in big trouble Jake or Josh?" We have also worked on articulation, which is really showing now. He has learned to do the "f" sound with 5 missing teeth and gaps between the ones that have came back. This took MUCH work! He is putting the "ing" at the end of words and making inferences on his own so his speech therapist is pleased with his progress, especially since he didn't have any formal speech therapy this summer. It is just so exciting that he is finally getting it all together and using sentences instead of phrases all the time. He talks to the other kids at school that he knows but at the doctors office this week we had a huge breakthrough! He initiated conversation with other kids and they understood him! Sometimes I have to pinch myself to be sure it is all real. But boy that pinch feels good!

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. 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!
How did you do this?
Why did you do this Mommy?
Would you stop hitting me Josh? You are mean!
I really scary of the ghost outside in that tree.

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.

November 29, 2000--Jake said these sentences today during our speech therapy homework session, without prompting!
The bird is over the rainbow.
The flower is under the rainbow.
The girl is on the bridge.

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 "to" 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 he told Josh to "I will fix it later, okay Josh?" when they were playing with their Lego's.

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 7-8 in several areas since implantation. Cool!

December, 2000--

January 10, 2001--Today was Jake's birthday. He is so proud to be 7 years old! But for me it was a little sad because he is the oldest child in the class and I fear that when he is older that he will be picked on because of that. He really doesn't know he is different from the other children, but one day he will realize when the bullies pick on him. It's too bad you can't protect them from all the mean things that will be said to him in the future.

January 16, 2001--Jake asked me today, "Mommy, what happened to Papaw (when) him died and go heaven?" "Why him go leave Lulu, Jake, Mommy, Daddy, and Josh?" Broke my heart and is really weird because today is the anniversary of his death. Something I haven't mentioned around him.

January 2001--While in the library for reading circle today Jake answered a question about the book they were reading! Everyone was very excited with that breakthrough in participation. He is still doing Fast ForWord and doing pretty good. We also started a reading program called Reading Milestones with him and he reads the entire first book every night and then does the homework sheets that go with it.

January 30, 2001--We have worked on irregular plurals for what seems like months, but is really just a few weeks. Tonight in speech homework he told us that it is "one goose, three geese" and even got mouse/mice, deer/deer on his own!