Tuesday, July 8, 2008
When I look at this photo, I realize it was a time of struggle. Though you could NEVER see it on their faces...I'm sure there were a few times I didn't wear it well. Gage was three and was receiving very little benefit from the rather large aids and fm system you see him in. I only had one deaf child at the time...or did I? I had a child who wanted to only use his voice to communicate but he could not hear his own troubled speech. As my family drew in closer and closer to him to understand the words he spoke, he drew closer to us. He learned that my dimples meant I was happy, and the deep wrinkle between my brows meant sadness or anger. I could be so tired from a lack of sleep but still spend almost all waking hours doing mommy therapy with him. My voice could crack as I'd be on the verge of tears from shear exhaustion, but he would never hear it.
Less than a year after this photo was taken he received a cochlear implant. He had aggressive AVT therapy and continued w/our SLP who had been with us since he was four months old. We'll call her Ms. T . Though she didn't wear the heavy gold chains or the mohawk that Mr. T wore, we would have loved her the same if she had. She's showed up a doctor's appointments when Gage had to get blood drawn for one reason or another, just to sit out in the waiting room w/Brook so I could have my hands free for him. She went to numerous audiology and ENT appointments to learn more about cochlear implants, when he was approved for yet another surgery. Ms T, has really been much more than an SLP, she's been helping the mentally ill for years. Though that's not where her degree lies, she's had plenty of on the job training w/me. She's went well beyond her call of duty as an SLP to help the parents as well, in such a trying time. She's accepted my seven am phone calls, and I have accepted her late night eight pm phone calls (after that I'm in the bed! she knows that!)**grin** She's been such a terrific therapist to both of my kids, but most of all, she taught me how to become a "speech therapist mom". She's made me laugh when the school calls to tell me my beautiful four year old daughter has been shooting birds at school. She was the first to sign me up to give a speech to her college level speech class she teaches when I told her I wanted to volunteer more (I mean charity begins at home right?)...
She helped teach my kids to speak, and I will forever be grateful. She didn't however teach them to stop, and she will never be forgiven **but that's a good thing** So here's to you Ms. T! Happy Birthday!!! And I asked Brook this question... "If you could buy Ms.T anything for her birthday and money didn't matter, what would you buy her?" ...her response "a real baby!!" and Gage's response to the same question? "I'd buy her a 4x4 Bronco"