Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Life's Lessons Learned from Jordan

 
I remember when my American pediatrician did not listen to us when we expressed our concerns that Jordan was Deaf.
I remember learning of his diagnosis in a language that was not my own and I remember being made to feel ignorant because I did not understand the language.
I remember having to repeat a word at least and I am not kidding, 100 times before it would even think of entering Jordan's vocabulary.
I remember standing outside of his preschool bawling my eyes out as he bawled his eyes out from inside that school because I left him to a classroom of hearing kids and he was not able to communicate.
I remember when the preschool teachers told me to hold him back a year, because he was potentially dangerous.
I remember struggling to teach him to read when he was four years old so that he would be ahead before entering elementary school...in that way, he could compensate for his language skills.
I remember when my parents repeatedly asked me when he would learn to speak English as I was struggling to teach him Italian.
I remember when my mother-in-law told me I was going to destroy my son the precise moment I told her I was pregnant with Sofia Madyson.
I remember when Jordan threw a chair across the room in frustration because another child knocked his cochlear implant processor off his head and he got so scared, he didn't know what to do.
I remember when...
he sang for the first time in a choir
he played his guitar in front of an audience of fifty
he spoke about what it means to be Deaf before 200 people
he won honorable mention for an essay on what it means to be Deaf
he helped another parent of a Deaf child
he asked me to help him get a girlfriend
he played hide-and-go-seek and heard the person counting say, "Ready or not here I come"
he said to me, "Mom, can you answer me...what are you Deaf?"

Tuscan Regional Pediatric Courses in Newborn Hearing Screening and Deafness have been approved and I will be teaching 500 pediatricians about Parental Support in Deafness...
Let
Me
At
Them.

10 comments:

Sheryl said...

I am touched by your words.
Go get 'em Jodi

Anonymous said...

I hope you will also be talking about visual naturally acquired signed languages too. I remember my daughter's first sign before she could walk. I remember her meeting her language milestones in ASL on target because she had Deaf peers and role models and so did we. I remember when she won the First Prize for a speech she did for the Optimist Club all in her first language ASL. I remember all her volleyball and basketball games. I remember when she passed all her state tests and got her diploma. I remember when she backpacked Europe. I remember when she graduated college with honors. I see her now completely happy living out her dreams.

There is a lot we parents can do to educate the pediatric profession and bilingualism through signed language and written languages is just as equal to speaking and hearing. I hope you will do it justice too:)) Good luck!

Cloggy said...

"Because she had Deaf peers and role models "
There's the essence...
Hearing rolemodels, Deaf rolemodels. That's what makes all the difference..

Wonderful job... both of you. :-)

tammy said...

I have tears after reading this ... of pain, knowing there will be so many challenges ahead, but also of joy, knowing that there is SO.MUCH.HOPE. and I thank you and Jordan for helping provide this hope - you both are AMAZING. Go get 'em girl!

DEB1972 said...

you're unbelievable. Italy is so luck to have you
deb b

kim said...

What a beautiful post.

Debbie said...

You just rocked my world! What a wonderful journey you just shared with us. Soup to nuts! Fierce girl! Have at em;)

thehecticeclecticgirl said...

those moments with our children that are breathtakingly difficult and breathtakingly beautiful are what I hope I always remember. and that, no matter what else happens, our kids remember we were there and that we loved them. Sound like Jordan will have no question of these things with you... go, mom.

good luck with the classes!

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