Monday, January 26, 2009

Chance tattoos his stomach with a soccer ball

Chance has really been enjoying playing inside soccer. After his last game, he arrived home all flushed....and he'd already had a 10 minute drive home!

Chance soon filled me in on what had been the cause of his rosy coloring. Towards the very end of the game, the goalie had moved away from the goal in order to continue kicking the ball downfield. Chance had run over to secure the goal and actually blocked the other team from scoring. Since Chance was not the official goalie, he was not allowed to use his hands so he blocked the ball with his tummy. Apparently right afterwards, he actually had the imprint of the ball across his belly.

When Chance was telling me about the game he said, " I blocked a goal! I had to use my tummy and it hurt, but it was ok because I made it so the other team did not get a goal."

Well then. I don't know that I would have had the fortitude or dedication to block a fast moving ball with my mid section, but Chance apparently does.

We noticed earlier in the day that Chance was extra timid while playing basketball, not getting in on the action when he should have been looking for rebounds etc. He also seemed leery of getting involved when there were lots of players all together. He was dedicated to blocking his man on one on one defense, but he was not getting in and going for the ball.

His dad noticed that he also kept adjusting his implant. He had his molds in, but apparently he was still nervous about them staying put.

So in between the basketball and soccer games, we took Chance to the store and bought him a sweatband that he could wear over his implants to help secure them. Judging by his gusto during soccer, I would say the headband helped him feel confident that his implants would not fall off.

He loves the headband now and made sure to grab it the next time he had a game.

You have to be a good listener when you have hearing loss

Chance is quite the little sportsman. He has been playing both basketball and soccer the past few weeks.

Chance has played basketball before, but this year, he is playing in our city's new recreation center. The new building has one huge basketball playing area that they divide with big nets into different courts for the kids to play in.

A high ceiling covers an upstairs track that can look down on the basketball area. There is sound bouncing all over the place.

Chance's game, separated by one big net, was full of balls bouncing, crowds cheering and coaches shouting.

As Chance was moving in the court, his coach started calling his name and telling him to move down towards the basket. I thought to myself, "there is absolutely no way Chance is hearing that." Chance turned though! I was flabbergasted. Chance looked over at his coach and then moved down court. I figured out later, that Chance had been able to pick his name being called out of the din which is amazing all by itself, but had not heard what the coach had said but rather deduced what was being said as his coach was frantically motioning down court.

I asked Chance after the game if he could hear what the coach was saying and he said no. He could hear his name but not the rest. Chance is a smart cookie though and has learned out of necessity to pay attention to cues other than solely relying on his hearing.

After the game, we decided to talk Chance's two coaches and tell them that Chance could hear when they were in huddle and got instructions that way, but as far as hearing when the game was going on, he probably didn't catch much.

The coaches were fine with that and told us that Chance actually listened better than most of the other kids..

I think that sometimes the deaf kids learn to really listen better than kids with normal hearing They have to. Chance does not have the luxury of being able to tune out or half listen and then catch back up to what is being said. He has learned that he needs to pay attention if he wants to know what is going on. Several people that interact with Chance have commented that he listens well. He even brought home a calendar this week from school that he had earned by filling up a good listening card.

I think Chance being deaf has made him a good listener. I have noticed that the other deaf and hard of hearing kids in Chance's class tend to focus on listening more attentively than their peers with no hearing loss. They have to, but it really helps them get the most of what is going on around them I think. When I help in Chance's class once a week, I end up helping the kids without hearing loss more than the kids with hearing loss. The kids without hearing loss haven't had to pay as close attention to what is going on.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A year behind, or a year ahead?

Chance loves attending cub scouts. Tonight, several of the boys at scouts were talking about how they were in the 3rd grade. Chance told them that he was old enough to be in the third grade too. One boy did not believe him so Chance decided to explain it to him. I asked Chance what he said and this is what he told me:

'I told them that I was deaf because I got derated and had to go to the hospital."

"Dehydrated?" I asked him.

"Yes, dehydrated." Chance corrected.

"So that is why there is a "deaf child" sign in the neighborhood!" One of the boys said. "He did not know I was deaf!" Chance laughed.

Chance continued, "I did not hear very well before the implants so I did two years in school or I would be in third grade too."

It didn't seem to bother Chance he just said it matter of factly. Apparently, the other boys were impressed. Chance does not go to school with these boys as he is bused to a school with a School for the Deaf satellite branch. He will probably be attending his local school next year though.

I am glad that Chance does not seem to have a complex about being a grade behind most kids his age.

When I went to help at the school this week, I overheard Chance bragging to one of his classmates that he was the oldest in the class. He would be turning NINE at his next birthday.
So there you have it. Chance is proud that he is the oldest. Hopefully, it will always be thus.

Chance's birthday is situated so that he would be one of the youngest kids in his class if he was in the third grade which is nice. And he will be able to drive before most of the other kids in his class. That should make him cool. I was one of the first ones to drive in my grade and was the envy of many.

Chance gets a kindness award

In the month of December, Chance's teacher nominated him for a kindness award through The Kind Acts Foundation. Chance got the award with a little pin and a certificate. The certificate says: "Chance is very helpful on the playground to students who have no one to play with. He often brings a ball outside and invites other students to play. I noticed that Chance will include all students in his games."

Chance was quite fond of his award. I was too. It is always nice to hear that your child is thoughtful and good to others. It makes my heart glad to know that Chance is helping other kids to feel included.

We have had neighbors comment on how Chance takes an interest in the younger siblings of his friends and gives them attention so they feel part of things.

What a sweetheart.

Making a statement

Tonight Chance took longer than usual to get his homework done. He had basketball practice and then he was a little slow getting started. The end result was that we ran out of time to play a board game as Chance wanted.

When we informed him that time for games had run out, he was not a happy camper. His mood was further dampened by the fact that we told him it was bedtime.

Chance had gotten it into his head that we had promised him we would play the board game before he went to bed.

So, as we were rounding up Chance's brothers and sisters for bed, we noticed a little addition to our living room rug. There lay Chance's blinking implants. When Chance's dad approached the devices, he could see Chance peeking around the hall waiting for them to be found. He was smiling.

When Chance's dad picked the implants up, Chance immediately let us know that he had not thrown the implants down on the floor but had set them down. Then he demonstrated how gently he had lain them down.

So, Chance was letting us know that he could no longer hear what we were saying.

As a mother, I think this is greatly unfair. If anyone should be able to block out their hearing, it should be us as parents not one of the kids. We as parents could tune out complaints and ignore whining.

We decided to just go on with our bedtime routine as usual and set the implants down on a table in the living room.

Chance did not like being unable to hear what was going on and with in 5 minutes, he had put the implants back on and we moved on as usual.

Chance takes his implants off and sets them on the floor. We covered how the floor was not a place for the implants ever to be. We don't want to make a huge deal out of this, as we have several years left for Chance to have opportunities to "not hear us". If we don;t make a huge deal out of it, maybe this won't become a habit:)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Louder is not always better

Poor Chance. His baby brother has undertaken a new hobby this past week. He talks at about 80 decibels each time he says anything.
Our dinner time goes something like this:
"I WANT SOME CORN!" From Chances brother.
"Ok, can you say it quieter?" From one of us.
"MINE IS THE GREEN CUP!" From Chance's brother.
"I can not hear you!" Chance laments to the person who is talking to him at the table.

Chance's brother seems to feel the need to be heard. He obviously has decided that by being loud, we will hear him better. It would be nice to have some kind of volume control at times. We are working with him to help him tone down his voice, but in the mean time, Chance is heard to express,
"I can not hear! It is too loud!!"
Luckily, Chance is really attached to his younger brother and they are great buddies. This should help them overcome this little inconvenience that the loud volume creates.

Hopefully, this is a short lived problem. I feel for Chance. Good heavens, the rest of us can't hear either when his brother is talking so loud. It must be extra frustrating for Chance though.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Chance starts indoor soccer

Chance really likes to play soccer so we decided to enroll him in an indoor soccer league this winter.

The other leagues Chance has played in have been city leagues. This time, it is a soccer team run by someone else.

I didn't mention that Chance was deaf when I went to enroll him. We have found that people actually respond better when they can meet Chance and make a judgment then, instead of brewing for days over what having a deaf child on their team may mean.

If it makes sense to tell people he is deaf we will talk to the coach or teacher such as when he takes swimming lessons. Chance is such a good little soccer player though, that we figured mentioning that he was deaf would not be needed.

Chance;s dad took Chance to his first game, and just sent him out onto the field. Chance's best little buddy is on his team so they are very excited to play together.

I was curious as to how sound would bounce off of the sides of the arena. It is just one of those big bubble roofed facilities where noise is just bouncing all over the place. We figured that as long as Chance can hear the coach in huddles and know what is happening in the game, we'll let him be.

Sometimes when Chance has played sports, Chance's dad or I have stood on the base, or down court or whatever was needed to ensure that Chance is able to know what is going on.

Chance did just fine at soccer. The arena version of soccer allows more time with the ball and goes at a faster pace. Chance really liked that. He told family and friends how fun it was.

At one point during the game, a ref called out, "Where are Chance's parents?" Chance's dad did not hear the question as he was talking to someone, but another parent pointed him out to the ref.

"How's Chance doing with his implants?" She asked.

"Fantastic!" Chance's dad answered.

"That is awesome!" The ref said and then went back to her job.

That was quite nice to have an interaction with someone who seemed to know at least a little about implants and was excited to know they were working well.
Chance's team ended up winning the game which made Chance very happy as his summer league team didn't win many of their games. Chance also got to be goalie for part of the time which he was excited about.

I want your p.g.s!

Chance's little brother did not want to put on his pajamas the other night so we started using some reverse psychology on him.

"Wow, those are nice new pajamas! Can I wear them tonight?" One of us asked him.

Then from behind me I heard Chance say," I want to wear your new P.G.'s!"

Chance and I had just had a discussion a few nights ago about how another name for pajamas was P.J.'s . Apparently he heard "P.G."s.

It is amazing how just mishearing one little letter can through you off isn't it?

Chance is now in the know about p.J.'s and so next time we need to use reverse psychology, Chance will be right on top of it.