Monday, April 27, 2015

Chance is going to language camp!

So, Chance got a letter the other day.  The opening lines said:

Aloha, loa shi men and tong xue men:

Congratulations!  After three rounds of review/evaluation, you are selected to participate.....

Chance, our little deaf Chance who worked his little buns off to learn English for years, has been selected to attend a language camp that only selects 20 kids each summer.  TO LEARN MANDARIN!  He is so excited!!

We are excited for him and busily planning out details like.....how the heck is Chance going to get himself out of bed for the 3 weeks of camp?  We need some help from people who know.  How do you all wake up? I have talked about this before, but waking Chance is like waking the dead.  We had one of those vibrating alarms that shook and Chance didn't wake up to that....unless it was on the side of his face or right under his head.  I don't know that we can count on the alarm staying in either of those positions all night long.  Especially when if Chance doesn't get up on time, he will miss camp.  There is a time change involved as well, so Chance will have to adjust to that.

Do you see why we may have some concerns as Chance's parents?

CHANCE GOT IN TO THE PROGRAM!! Who could have imagined this day when he was a little 3 year old preschooler with the goal to hear and respond to his name in English?

Now we just have to get him to wake up:)

This boy is going to language camp!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Living With a Deaf Teenager

I thought I would share with you what it is like to live with a deaf teenager.  Mostly, it is pretty much like living with any teenager, EXCEPT, deaf teenagers can take their ears off and then ask questions to which they can hear no answers.  See, regular teenagers pretend not to hear their parents, deaf ones really don't hear them. But that doesn't stop them from asking questions that need answers!

I am going to attempt to play out for you a scenario that happened at our house tonight.  Chance comes walking up the stairs and said,"I need a pillow.  Where is a pillow?"

I reply with, "There is one right there by the couch."

Except, Chance doesn't hear me because he doesn't have implants on and he walks down the hall.

I wait for Chance to walk back through the living room and when he does, I point to the pillow."  He doesn't look my way and continues through the living room to the laundry room.

Chance comes back into the living room carrying his new shoes which need to be sprayed with a protective spray before he wears them.  I raise my arms and begin to wave them frantically so he will look over at me.  It probably looked a bit like an air traffic control person trying to tell a plane NOT to land.

Chance doesn't see me and continues to the edge of the stairs where he puts the shoes down and heads down to the basement.

I call Chance's brother who is going downstairs too, to "get Chance" which is the phrase we use in our house when we need to get Chance's attention and he doesn't have implants on.

A few minutes later, Chance comes back up the stairs.  Chance's brother comes running up the stairs behind him and attempts to tap Chance's shoulder to get his attention.  He misses.  Chance goes back down the hall. Chance's brother runs down the hall and somehow, gets Chance's attention and tells him that I need him.

Chance comes into the room and looks at me.  I am talking to his dad so I don't respond immediately, and Chance turns to go back downstairs.  Again I wave like a woman possessed.  Chance's brother throws his arm around Chance and with his face inches from Chance's says,"Mom needs to talk to you."

Chance then turns to me and says "Whaaaat?"

Wow.  All of that just to tell Chance that I needed to spray his new shoes before he wears them tomorrow.  It took a family effort, but at last, Chance looked at me and we were able to communicate.

Gives a whole new meaning to the concept of learning to communicate with your teenager doesn't it?