"He has a nice voice.."

This is what I'm hearing from some people lately...if Cory used a spoken word or being verbal.   My former speech teacher came last week from USA to visit. She hasn't met Cory and was dying to visit.   She was my intergrated teacher for about 6/8 years and our family is very close with her.  We often had her over at our house several times, and I remember having a sleepover at her beach house in USA.  She told me that Cory has a very nice voice..I'm like how can you tell?  She said yup..she can tell.  She worked with many many students over the years, all with hearing loss.   So I guess speaking from the experience.   Right now, I'm working on asking different questions and how to get him to response by answering to my specific directions.  "Feed the baby"..he knows the word "baby" but feeding is a different story.   "put the cookie on the table",  "the baby is cold, put a blanket on her" etc.   Another thing is I will be trying this new activity "picture of the day."  My favorite thing to do ..usually I do that at preschool when Im leading a circle time.  It is sort of my "show and tell" activity.  I would bring an odd or funny, or interesting picture of something.  And I would asked the kids to tell me about it.  It brings all sort of different ideas of language aspects.  Object, what happened? describe the pictures, cold/hot, color, big/small, emotions, and kids just love it.    I can see that Cory would enjoy it..  that idea came up today during speech session.  Therapist would be showing Cory some photos from previous field trip at preschool.    We could add those pictures to the homebook or a separate booklet.


My spouse...how to get him COMMITTED!

Marriage..I look up the definition in the Dictionary: "the social instituation under which a man and woman live as husband and wife by legal or religious commitments."  this one I like "a blending of different elements or components".   Ok..that is what I figured out long ago..and this is probably why we are so good together, I'm the probably more understandable when it comes to "men".  Yes, I read "Men from Mars and Women from Venus" (trust me it helps.)  It is hard to get your spouse to commit certain tasks that we asked them to because it's part of their responsiblity as well. I find that I can't, I mean I CAN'T help or teach my husband sign language because my style of "teaching" doesn't match his style of "learning".  No matter how often I tell him, he still gets it wrong or stuck on the same thing.  sighhhh    Yup..I do get annoyed because it is tad bit embarrassing to sign something incorrect after I tell him so many times the correct one.   I told him that I really want him to go take a signing class, work on it and of course, he is too busy.  I haven't yet asked if a sign instructor should come to our house and start teaching him.  Anyway, the most important thing is trying to get him involved as much language aspect, speech with Cory...that's where I had to put my foot down.  Im sure that is most common occurrance with spouses that have deaf child.   I have been nagging him to help me with it as part of daily routine.  Especially that he is better person for it than ME!!!  
So one of thing I had to think of what works for my husband, to get him involved as much as he can, so "instead of nagging" him.  I find that he does best by reading beforehand and getting examples and ideas, and he will do it.  (sort of like a light bulb goes off his head?)   We did got lots of informations, written notes and ideas from our speech therapist.  But for some reasons, Sean doesn't follow through or read it..and I have to explain this and that etc.  This method seems not really agree with his style of "learning"..so I came upon to try out John Tracy Clinic approach (suggested by a different therapist) and checked out how the process works.  I find that might be the best learning approach for Sean to follow through and help with Cory.  It is so simple, step 1, 2, 3 etc, one thing at a time, not too much to do, good examples and ideas.  So I signed up for it, we are already on Lesson 3.  It is working!!!!!!!   It was the best thing for us as a family together to commit this for Cory.   The funniest thing is... my parents used John Tracy Clinic too in the 70's for me!!!   My mom still have her old notes and their lesson booklets.   And now we are doing this for Cory.    Sean really likes it and it seems to be working out for him to go along this process.  Sean likes how he can read the lessons, one at a time.   That is what this is all about..there are several ways of trying and figuring out what works for you and your spouse to commit the needs of your child.  Families these days, are so different than it used to be in years ago.  We are busier and in a faster pace of this world.  So always try something that works for you and your family.  Don't be afraid to explore different things even things that your therapist isn't providing.  
With the lessons, you can opt for the booklets in mail or do them online.   We opt for both, Sean likes to have the concrete booklet in his hand so he can read at his pace (he is NOT computer savvy person) and we would go through the questions/comments together then I would do those online.  After that was done, they will sent me another lesson.  It's so simple and easy...not too much work at all. 


Mini Olympics ...

"walking to watch Torch Relay"
It's the newest rave at our house, around our community and taking part as much as we can.  How much can a 2 years old understands and take all that in???   Maybe he doesn't get it fully, but he does show interest in the hype.   We have been leaving TV on quite often lately, watching the Olympics.  Cory is glued to the set. TOTALLY!    When he looks at me, I would "interpret" for him as much as I can.  Using pretty complex words like "Canada, Olympics, races, games, fast, slow, names of Winter Sports, etc"  He is really interested in it..I can't just not ignored it.  I would try to gesture it as much as I can to show him how each sport works.  Sort of playing a game of Charades..he would try to copy me.  LOL.  Even my daughter participate into this as well, it's really important for her to be part of this.   She even had him dressed up in her princess skirt and Cory would be pretending to be "figure" skater (girl of course).  We used wax papers on the floor so the kids would slide all over the house.  Cory's favorite part is pretending to fall, sliding all over the place.  Typical!  I am seeing lots of sign words like skiing, ice skating, sled, curling.  We even went to the Torch Run, got a Canada Flag, wore our red mittens, Hockey Canada shirt..and all that.  Its part of showing our pride.   The kids have been going down the stairs using cardboard box (like sledding or luge)..yikes.  I am lucky to have a big open space at the bottom of the stairs. But one rule I had was he has to wear helmet.  I should take some photos but I can't post them yet! :(      With curling..we use the ice cream lids and draw chalk line big circle..and kids try to throw them in center.  (not quite the same..) I know Cory's fav is hockey..no question about it.   It can be fun if you put your mind into it...


what a difference it makes!!!

Yesterday, Cory was at a birthday party..and it was his deaf friend's birthday.   So there are many many kids that have hearing loss, mixed with signs and verbal language.   He came home, was full of "language".  Recalling several things from the birthday party, telling me or talking to himself.  It was amazing to see how explosive his language has become after an experience. 
I would like to do more hands on experiences with him, its a good language opportunity. 
In the past week, for some reasons, it was slow.  I find that I spent more time with him.  We have been doing little bit of cooking, playing games, puzzles, practicing writing his name and thank god for mild weather we have, we played outside. 
This week, there is no preschool..ugh.  It will be tough.  Last night, before light outs, Cory said "tomorrow preschool?"  I told him that it is closed for the week.  I probably should do the calender system with him..I have been trying to find one that with blank days and bigger enough for me to draw each day.  No luck, maybe I should go to Staples.  (knowing it will be pricy and too big). 
I will post more about this calendar later.  This is one of the biggest helpful tool for me, my mom used it for me.  I think I have it somewhere in the basement among my old home books too! 


Prevex B..presciption that works!

HI..I have this terrible condition in my ears ..it started few years ago.  I don't know why.  Its almost like an allergy reaction that came up and never goes away.   My ear molds reacted to it..I have tried several types..but end up with the type that works for me.  Because of my type of aids and no whistlings...I have wore same time for many years before that and never had problem.  My audiologist is not sure why..my doctor doesn't see anything..(each time I go ..it healed then or nothing.  ) Then it'd come back again and again.
ANYWAY...I have tried several creams, first aid cream, even skin cream thinking its just dry condition.
I should explain what it feels like..its feel like itching, painful ..become red inside but nothing.  Sometimes, I find dry flakes surrounding it and on my molds too.  Its just plain weird.   I have tried not wearing it for days and let it heal naturally.  Then go back..and forth . 
My mom is a pharmacist, she can't figure out what I have so she gave me an sample to try.  It works!!!!! Finally all those years of trying several things...this cream "Prevex B" Topical Corticosteroid cream seems to help and soothes the pain of red scalp.  
I would applied it twice a day not wear aid unless needed to. 
I just thought that would be something you need to know if..you have the same problem or your child. 



I am trying to encourage all extended families to be involved with Cory as much as possible. We need every family members to be involved with Cory's life as much as possible.  Its is probably much common occurance that these children don't have that opportunity being with their aunt, uncle, cousins etc. because of the communication part.  I can understand that......however, who said you have to know sign language beforehand just so you can be involved with him?  It is not necessary..there are different ways of getting involved by lots of love, gestures, simple words, by going places, by spending time with him/her.   The more you get involved, the easier it will get..I promise you.  I would know! Speaking from experiences!!!!!  My memories with all my extended families are great..each of them were different by their own ways, and I may not understand them at the time, but I do remember their love, bonding and spending times with me.  That is one thing that I would never forget.  
My Baba, we would spent time with by going to her place for sleepover, the routines are pretty much the same..each time.  We would watch tv, play games, make cookies, go to Dairy Queen for ice cream (yes every time!), have perogies for dinner and of course, there is her "popcorn" twist snack.   I love going over there each time, I don't honestly remember much of conversations we would have..but words are just simple and same each time.  I remember lots of love..and compassions.   My other grandma, we always make her famous brown sugar cake and tea parties.   My grandpa, we always play checkers, card games and going to White Rock pier walks.   
My parents are enjoying Cory as much as they can...even though we are so busy with stuff, running in and out of house these days for CA's activities.  They offer to babysit several times..lol.  Its hard because at time its wayyyy over there and out of the way for us.   Cory was thrilled to see them today at CA"s soccer game..it was great to see that.  I really have to just drop him off and let them spent time with him.   I am NOT worried at all about lack of communication..he will just do fine.  (No, they don't really know sign language by the way)


I think my Husband, Sean has bit of hearing loss..

I had to laugh..I was going to post this other day..but time running out.  Priorities!!!!  When we were in BC Children's Hospital for Cory's CI assessment, among other things too..
This time Sean was in the sound booth with Cory.  And I'm sitting there watching them..
I mentioned before that Cory hears certain sounds that I couldn't?
They were testing him very soft sounds, and he got them each time.  Sean was sitting there going ??????  Did a double take.  He looks at me with his shoulders like what???  (I lipread him saying..I'm not hearing anything!!!!)  He was quite astonished.   bwahahahaha ha ha!  (singing song..) somebody needs a hearing aid????
He was like no way..my hearing is perfect, thank you very much!!! 
I wonder...


6 months difference..using SIGN Language and Spoken Language.

Today I walked out with confidence and Cory did very well with assessment (Post CI - one year assessment).  Beth said that remember that Cory really did started language, using CI in August at the time of his placement with us.   Nothing before....his score at the time was very very low 4/40..and now six months later..BOOM!  He got 32 out of 40.  She never see this process so fast in 6 months! She is very pleased with it.  She even said that what we are doing is GREAT, keep it up.  Using both sign language and oral for his overall communication.  It's a huge improvement.   yes!
And she admitted now that he is being a "boy", naturally he didn't really want to do listening games nor follow the listening directions.   She said she is very happy to see that.  LOL I had to laugh because he was too cooperate and was too "good" before.  She admitted she was tad bit worried about that because it wasn't normal.   So we just have to be more patience and respect his spaces and feelings.   Make it work to his level now.  That is fine with me..I am finding myself more patience with him these days. 

BC Children's Hospital..appointment, appointment..

You know the saying "You never stop learning as you go???"  That is the case for me today..we had several appointments at the BCCH today for Cochlear Implant thingy..  here I am this morning, thinking..why do we have to go?  Just get it done already!!!! (for second one)..They wanted to meet with Sean and I, to go over the process, to meet with social worker, meet with clinicial (nurse?) and so on.  It's almost like if Cory didn't have the first one, so its a process all new families go through before CI.  In our case, it's new to us because of the adoption, so "technically" we didn't go through the first process.     I have done so much reading, learning, talking to other parents, and felt that maybe it's bit of waste of our time.   However, it wasn't!  First foremore, I'm little embarrassed to admit this, Sean is completely clueless with all that.   I thought he was onboard with it and I did gave him stuff to read and did tell him things now and then.  But he's a man..duh, what am I thinking?????  No wonder, moms hold the belt in the house these days!  giggle..   I was sitting there thinking..duh to myself..I should have made more efforts in getting Sean involved and make sure that he has read information. I'll sit on him if I have to!   But the up side is that it is better for Sean to hear all that from these professionals and getting those informations that he needs to know.   (yes, I did felt little embarrassed for not sharing stuff like that with him)   We gotten the answers that we needed to know, felt better with some questions we had and walked out more determined than before.   So it wasn't a waste of time..
One thing I learned is that, I'm getting the STRAIGHT facts from them than I hear several different things from other peoples around the community.  It's kinda of scary in sense that everyone say one thing, and other say different things.   It's ok to hear their opinions, and their thoughts BUT if you want the straight facts.  Talk to the PROFESSIONALS that are right "hand-ons" with it.  
Two more appointments to go..because unfortunately ENT Dr. wasn't in today and then there is a team meeting follow up for decision to make whether Cory is a candiate for second one or not.   Then if he is, we have to give our answer.  So of course, it's a waiting game ...


Monkey See, Monkey Do..

This is a perfect example of my son's way of his world.  He is a follower!  We have to be careful with what we do or say.  He will pick up on that.  OH YEAH! 
We have an older daughter who is 9 yrs. old, going on 13?? There are bit of phase we are going with her these days..I say it's hormones.  Her dad thinks it's attitudes.   She has been yelling at us "No!" when she is frustrated or doesn't want to do when being told etc.  sighhh.  We have to change our tactics with her now..before we would not let her "speak her piece" because it ended up series of "what if"..and "buts", and it ended up arguing with us.  Then now, she would say "No" loud and clear..it's almost like she was 2 yrs. old again.  I had to laugh, I did told her that it reminds me of her when she was 2 years old.  But she doesn't think its funny..
Anyway, I am very happy to say..Cory now, are saying the word "NO"..loud and clear but it wasn't a nice "No".  Its more like "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" with vicious.  He has start doing that last week, which I just ignored it because its just not something I want to pick a battle with. So I have tried to modelling it over it , try to show him how to say it nicely.  I am also trying to respect his "no", if he doesn't want to etc.  Respect that.  He has the rights to express his feelings. ok.  However, I have to draw the line now.  Two days ago, he has been doing more and more lately that it become too much and it was really loud. He would scream into my ears and everyone else too.    It wasn't pleasant anymore.   Obviously, my modellings wasn't working at this time.  Last night, I told him it's time for bath.."NOOOOOOOOOO!", unfortunately, he needs it.  After bath, I say "time for Pajamas on" "NOOOOOOOO" on top of his lungs right into my ear.   OK ..that is it!  I can't ignore that anymore.   I gave him a TIMEOUT for that.   He got really furious and kept on screaming.  wow.     Took him at least 10 minutes to calm down, I basically said to him "Cory, you really need to stop screaming like that (showing him how he does it), its not acceptable anymore. IT hurts my ears, and this needs to stop".   If you do that again, I will give you TO.  Then of course, (LOL) he screamed "NOOOOO" again in my face.   Time out again.      Maybe this tells me, that its probably something we should have followed up on that right away when this first started...and correcting it will be more difficult now.   The last two days was all about time outs (lots!) with each time he screamed "Noooo"..I am happy to say that it's getting better now.  Before we were leaving for preschool, I asked him to go put his toys away as we have to go.  He did screamed again.  Time out.   We were bit late for school, just.   I told him before we went in..the classroom that if he screamed like that again today in classroom, Mommy will give you Time Out.   I am so happy its so much better now..he now just tell me (sign) I'm sad, or mad.  The best way is to acknowledge that!   I talked to CA, my daughter, last night , we had one to one time as we were at her baseball practice and went for ice cream after.   I told her that we have noticing Cory screaming and he is just copying her.  She feels badly about it and yes she realized that.   She really didn't like it..and I told her that I didn't like it either.   Hit the nail right on..   I did told her that I would have to give her Time out too if this occurs.   She thought that was funny..but is willing to do that to be fair.  ( can't imagine giving a 9 yrs. old one!)   should be interesting...