Cochlear Implant for me???? should I or not??????

I have been amazed with the results with CI these days.   Like hand rubbings together, the lowest frequency sounds, certain things that can be identified and knowing what they are.  People has been asking me whether I thought about getting one for myself. ...believe me I have.    How could you not have that and not experiences the sounds?   I have several reasons..(maybe its just excuses but they are my excuses!)  Well, first, foremost, right now our focus is Cory and helping him through this journey, its still at primary stage.   So I rather spent all my energy and availability to be part of that. 
Another thing, is that I am lucky enough that I am able to use my hearing aids and hear pretty good.  (I know it could have been better) but from what I hear from others..hearing aids doesn't benefits them.   Although, IF my hearing has gone down and aids doesn't work anymore.  I would have done it in a heartbeat, no doubt.   For now, its ok.   I also do have my medical reasons..as well.  So my health isn't too stable and let alone, recovery time probably would be brutal for me.   (no I'm not wimping out..LOL).  I can't just ignore my family needs, and neglect my "duties" as a mom where my husband relied on me since he has to manage his involvements at company/work.   
Maybe some days...and maybe someday something else better that won't need all the necessary extensive commitments.  who knows?

About 7 years ago, I remember when I was at a workshop (about the CI for the professionals) and I ran into Dr. Kozak.   I asked him about me, whether I would be a candiate or not.  At the time, he said no because I am using my hearing aids and I am able to function well as it is.    It wasn't a exclusive interview or anything...rather just a friendly conversation and basis on his observations.   I do know that the criticias has changed since then.

I am open for those who are interested..the journey is amazing but be prepared for hard works, commitments and lot of patiences.   Some day, I will ask some of my  CI friends to share with their experiences on my blog.


Game night ..busted!!!!!!!

Sometimes, we have a family game night..but for Cory.  He is tad too young for games that are designed for 9 years old and up.  Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble etc.  Tonight, he really really wanted to be part of it.  I tried to give him the extra dice, houses or little playing pieces but it was chaos!!!!!!! he throw the dice and we got mixed up which ones are the actually one that we throw etc.  and then he moved our pieces and we forget where we were etc.  Sean was telling him don't touch but of course, typically two years old he just continue on with touching and moving things around.  I can feel his motivation but at the same time, he is so young, he doesn't have the right attention to focus yet on tasks like game at length of time.  I found ABC memory game, he wasn't really doing it with us.   So I tried go fish..match up etc. before but nope.. He wants the grow up ones!!!!!!!!  I had to hold him back few times to not to wreck it and tried to amuse him with other pieces from game he can use.  But then he just grabbed the game board and chuck it away "trying to get our attention" "THERE!" and all of us just sat there suddenly, shunned.   Whoaaaaaaa!  Game is definitely over!  Everything got mixed up, pieces flying, money all over.   All of us just glared at him, not saying a word.  Cory knows he did something wrong.   He knows he is in trouble!   he just stopped and was very quiet and look down at his feet.    Sean got stern and told Cory, that wasn't acceptable and told him go to his room.  (it was time for his bed time anyway..) He is very willing and shot out of the room as fast as his little legs carried him.    As soon as he was out of our sight, we all started laughing and it was like chaos and..he looks so mordid, sorry for he did and ran away.  Sighh..I guess you have to be there to see it.      Oh well..maybe it's a cue that he really does want to play games.  I'll have to keep trying with games that are suitable for him with all of us.  He just really wanted to be part of it.   Lots of games to try, at this age..Memory games, candy land?, go fish, or match up cards, or Snake and Ladders, and there is one game I might have to go buy it. "Good night Moon"..its a good game that CA used to play, unfortunately I gave it away.  |She was about 2 yrs old when we played it.  I recommended it.  Maybe Christmas gift this year??  Ho Ho Ho..
Mostly important, many deaf children that I worked over the years, are sorely lacked of "games", its really a good tool to teach them literacy part, social aspects, turn taking, learning numbers (dice), managing money etc.  I strongly ENCOURAGE parents to have their deaf or hard of hearing children to be involved as much as they can with games.  start them young..lots of action games, tags, hide and seek etc..board games, card games.   I grew up with lots of games with all my relatives, grandparents, my brother and I have to admit, I'm quite skilled at games.  It's a good old fashioned way of learning. 


me?? Speech therapist..NOT!

I learned few things while speech sessions with Cory.  I tell you..he has more potential than me!   Some of the sounds, I have to admitted, I can't hear it and let alone whether if Cory can do it or not.  Dont ask me to do the checklist...that is the downside of it.   I have to make sure the house is COMPLETELY quiet so I can hear if Cory does it right or not with speech sounds.  IMPOSSIBLE!   T, speech therapist would ask me to do it etc..its part of parent's trainings.   I had to "gag" sometimes because Im not the best person to work with those stuff!  She would have to teach me some..like neigh for horse.  I never really know how that sounds like...  or cackle like a witch..pttttt! 
Today we did bit of assessment..what sounds can he hears and how far?  he can hear shhh at 10 feets away.  (nope not me.)   And she asked me to rub my hands together.  IM like huh???  for sound?   Yup.   Im dumbfounded.  I had no idea it make "sounds"..okey dokey..so I tried that.  Cory looked right at me, in respond to THAT!!   oy!!! that is like nothing for me even at close range. I had to step about 10 feet..yup he can still hear it.  W O W  that is all I can say.   I am still amazed with this CI thing..

the next thing is to consider...whether he will get second implant for the other side...we have to make a decision.........do we do it?  or are we just happy with one?  considering he is doing very well anyway.   I hear lots of pros..cons.   It's not an easy decision as a parent.


No School this week (but at least I learned something..)

Cory doesn't have preschool this week..I swear this is the longest week of my life up to this point! and its only Wed..groaannn.   Of course, the up side is that we went shopping few times already..first trip was a bust but I already expected that.  Its hard to amuse a 2 yrs. toddler while you try shopping for certain items.    Monday, we went to the mall, I had to get few items that we need for him, gloves, (how you find the smallest gloves?!?!?!? grr!)  mud pants, fall/spring jacket and underwears.  (again, how the heck you find the smallest UNDERWEARS?? seriously, I'm in shock with that one.  The smallest pairs I can find are size 4 and up!!!!!)  I did bought a pair and guess what its way too big for him!   I dont get it..why you can't find size 2/3 underwears for little boys)  I guess it force you to buy pullups but he has been dry for almost a month and its a waste of money to replace them daily and throw them away.  (except for nights which I use diapers..I have about 100 diapers to use up)  I didn't expect him to be toilet trained at this stage but he does it himself.   Basically he trained himself.   Anyway, when we were in White Rock mall..of course you would see the "Santa display"..(no Santa yet) and all the Christmas decorations.  Seriously, this is just PLAIN dumb!!!!!!!!  this is a torture for all moms and kids.  Its NOT even a month YET!!! I m so mad!!  Im not a grinch but I do love Christmas, don't get me wrong.  But come on!!!  this is a good way of getting a melt down..its like putting candies in the cashier alley where you  pay for purchases.  Who came up with dumb ideas like that?   NO you can't have candy..wahhhhhhhhhh!  great.  I bet whoever came up with that..is PROBABLY IS NOT a parent!  With CA, I never EVER buy her candy at the cashier..because once you start something..then every time you go with her...don't be surprised if she ask.
Back to Santa thing..Cory was really excited with the decorations, he was in awe with colors and Christmas trees and he saw a booth/house inside, he thinks Santa is in there.  Im like no he is not.  He ran and tried to go in.  I had to stop him because can't go there. Its all closed up.  I'm standing there and thinking..great something tells me I wont be able to finish my "shopping", its almost time to go.  Oh ya..he has the biggest melt downs right there in the middle of the mall.  I just had to laugh..(inside) and getting dirty looks from old folks. (remember this is Semihamoo Mall..senior mall, that's what I call it)  sighh..tried to calm but ..I learned best way is to leave him alone until he calm down.   5 minutes later,  nope..still bawling.  Tried to put him in stroller..nope..jump right out after screaming.  ok. 10 minutes later, try again, put him back.  Screaming and hitting.  Ok. Im getting mad.   I did the most simple thing (which I literally kick myself for not doing that eariler)..Cory, get in the stroller ! If you don't get into the stroller by the time I count to 3, I'm gonna strap you in!   He stopped crying and went himself.   oy that easy?
As we start walking around..he starts asking for things...candy, no - go there? no - ice cream? no ..then he start crying.  I knew its done.  Time to go! 
He has been asking for school everyday..since Monday.  I keep telling him daily, its not this week.  so we had bit of structure times, did puzzles, went for walk, make something (cookies, pudding), did crafts, playdough, adding more pictures to his ABC book, tried the Wii (lol), visit Baba, groceries with "picture" list (he loves that one) even help me with laundry, vaccuuming, and cleaning.     I find that if you start them young with chores, they are more likely to help.   They love doing stuff!  Trust me take an advantage of that!!!


Funny things count...they remember that the most!

Cory has been in preschool only twice..(I didn't count that one last last ago that there were two breaks and a field trip).  Last week, they were working on letter "E"..and Cory and I already have been working on ABC..it's easy to use it as part of your life everyday.  By showing him the letter A, there or here and everywhere etc.  I mentioned that I m working on ABC book with him with pictures of things that starts with each letter.  He really likes the book.  Good idea to include hand ons , meaning a picture of apple and he just glued the picture for his book.  
He was in preschool on Tuesday..he saw his teacher using ABC during circle time.  He looked right at me and said "E" (signed).   I said yes..last week, it was "E"..and then he signed "Elephant"..and pointed to the basket up on the cabinet.  He remembered the "E" box with different objects for letter "E".   He starts to be silly with "elephant" role with nose hanging.  He remembers Judy doing that the week before.  Judy did role playing of an elephant..it has some kids giggling.  
He came home later with "F"..practicing with it signing.   I would be saying "yes today you learned "F" in school.    I guess he is having fun with hand shape of "F".    At dinner time, he was saying that over and over..so we ended up thinking of things that start with "F"..its hard to model it without pictures and objects.   Finally, Sean said ok enough..time to eat dinner.  Cory just keep on talking and signings..its funny because he is really start to open up with conversation with different things now.  But forget to eat!  At least, that is what is all about..talking and having conversation at dinner.  I often had to remind my daughter to sign all the times at the time so out of respect for Cory. (and me too..) but my daughter is very easy for me to understand so Im find with whatever she wish to use (her choice of communication as long as I understand)  NOW, we have to sign with Cory around..it's a respect.  
Later at bedtime, he bought out the ABC book..he loves that book.   and somehow he found a picture of egg.  and the funniest thing he did was.  I didn't get it at first..but after he did it again and again.  I start laughing and what a funny little man!   He was pretending to be a chicken!!! laying egg..he was grunting and laying it and the voila there is from under him!     the expressions on him was priceless!!!!!!!!  wow.. he got that from teacher Judy, last week at circle time.  I thought..something may not be something he would remember or do..but he do.  All children do!  No matter how small..or funny..or sad..everything counts!  
I will try to remember to follow up each class..so he will see it or learn more about it.  I think it's worth it.   Today at lunch, I tell Cory that its nice that CA came to your school today.    And recall things that he did in the classroom.  Repeat, repeat..  then suddenly he said "broke drum" with sad face.   (opps..he did)  then he said "sorry".   (lol)   I did tell him many times to be gentle..not too hard, will break..and it did.   so sometimes things that happened its ok..its all part of learning. I am hoping he will remember it and be gentle next time.    I tell you that I have done many things that my parents warned me about and I just chose to ignored but consquences has happened and then I did eventually learned that I should listen to them and I did.   Never doubt it..it takes time and experiences for it to happen!
Repeat..repeat..what you did today.  Experiences are the best thing to know and learn.  
Tomorrow we are going to Vancouver Aquarium..I'm dying to see how Cory would like the place.  It should be fun!!!!! 


why does he saying "no" to everything????

sighhh..this is a phase, I HOPE!  He is starting to say no to everything now.  "Cory, its time to go wash up" "NO!" and run away.   "Cory, its time to put your shoes on.." "NO" and whinings..
Everything we ask him, its answered "NO!"..he doesn't really say it yet "verbally"..but what he does is, shake his head and whines and then run away or get into fits.   oh fun!   Sean tells me that we should try to encourage him to say "no" verbally.  You know what?  I told him don't even think about it. I am not sure if Im willing to hear him say "no" at this point.    Seriously,  it hasn't been fun in the last week..I am not sure why so much negativity around him these days?   Maybe too much stuff?  but I do know he has been asking for school everyday now..so you know what I tell him.  "No, its not today" or what he wants basically what he asked everyday, many times a day is "can I watch tv? or can I have ice cream?"  so he is at that stage he is asking for things.  Naturally, what do we do?  "No..not today etc.."  so its Monkey see, Monkey do with mommy now.   Its nice how he is asking for school everyday.  It means he is growing up and is ready for such more structure.  He really likes doing art, activities with me.  We do have some structure activities so he is used to sitting for length of time.  It can be doing homebook, little bit of cooking, helping me in kitchen or housekeeping, crafts, puzzles and games.   Its so important..if he is willing.  Take that advantage!  Sometimes we dont know if they are old enough or not..but if he is able to focus and willing.  I say..go for it!


Home Book..MUST HAVE!

You know, I wasn't too crazy with Home Book idea, because it is time assuming and seems that if it doesn't benefit, then what's the point.   Wrong!  Yes, it takes time and bit of being creative (eye catching) and eventually, it does make the connection!  (Home books is an essential tool between mom/teacher and child's communication book)  You can draw daily with what's happening (like show and tell) at home, or event, or places, or simple one thing (can be a favorite toy, picture of something, craft, etc)  I started doing that because, I am noticing how much Cory loves looking through books, and I am entitled to make a life book for him (part of adoption protocol) so he have his own memory book.  What's better than doing scrapbook (Im not crazy about doing scrapbook..so I OPT for Homebook instead) LOL
At first, Cory seems not interested in it..so of course, you have to be more creative and using hand-on things.  We would find a leaf that he found, then right away,  put in his homebook.  Or a picture of something that we did, like Thanksgiving with family.  Then suddenly, you can see the lightbulb going off in his head.  He starts to make that connection.   HE loves HOMEBOOK now, that he often (groan..) remind me to do daily.   He looked at it everyday, he even show to visitors when they come over and tell his story.  Sometimes, he show it to daddy when he get home.  One thing, I suggested a back up one for his scribblings, he sometimes want to draw or color something.  I would give him another book to do it.  I'm trying to persserved the homebook so he can have it when he get older and look back.    We use a lot of language around it, like "yesterday, we played in the wind."  or today we went to preschool" etc.  Talk about the use of colors, adjectives, words, alphabets, shapes etc.  so much more!   He loves to tell story about it..his way of expressing things.  Bonus!   I am working on ABC book for him...my daughter and I will be cutting out pictures from magazines to catagories each alphabet on each page.  It would be a good literacy start for him.  He already learned A, B, C, D so far!    the only problem is finding pictures..lol.   I really need to start looking for a new printer..its really worth having one that you can print out picture at that moment or print out for Cory's book etc.  
Examples..so far.   Bandage from Doctor (after having shots), stickers from Halloween, a picture of his school, a picture of his speech therapist, spelling his name, went Trick or Treating, sequence of pumpkin carving, candy wrappings, daddy on a plane, art work from preschool, feeling happy when got a balloon,

It doesn't have to be hard..you certain don't have to be an artist to do this.


Halloween fun today..(post Halloween party..)

WE had a post-Halloween party today at PNP (BCF center)..it was fun for the kids..but I think honestly, that is hard for Cory because I keep telling him it's over for days and voila! I took out his costume.  Clean up all the Halloween stuff and put it away etc.  He came home today after the program and asking about going out door to door!   (whack my head..)  At first, I wasn't sure what he wants..but then when he said "dress up, bear" (his costume)..I'm like oh no!!!!!!   I told him..no not today. Halloween is finished.  Then of course, he got into his one of those "fits"..I am seeing those more lately..   I don't know if its because he is at that stage, or he is starting to be comfortable with us and not afraid to show his feelings.   That is fine with me.  I don't embarrassed easily or care.  I just let him.   (sometimes I try not to laugh..its so cute..) 
I am very thrilled to know he understands the concept anyway.   so something tells me  I will not do Christmas tree etc too early this year..ugh.  


how much can he really hear? or better yet..How much can he UNDERSTANDS?

During those time, he learned alot of sign vocabulary with us. We tried bit of speech with him but he is not really copying us. So we do know that sometimes when I say a word ..out of the blue he would say it!!!!!!!! its weird. He can't some speech vowels or sounds like when we practiced on them..but did say few words!!!!! talk about skipping lessons! The CI is amazing thing..he is really understanding a lot of things than we thought. One time when I was preparing for dinner..I told the kids that it's time to wash up ..of course Cory isn't looking at me so I was about to walk over and let him know but he beats me to it! he got up and sign "wash hands" and ran to bathroom. I was dumbfounded!!!!!!!! to this day..I started to testing him to see if how much he can understands verbally. He does! The hard part is NOT to sign when ask or tell him something. I had to sit on my hands at time. He can understand a lot of things..it was amazing! I am so excited to be on this journey as a deaf parent with a deaf CI child (and a preschool teacher for deaf and hard of hearing kids) Getting him to talk is the next thing to do...if he doesn't. It doesn't matter, he got the language, that is the whole point. Isn't it?

why this works now???

Before we had Cory...we live in the area, there are light traffic around our neighbours.  When CA was younger, I have to sit out by the sidewalk and watch the kids play.   My daughter and her 8 to 12 other friends love playing outside daily.    It depends on who..but a lot of people do not bother slow down when they see kids playing outside.   I already requested for speed bumps in our areas because I am sick and tired of disrespect and the ingorance of drivers.    Two years ago, I got this sign from insurance company...it doesn't seem to work very well ..maybe by 25 percent people actually slowed down.  UNLESS I put the sign in the MIDDLE of the road, it force them to slow down and go around it.  (giggles)..that plan backfired  once because a handy dart bus rammed into it and took off!   I couldn't believed it.   I did called and complained to supervisor about it.  The driver claimed that he didn't see it.   ack!!!!  it was right in the middle of the road..how can't you NOT see it?????   Then one day, one of the parking commisser came around and told me that I can't do that.  I can get a ticket for doing that.   I am appalled because it does make people slow down and I can't reinforce it by putting my yellow sign.  

Then we have Cory...I remember a mom long ago, asked the city hall for a specialized sign for her daughter and they had it posted in their cul-de-sac.  I often wonder if its something I should get as well.   But in the meantime, I had to "modify" my yellow sign..and sort of put in the middle of the road.  Closer to our curb though.   I tell you...IT WORKS!  90 percent of the time, people ACTUALLY slow down.   See it for yourself!   (I think it's sad that it had to be that way....) One mom commented that she should do the same thing, and NO she doesn't have hearing loss kids.  

he said "helmet"..with clear speech! go figure!

I am a little surprised today...we were going for a walk with him riding his bike.  I said to Cory to go get your helmet.  I was chatting with a neighbour..she was astonished..and told me that Cory said "helmet" clear as a whistle.  I said "really??"   We have been working on his speech (ling sounds etc..) he is getting some..not all.  Its a new process for him.  Some sounds he is getting is ssss, aaaaaaaa, mmmm, etc.  but can't do "oooo" or "eeee".. this is really puzzling me because I would thought "oooo and eee" would be easier than "ssss or shhhh or mmmm" ?  dont ya think?    and we are trying to get him say few words like "daddy, hello..simple words..nothing yet.. but he could say "helmet"   as far as this goes, he can say "mama, Emma, helmet, bye bye, all gone."      strange......
I wanted to share this with you about helmet..you know how important to wear helmet for biking, roller blading, ice skating etc..well..I did bought one from Walmart and it was so frustrating to keep his CI on without falling off when you put on the helmet?  it has to be a tight fit for proper use of helmet right?   so the cheap Walmart doesn't work very well.  However, I just happened to stumbled on second hand helmet at garage sale and I just thought it was cool looking and saw how the strap works. Im thinking mmmm, that straps would work!  voila..it really does!  you can just put the helmet on THEN tightened it to keep the CI in place!   and we have no problem with him wearing helmet and CI not falling off!!!!  I did some checking..the helmet is expensive, you can get them from a bike store..the retail price are about approx. $40 to $50.   Giro is a good helmet.   But its worth it!  I know that his head is protected, and he is using it and is able to hear the environmental sounds around him while wearing it.  Isn't it worth it??   The bonus part is the helmet lasts about 3 to 5 years..so..see it for yourself.   adjustable to grow into it??


checking out preschools..

I can relate to other parents..while scouring for preschool for their little one..we try to make the best decision in regard a placement for them.   Not easy..!  I can relate that.  However, on the other side for me..it's kinda of awkward for me because I'm not asking for special favours or anything just because it so happens to be my work place as well.   If I go somewhere else, will it look bad?? People is gonna wonder why I'm at the other "side" not at BCF...I don't want people to feel misleading at this point.  
And of course, again because of Cory's age..technicially he is to enroll in preschool of next year (Sept 2010) or yet, at 30 months of age depending on the programs.  The only problem is..it does looks or appear to be that I am being pushy..but you and I know if he is starving for language, he is at stage where he is really picking up on things and this is where you take an advantage at this stage!   He is ready for certain things and I just happen to have this type of kid!   You can see where I stand..
I thought about it and thought about it..for like a month.   I'm thinking to avoid "bias.." and the awkward position I am at..maybe its best to put him in a regular preschool.  Maybe he may not get a full benefits from it like those specialized but at least he will learn something along the way with me .  I know I will need to stay with him..to get a SEA or supported worker at this late stage is not gonna happen.   At least, its a start.  
sighhhhh choices....