Tuesday, February 26, 2008

His bear can hear!

Ethan is so happy to see his buddy Kacie the Koala wearing his cochlear implant. We've had this bear for over a year without the toy implant as it was on back order. Cochlear finally sent it to us yesterday and now all of a sudden the bear is getting some attention from a certain little guy.

We are about to leave for our 3 hour drive to Cincinnati where Ethan will see a speech therapist and his ENT/surgeon. Satellite radio will be my companion and Ethan will spend some quality time in the back seat with a portable dvd player. Signing Time dvd's to the rescue!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hair Fun!

The "Tele-Evangelist" Look.

When cabin fever really starts to take up residence, I play with Ethan's hair. And as luck would have it, he has great hair and doesn't mind my antics. Staying home with a toddler in the winter is enough to make me consider some therapy of my own, and I'm not talking about speech or physical therapy.

Here we have him wearing a very sweet little red barrett. I trimmed his bangs this week, bye-bye cute hair accessories.

The "Gender Identity Disorder" Look.

Seriously though, life isn't really as boring for us right now as it seems. We've been working behind the scenes on some pretty major changes that I can't reveal just yet, but I can say that it's tremendously exciting. And unnerving.

Ethan has been working overtime on his alphabet. It's so thrilling to see our 2 year old (who is deaf!) develop pre-reading skills. He signs letters as he sees them in his environment, I've even seen him sign the letters of a word in one of his books. And the speech is still developing around these letters. I heard a perfect "G" yesterday and an "M" today. He's getting the "Z" and working on the "T" today. He doesn't babble or really say any words, just the letters of the alphabet. It's a very unique approach to speech, one that actually makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it.

He has been learning numbers and signs 1-10, having a little trouble with 6-8 due to the dexterity that he has yet acquired. But he recognizes and signs these numbers appropriately. The grocery store had become very difficult until one day I realized that he was looking up at the signs hanging above the isle to see the number and sign it. The anticipation of the numbers around the next corner got us all the way through the store without incident. Nice!

Ethan is also indicating that he loves to hear as much as he loves to sign. The coil on his head (magnetically held there to transmit sound) often falls or gets knocked off during the course of his day. Now I can count on him to run to me, take my hand, and place it near his ear to ask for help in replacing the coil. It's only a matter of time before he learns this skill himself, but for now I'm happy to be his assistant.

These are exciting times, not just in this household, but all over this country. Change is in the air. Do you feel it?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Two Favors

I've a couple of things to ask:

1.) Chris H. I noticed that you have copied and pasted text from this blog and left it (along with the url to Ethan's World) in the comments section of other blogs. I found it to be very disconcerting and confusing. While I suspect that you have no bad intentions, and that you probably agree with me philosophically about teaching ASL to my child with an implant, I must respectfully ask you not to take my words out of context and leave them on other web sites.

2.) Would you have a look at this clever and creative idea for raising money for a good cause? These teachers are donating all proceeds to their local food pantry and they live in an area where there are many hungry people, namely children. I love their approach and I especially love the message they are sending their high school students, that we all can find ways to help our fellow human beings.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Signing the Alphabet


Here he is in all his ABC glory. This little guy signs the alphabet all day long. He falls asleep with his hand in the shape of various letters, that's how intense he has become. And who would have known that the love of ASL would lead to his first attempts at speech?

Take that, you auditory-verbal fanatics!

*If I hear or read one more thing about how "research proves" that signing hinders the development of speech I'm going to go nuts. I think it's great that AV therapy has been so successful for so many kids, but I am tired of the anti-sign stance that is being backed by people who are just lucky enough that deafness is the only issue their kids are facing. *

That little cutie who comes into the picture and is speaking in the background is Ethan's best friend Zeva. She is an extraordinary signer, has an ASL vocab of well over 150 words. She is also 2 years old, and hears just fine.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I’m finally on the mend and feel like joining the human race, even bathing and basic hygiene sound like something I can handle again. I’ve been so fortunate the past few years to be healthy and totally free of even the smallest of bugs, so I guess I really had it coming. My mom came up and helped take care of Ethan and I since Rich was in D.C. last week. She cooked and cleaned and played with Ethan so that I could rest. I just like having her around and hated to see her leave.

Rich is home and came bearing a few gifts that keep on giving. For me it was a box of truffles that wouldn’t have tasted good last week but now are starting to be very addictive. Ethan scored a cool new book, a play mobil farm set, and his personal favorite, wall decals of the characters from Cars. He has taken great delight in putting them on his walls, dresser, and bedroom door. He takes several breaks from play throughout the day to spend time gazing at the large sticker of Mater and Lighting McQueen that hang above the pillows on his bed. He is slower to close his eyes for naps now that Ramone and Doc smile over from their corner of the room.

I can see how easy it would be to truly spoil your children since seeing their happiness can be totally intoxicating. I guess the key is to elicit such joy more from life than from things.

There is a very clean Honda with sparkling windows and a full tank of gas waiting to be driven again. The poor girl has been neglected as I have chosen to contain my illness to our home and have been canceling one appointment/therapy session after another. Tomorrow morning Ethan and I will make the long trip to the city where he goes for speech therapy and I will watch through the glass as his wonderful therapist works her magic. She has a very positive outlook and is always so cheerful and optimistic about our boy. In a strange way it’s like therapy for me too. I need to be reminded.