Friday, November 30, 2007

Chance and his relationship with the van...

Chance has an interesting relationship with our van. Sometimes, he hears and follows what is going on a lot better than at other times. There are things to take into consideration such as if the radio is on, if other people are talking, what direction people are facing when they are talking, is the heater or air conditioning on high etc.

Sometimes, when Chance is in the van, we have great conversations and Chance just follows along. Other times, he is telling us to repeat ourselves or telling his brothers and sisters,"Be quiet! I can not hear!"
Today, we experienced both in the space of an hour and a half.

We were on our way to visit grandma, and Chance had missed what his brother had said. So, as he sometimes does, he asked us up front what had been said. We told Chance to ask his brother what he had said. Chance then turned around and started talking to his brother. The next thing we knew, Chance was telling us, "Be quiet! I can not hear!"

An hour and a half later, we were driving home from grandmas house and passed police cars and firetrucks off the the side of the freeway. A transfomer was on fire. The kids did not see the fire as it was up on a pole, so I pointed it out to them as we passed.

Both Chance's brother and sister proceeded to tell Chance that there was a fire.

"I know! You do not have to tell me!" Chance informed them

Chance was in the very back of the van and I was driving yet when I asked him why he was upset, he heard me perfectly and told me that everyone kept telling him things that he knew already.

Ok, so apparently, sometimes Chance hears better than at other times. I don't know what exactly makes the difference.

Spring and Fall seem to be good times to hear as the air conditioning and heater are not on high.
Other than that, it remains a bit of a mystery.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chance hears me inhale?

I was in my bedroom when my littlest son walked in with a fire chief hat on.

"Oh!" I gasped and laughed.

As I walked out of my bedroom and into the living room, I heard Chance saying,

'I heard mommy! She is ready now!"

I was blown away. I could not believe that Chance heard me from that far away and through a wall.

Then two days later, while visiting friends, I said something like "Ahh!" in a conversation.

Chance who was in another room, approached me a few minutes later and asked me why I had said "Ahh!"

He IS hearing more and more:)

I want to be the whistle.....

"I want to be the whistle!" Chance called out as he raced down the length of the living room.

Not a comment I typically hear from him. I stopped fixing dinner to watch what was going on so I could see what a whistle was.

Several boys were grasping after a blue ball and Chance was running down next to them.

"There is no whistle in this game." Chance's brother informed him.

'Yes, there is!" Chance insisted.

I watched the boys play for a minute and noticed Chance taking the ball out to the side of the room.

"Does he mean referee? I asked.

"Yes," his brother said as he grabbed for the ball.

"Lets tell him what the real name is." I said.

So we told Chance that the people who have the whistles in sports are called referees.

"Oh." Chance said.

So tonight, I asked Chance what the people with the whistles in sports were called. He thought for a minute and then said,"I forgot."

So I reminded him.

"Oh ya!" He said.

We'll just practice using the word referee for the next while and see if we can't get that word to stick.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

sliver and silver..

The kids and I were in the car waiting for their dad to come out, so we decided to play the game "guess that color." I went first. Chance kept offering the same guess each time it was his turn to choose what color he thought it was. I couldn't figure out what color he meant. It was not one of the basics..yellow, red, blue etc. Chance knows how to pronounce those colors just fine.
"What color do you mean Chance?" I asked.

"He is saying silver." His brother informed me. Only he was pronouncing it sliver instead of silver. Oh the subtle differences of the English language that really make a difference in meaning.

'Chance it is s-i-l-v-e-r." I said drawing the word out so he could hear it.

"Oh. Silver." Chance repeated back to me

We then had a discussion about what a sliver is and how it sounds a lot like the word silver.
So now Chance is ready to head into the holiday season knowing how to correctly pronounce the color sliver. Er, I mean silver.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chance sings lullabyes..

Chance's baby brother was having a hard time going to sleep tonight. Chance's older brother started singing songs to him. Chance began singing too. At first, Chance just sang what he wanted to sing, not really singing along with his brother.

Then, Chance started singing the same songs that his brother was singing. He knew some songs that I had no idea he knew the words to.

Chance's baby brother lay down in his crib and started to settle down. Chance's older brother started dozing off and stopped singing. The baby was not quite all the way settled however, so he started rolling around in his crib. Chance started singing again, and he kept singing until his little brother was fast asleep.

I sat in the dark listening as Chance sang song after song to sooth his baby brother. I think the singing was good for all of us. The baby settled down to sleep, I got to admire how far Chance has come with his singing abilities, plus witness the love Chance has for his brother, and Chance had the satisfaction of knowing that was able to help his brother.

Then Chance himself dozed off.

And they lived happily ever after.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chocolate and the lessons it teaches us...

Halloween opened up a whole new world of chocolate for Chance. He is genetically predisposed to crave chocolate from his father's side of the family (and a few chocolate addicts on his mothers side).

However, Halloween was one of those rare occasions when many different kinds of chocolate converged into one place....Chance's trick or treat bag.

Chance began to realize chocolate comes in many different sizes with various ingredients added to strengthen the allure. There are Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Twix Bars, Hershey's milk chocolate bars and chocolate with peanuts added. Chance was a regular connoisseur of chocolate in the past whenever the opportunity presented itself, but Halloween helped him to realize that different chocolate candy bars have different names. This was kind of exciting for him because then he could more effectively barter with his siblings for his favorites. Chance would study the candy bar wrapper and if he was not sure how to pronounce the name, he would ask us how you say it.

Now Chance is realizing that potato chips have different names too. There are Ruffles original, or Ruffles with cheese.

This may not seem like much of a life changing event, but to Chance it enables him to specify what his favorite foods are. Instead of just asking for chips, he can specify that he would like the cheesey chips. Or he can request that Santa bring Kit Kat bars to fill up his stocking instead of having to gamble on just saying chocolate and risk getting a less superior taste for his pallet.

We'll have to review the different kinds of chocolate bars to get the names solid in Chance's vocabulary, but I am certain that his father is up to the task of testing Chance's chocolate knowledge on a regular basis.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Basketball

Chance is playing basketball now and enjoying it very much. His coach is the same guy that coached his baseball team this past summer. He is really a good guy who helps the kids to have fun and does not get overly stressed about the game. He knows Chance and will repeat things if Chance misses anything etc.

Basketball is probably the hardest sport for Chance to hear in so far besides swimming. The ball is always smacking against a hard gym floor creating noise, there are kids running all over the court creating noise, and a gym just echoes and the sound bounces off all of the walls like crazy. Chance does really well and he is a good little hustler and loves to play, he just can not hear you many times if you call out to him while he is on the court.

The kids are all given colored wristbands that correspond to a wristband to a kid on the opposite team. You guard the child who has the same wristband color as you do. Chance is usually good about guarding his man, but during one point in the game, he was letting his man go unguarded. I called out by habit to tell Chance to guard his man, but soon realized that Chance could not hear me. His coach tried telling him to guard too, but unless Chance looks at you, you may not be heard.

I talked to the coach after the game and asked if he wanted my husband or I to sit over by the bench during the games and help him out when he needed to get Chance's attention. He said that it was fine and not a big problem. Chance will have to learn to look over at his coach every so often to see if he is telling him something. When you are in the heat of the game, this will not be easy.

Another option is, we get an FM system consisting of a receiver that attaches to the bottom of Chance's implant, and a microphone that we or the coach could wear. Then Chance would be hearing us if we were right by him. These systems are used to help deaf people in school, church, or any other setting when they need to hear in noisy or crowded environments. The cost is about $4000.00 from what we understand. So Chance will not be using one of these systems this year:)

Chance is a little trooper and just goes on with his life undaunted by the mere fact that he is deaf. We'll have to see what we can work out for basketball in the future. Maybe we can ask deaf adults who play what they do to keep in touch with the coach.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Chance didn't want to hear us sing..

We were driving home in the car yesterday and I asked the kids what song they wanted to sing. They were all tired, and thus easily irritated, so I thought singing might loosen them up a little.
I asked Chance first what he wanted to sing. He informed me that he did not want to sing. So, I asked Chance's sister what she wanted to sing. She did not want to sing either, so I started to sing 99 Bottles of Rootbeer on the Wall.

Chance didn't want me to sing a song that he didn't know. So I asked him again what he wanted to sing. He was sulking, so I asked his sister what she wanted to sing. She chose a song and we started to sing.

It turns out, that Chance was just getting ready to sing at this point and wanted to be the one to choose the song since I had asked him first.

So, to show us his displeasure, he took his implants off and told us that he could not hear us.

Well, for rude.

This of course meant that I could not talk to Chance either since he would not hear me. So I could not tell him to choose a song when we were done and I was driving so I could not do anything to get his attention.

It only took a few minutes before Chance put his implants on by his own accord. He didn't like not being able to hear. This is a good thing.

I did not make a big deal about Chance taking his implants off either because I do not want this to be something that he starts doing when he does not want to hear me:)

Bellybuttons come up again....

I asked Chance to feed our toad today, and as he was getting the crickets ready, he told me that he wanted another belly button toad.
Now, for all I know there really is a bellybutton toad, the kids do love to read and watch shows about animals. I was picturing in my mind why a toad would be called a bellybutton toad.
Was it really little so someone thought about it fitting inside a bellybutton?
Did the look of the critter remind someone of a bellybutton?

"What is a bellybutton toad?" I asked Chance.
Chance looked at me, then he looked at our toad cage. Then it hit me.
"You want another toad like ours?" I asked.
"Yes." Chance replied.
"It's a firebelly toad." I reminded Chance.
"Ya, I want another fire belly toad." Chance said emphasizing fire belly.

Chance is learning so much vocabulary that he needs to be reminded or review what the names for things are sometimes. His mind is just taking so much in, and he has so much to remember. We hardly ever call the toad a fire belly toad. We just say toad.
Chance was close, there was the word belly in the toads name:)