Monday, January 28, 2013

Singing over kicks??

As is well known by now, Chance is taking choir at school.  It is also common knowledge that Chance loves soccer.  Chance loves soccer.  Did I mention that?  In case I didn't:  Chance loves soccer!

This 3rd term schedule has created a conflict of interest between these two classes.  Chance took both classes last term, but the way the schedule is this term, he has to choose only one.  That is because his schedule is crowded with mandatory classes and the only one left to drop for futsal is choir.

When I told Chance, he did that gesture he does when he is inner conflict.  He hangs his head and goes into deep introspection, a look of consternation on his face.

I was glad to see that his first response was not to just kick up his heels and gleefully announce that he could just drop his choir class.

He had to give it some thought.  And then he did the unthinkable.  HE CHOSE CHOIR OVER FUTSOL.

For this term anyways.  Next term it will be spring and time to try out for the school soccer team.  Chance is already planning on making that team.  (In fact, the soccer coaches are begging him to try out.)

Fourth term may bring more angst for the same reason third term did, but I think Chance already knows he is playing soccer come spring.

He is just holding onto choir as long as he can.

I am impressed.  He likes to sing.  And with the girl to boy ratio in that class, they need him:)

Chance has also been going to a voluntary youth choir at church for a special meeting coming up in a few weeks.  And, he still regularly attends our ward choir which sings for our congregation about every other month.

My boy likes to sing.  My boy can sing. He can sing with other kids his age, and with our church group.

I didn't know I could dream of all this singing for him when he was first diagnosed as being deaf.

I wanted Chance to be able to sing and enjoy music, I just just didn't know if it was going to be physically possible for him.

None of the professionals working with us dared answer me when I asked if Chance would ever be able to enjoy music when he was diagnosed as being deaf.

God knew though.  You can't go wrong if God knows you can do something.  Chance had a special blessing when he was diagnosed as being deaf that said he would be able to enjoy and play music.

And God helped us get Chance his implants.  I can not pretend that we did it alone.  God has had a hand in Chance's life and been very aware of his deafness and helped us to get what Chance needed when he needed it.  Sometimes in ways we never could have imagined.

Chance has been so blessed to have his cochlear implants and the possibilities they help bring into his life.

With God and his implants, anything is possible for Chance. Right now Chance is enjoying music, just like God knew he could.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chance listens with his heart

Chance's siblings were delighted to discover while reading a book about the body, that if they cut the end off of a cup and then put it up to someone's chest, they would be able to hear their heart beating.

They were all excitedly practicing on each other when Chance walked in the door.  They ran up to him ready to have him join in the fun.

They implored him with,"If you let me listen to yours, I'll let you listen to mine!"

Chance seemed pretty neutral about the whole thing which surprised me.  He usually enjoys these sorts of activities with his siblings .

Then he said,"OK, just a minute...You can hear my heart, but this stuff doesn't work good for me because my ears don't work like yours do."

It made so much sense once he said that, but it had not occurred to me that the experience would be any different for Chance.

Being the awesome brother that he is, Chance let his siblings listen to his heart even though it would not be the same for him to listen to theirs.

Thanks Chance for listening with your heart to your siblings and playing along with them when listening with your ears was not going to give you the same experience.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Would that be the girl loo or the boy loo?

Like many church meetings, ours is usually a time for those attending to be quiet and attentive.  This is usually a format that we highly encourage our children to practice while we all sit on the pew.

And that is the way everyone in the family was behaving yesterday until Chance's brother took Chance's baby sister out to the bathroom.  She just can't wait for the meeting to end sometimes.

When they returned, I was informed by my youngest child that they had gone into the girls bathroom.  My mind conjured up her dress dipping into the toilet etc. so that her brother had to go in and save her.

I was surprised that he would send her into the girls bathroom alone. She needs help with her dresses and she insisted that her brother be the one to take her to the loo.

So while sitting on the bench in the quiet chapel,  I mouthed to Chance's brother,"You went into the girls bathroom?"

Chance was sitting just beyond his brother and while the original target of the question did not get what I was saying, Chance, lip reader extraordinaire did.
Chance and his brother climbing a waterfall last summer.
"HE WENT INTO THE GIRLS BATHROOM?!" Yes, Chance can mouth phrases with great emphasis while still being silent.   Then Chance started laughing hysterically.  Belly laughing while covering his mouth to try to stay quiet.

Then I started laughing because of Chance's response and had to quietly shake with laughter on the bench while Chance's brother sat mouthing,"What??"

I shortly thereafter was slipped a note informing me that no, they did not go into the girls bathroom, they had been in the boys bathroom.

The moral of this story is, never mouth anything to anyone where Chance can see you unless you want Chance in on the conversation.  He WILL know what you are saying:)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

All I want for Christmas is a caption phone

Chance didn't actually ask for a caption phone to be installed New Year's Eve, but he also didn't even know those kinds of phones existed.  If he had been aware of them, he just may have asked Santa for a caption phone judging by his reaction when he realized we were getting one.

I made arrangements for the technician to come install the phone, and then in the excitement of the holidays, I forgot to tell Chance for a few days.

We were all sitting in the living room one night and I thought it might be a  good idea to share with Chance that a man was coming Monday morning to install his phone.

I explained what a caption phone was and Chance, who was perched on the arm of his dads chair sat silent for a moment just looking at me.

Then in a quiet voice he said," I really need one of those."

So it is, that now a caption phone is sitting on the desk in our kitchen just waiting to help Chance have better quality phone calls.

A good friend of ours who is deaf and uses implants had posted a link to the caption phone on her Facebook page and I had clicked on it just because I was curious.

The link said that we could get a caption phone for free if we qualified.  This kind of qualifying didn't have anything to do with how much money you make, but if you had a hearing loss.

Chance definitely qualified.

I was really skeptical about that free part though.  We all know what free means.  Nothing is free.  If someone is offering something for free, they are either trying to take your money by deceit or send a salesmen over to your house who will introduce you to the "free" service that ends up costing $1000.00 when all is said and done.

But I trusted enough to call because I trusted my friend.  If she had one, then she must have found these people to be legitimate.

The phones are provided by CaptionCall to all CaptionCall users for free to those who are eligible for captioning so they can access the service.

The captiontioning is funded through the telephone companies, usually passed on through a surcharge.  Funds go into the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service(TRS) which pays for multiple relay services and is supervised by the Federal Communications Commission(The FCC).

The phone works because when you pick up the special phone, a person who types the captioning picks up too and types out what is being said.  You can turn off the captioning so if Chance picks up the phone, but then hands it to someone else, the captioning does not have to continue.

We have made it clear to the kids that this is CHANCE"S PHONE and none of them are to use it, even though it is tempting to play with it because it is so cool.  None of our other phones type out what your friends are saying.

This should give Chance a measure of freedom he has not had before.  He could always talk on the phone, but the quality of the conversation has been dictated by the phones being used and how the voice of the person he is talking to comes through.  Some people talk quietly, sometimes they are hard to understand because of accents or background noise or any number of things.

Chance is 12.  He needs the freedom to access phone calls on his own terms here at home.  He does not usually ask us for help.  Many times he just does not catch all that is being said.   Although, it does mean it won't be as entertaining for his dad and I since we won't end up having to be middle men as he asks girls out on dates years from now:)


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

How do you win an arguement with a brother that can take his ears off?

Chance got into a friendly argument with his brother this morning over who should be able to shoot Chance's air soft gun.

This sounds like a no-brainer on the surface since the gun is Chance's Christmas present.

The plot thickens however, when you take into consideration that Chance's brother is the one that loaded the 72 pellets into the gun.

But that was after he shot the pellets Chance put in to begin with.

As you can see, it gets complicated.

So Chance's dad and I were holding a sort of informal court in our living room listening to the boys give their side to the story.

It was a friendly banter with Chance and his brother frequently laughing in between pleading their cases.

At one point, when a fact was in dispute,  Chance turned to his brother laughing and gingerly lifted the magnets of his implants off of his head so he could no longer hear.

Chance had already made his point, after all; who needed to hear the opposition?

It was about at this point in our hearing that Chance's dad was explaining that in order to accomplish anything, the boys needed to not just talk but listen to each other.

Chance's brother said tapping Chance and grinning,"Ya Chance, put your ears back on!"

It is a unique opportunity that our kids have to argue with a sibling who can turn their ears off.  This particular  disagreement was all happening in good humor.

I can imagine that if any of my siblings had the ability to basically turn off their ears during a serious dispute, I would have been highly annoyed.

Ahhh the memories our kids will have of disputes with their deaf brother growing up:)