Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Reflecting on how far we have come.

Kay and Cookie are so excited it is graduation day!

In the pirate ship

Playing with the beads

Well, this is the carpet. Kay really likes the carpet because it has butterflies on it. This is how she learned to jump. Can you jump on the kite? Can you jump on the butterfly?

Playing with the wall train

W sitting in the play house

I can put myself in the cabinet

Playing with one of the big toys

When someone tells you you can't do something it's only true if you believe it.

I am reflecting on how far we have come in the past year.

A year ago I had just quit a job I had for a very long time but was unhappy in.
We were just starting to realize the extent of Kay's gross motor delays.
Jeff had also quit a job he was unhappy in.
Things were looking uncertain.

In the past year we have both found jobs we enjoy. Kay has gone from having a gross motor delay to being ahead of the game. We have moved to a new house we love. The kids are all doing amazing. They are growing so fast.

I have also been thinking back 5 years ago. When we were first starting our Signing Time journey. I had always wanted to teach my kids ASL. I was having trouble finding fun programs that were real ASL. I looked to the internet to find some fun, helpful, and accurate ASL videos. I happened accross Signing Time and watched some of the clips. I was debating spending the money. We had already bought the Joseph Garcia program and Cameron was just not showing as much interest as I would like. What if I spent all that money and he didn't like it? He had been signing about 15 signs but wasn't picking up new ones. Little Cameron wandered in and signed train from seeing the clip on the computer one time. Sold!

They had just finished volumes 2 & 3 so we got the 1-3 gift set with the music CD. When they arrived Cameron was not yet 2 but he took off with his signing. He was signing everything on the shows and it sparked his interest again.

Cameron was struggling with ear infections. I started to wonder if it may be affecting his hearing after he ruptured both ear drums. He could still hear some things but was strugling with understanding. One day I was talking about a farmer and he thought I was saying hammer. I showed him the sign for farmer and he understood. What a blessing to have signing in our lives. He may not be able to hear everything but because of signing he could still understand and communicate. Wow I thought what a coincidence. We started signing just to give Cameron an advantage and because Taylor had been learning some sign from the interpreter at school (he had a Deaf classmate). Now signing was really saving us from feeling cut off from our child. If he was hard of hearing it was not even a complicated transition. We were already signing.

Eventually the damage to Cameron's ears healed and his hearing returned to typical levels. We continued to sign. When Kaylynne was born we signed to her. She signed back and grew bigger but did not walk. She was diagnosed with mild hypotonic cerbral palsy. Because of her low tone she just couldn't control her little legs well enough to make them walk. Her little feet were severly pronated.

So we started with early intervention and physical therapy. They were really surprised by her testing because her gross motor was 6-9 months delayed but her fine motor was advanced. She could hold a pencil with the correct grip when she was not quite a year old. She could sign perfectly clearly. She had no other decernable delays. She just needed to work on her walking.

I think about Rachel and how she has gone before me with a child who is Deaf and a child who has CP and spina bifita. Her experiences have been different. I have learned from her though. It is good to have someone who has already done it that you can look to for an example. Someone who is having similar experiences that you can talk to.

How far we have come. I didn't know when I started this journey that I would have a child with hearing difficulties and I didn't know I would have a child with CP. When Rachel talks about her girls she says they are perfect, nothing changes with a diagnosis. They are what they are. She is right. When you get the news you may be scared, you may wonder what the future holds but your feelings about your child do not change. I wouldn't want them to be any other way, Leah or Lucy or Cameron and Kaylynne, they are perfect. How blessed we are. I have learned so much from this journey.

1 comment:

LeeAnn said...

I loved your post. It is awesome to see how things come full circle.