Wednesday, November 14, 2007


(If you're looking for Josh Swiller's video, scroll down!)
And now for a very special family with an unbelievable story and a PHENOMENAL MOMMA!
I would like to introduce the world to VAL, hers was the first blog I ever read, she was the first person to congratulate me on RALLY CAPS when I found the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle, she then read the book, WENT TO HER LIBRARY AND REQUESTED THAT THEY ORDER IT SO THAT OTHER KIDS COULD HAVE ACCESS TO A BOOK WITH A CHARACTER THEY COULD IDENTIFY WITH...above and beyond the call of duty. But this isn't about me, it's about Val and her COCHLEAR KIDS - GAGE AND BROOK
(Copied from Val's blog)
This blog is about hard work, dedication, and love for two people, who despite being deaf...teach us more about ourselves everyday and what's important in life...than we ever imagined. In a way they've taught us how to really hear for the first Mom & Dad
Here are two Cochlear Kids. They are "today's deaf children". They wear Cochlear implants, a device surgically implanted into the ear, to hear. As babies, hearing aids weren't sufficient enough with the amount of their loss to produce clear sounding speech. We upgraded to the Nucleus Freedom implants and both have great speech despite being deaf. Combined with early intervention, Children's Rehab Services of Alabama, Charity League,speech therapy, and the latest technology, our kids can attend public school and sit in a regular classroom. It really does take a village to raise a child. Gage has graduated Kindergarten and remained near the top of his class all year. He received a Smarty Pants award for his grades and was awarded Class Clown. He's doing well in first grade now and he has no speech delays and no longer needs speech therapy.Brook currently attends a wonderful special ed preschool. We expect that by age 5 she too can attend regular public school. It's hard to believe that two kids born with this disability have far surpassed our expectations. It's taken a lot of hard work and we still work at it everyday but they continue to amaze me. When a five year old asks you what does it sound like to take a bath? Or when you've burned breakfast and he wakes with a fire alarm blaring over-head and says...what's that smell?having heard keeps everything in perspective. Sometimes you just have to look at what's ahead of you instead of looking beside you. We've been blessed and have always had people go above and beyond to ensure my children will have a bright future. Education is the only cure for ignorance.

Val educates others regarding hearing loss by volunteering for various organizations and attending workshops, meetings and fairs to distribute information on choices in deafness for the various degrees of hearing loss. She shares her ideas and experience and asks questions to other parents on a yahoo support group that she helped to create with Amy another SUPERMOM called learn2hear This is an outstanding group for parents of younger children just beginning their auditory-verbal therapy journey.




(PS. Val, thank you so much for all of your support!)


Tami said...

Good Morning Jodi,
I found your blog approximately 3 weeks ago from a google alert I have set to auditory-verbal therapy. I am a Cert. AVT living here in Oklahoma practicing with pediatrics and adults with hearing loss. I was intrigued because we left for Umbria 2 days after I found your blog and returned to OK 2 days ago. Aside from our wonderful travels in and around your home I wanted to tell you how much I admire your blog. It is full of information that is passionate and loving but not confrontational or judgmental. With your permission I would like to refer my families (especially the newer ones)to take a peek into your family's life. Thanks again for the well-written posts! Tami, Oklahoma City, OK

Unknown said...

Hi Tami,
Thank you so much for your support and kind words. In seven months of being active on yahoo support groups I have learned how important it is to be able to have an open dialogue with people sharing your similar experiences. If our experience can help another person, then the blog has served its purpose. Please provide the names of the support groups listed under the links section of the blog to your new parents as these are very powerful, knowledgable and passionate parents who know their kids and try on a daily basis to meet their needs...Thank you so much for your comment, Jodi
PS. A Pediatric Cochlear Implant Brochure in conjunction with the GIFT OF HEARING FOUNDATION entitled PARENTS TO PARENTS COCHLEAR IMPLANTS FOR KIDS has just been created, if you are interested in receiving some copies, please email me off-blog and I will refer your address to the person in charge.

Abbie said...

This is absolutely amazing!