Congratulations your baby is deaf….

I love this vision: that hearing “Your child is deaf” is viewed as a positive, a new adventure. I have certainly met some of the most wonderful, interesting, creative and dauntless people in the world during my time as the mother of a deaf child. I wouldn’t give it up for the world!

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The Other Child

My son just got over a bad upper respiratory infection that took us to the ER and has required antibiotics to treat. He’s feeling better, but I realized as I cared for him and admittedly rushed him back to school, that as the “other” kid, he doesn’t always get the patience and care I have often given to my daughter. However, now that she is sick with the same thing, everything seems to be evening out because I’m already tired from caring for one sick child. Nothing is ever perfect, is it?

Parenting a Deaf and Gifted Child

When you have a child with special needs that take up a lot of your time and attention, what about the other children?

I only have two children: Lei, my older child, the one with lots of appointments, therapies, quirks and challenges, and my younger child. My more or less neurotypical child, the one whose challenges are more minor. The other child.

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2015 in review

What was your favorite post of 2015? See what other readers responded to in the 2015 annual report for Parenting Deaf and Gifted, created by the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys. Thank you, monkeys!

But most of all thank YOU for reading, commenting and sharing on my blog in its first tumultuous year. Here’s to an exciting 2016 full of growth, exploration and learning!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

And I thought the cochlear implants were for her …

We have been enjoying Lei’s return to what for her is normal hearing. I wrote this reflection on the impact of her first cochlear implant on our family life shortly after her second implant surgery.

Parenting a Deaf and Gifted Child

Pic of Lei from behind, her aquamarine processor is visible. Lei heads back to school with her new CI activated for the first time. October, 2014

Last summer Lei and I were talking one night before she went to bed. She had been reading a book that I thought  put too much emphasis on the romantic interests of a girl barely older than Lei. I said I want her to stay focused on developing her inner self, not her appearance.

She replied, “I’m worried I’m going to lose all my confidence and only care how I look to boys. That’s why I want a cochlear implant.”

What now?

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The Other Child

When you have a child with special needs that take up a lot of your time and attention, what about the other children?

I only have two children: Lei, my older child, the one with lots of appointments, therapies, quirks and challenges, and my younger child. My more or less neurotypical child, the one whose challenges are more minor. The other child. Continue reading

Total silence: When cochlear implants fail

This time of year is full of anniversaries. Exactly 10 years ago, as Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, my girl Lei was first diagnosed with moderate-to-severe hearing loss. Lei got her first CI in early October last year. And next year at this time we’ll remember that just after Labor Day, 2015, her left implant failed. Then her right implant.

That’s right. Lei now has no working CIs.  Continue reading

Look not upon the seed, look upon the tree

For the past three weeks Lei has had a lot of joint pain and I have been worrying once again that she could have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I can now re-post this piece from earlier this summer with the good news that she does not have JRA. She does have hypermobile joints and will need physical therapy as well as pain management, but I’m still breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Parenting a Deaf and Gifted Child

When I picked the color for Lei’s first hearing aids, it was a major philosophical decision: hide or flaunt?

Did I want her to blend in or stand out? Did I hope for her to be mistaken for normal? Did I dream for her deafness to go unnoticed or celebrated?

What do you think I chose? Her first hearing aids were bright pink.

Why did I think about it so deeply? My mom.

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