Thursday, September 4, 2008

Amplified at 3.5 yrs...National Merit Scholar Today

I always rant and rave about the amazing support offered by the incredible (and hot and sexy) parents on the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle. In fact some of the current threads are...
Freedom BTE and FM System
Amazing Video of one brother with a CI reading to his other brother with a CI (I will be posting that one, btw)
Bilateral Surgery a Success
Gentamicin and Hearing Loss (very interesting - lot of info offered)
Hearing with noisy background
Static on Plastic Slides
CI Awareness Cochlea Necklaces (I have this one!)

Oftentimes, moms post topics such as "Bragging Rights," or "Had to Share," because when we finally see our children succeed, we know just the parents to come to to share our exciting news with...those who are just beginning - so that we can inspire them...and those who have accompanied us along the journey, so that they can be happy for us.

You know, while Jordan was growing up, I never "bragged" about him to other parents, actually I spent most of the time apologizing for his behavior issues. Yet, even while I was apologizing, I knew that he was so super-intelligent that his time would come.

Lately, this mom on the CI Circle has many inspirational stories to share about her son John. This is merely the latest in a looooong series that will only keep growing:

Today we learned that John has been selected as a National Merit Scholarship
Semifinalist. That makes him one of 16,000 students selected out of the 1.5
million juniors who took the PSAT last October.

John was late diagnosed and didn't receive his first HA's until age 3.5, had the evaluated expressive and receptive language of a 12 month old at the age of 4, received his first implant at age 8 yrs 8 months (8 years ago, that's a lot of 8's!), suffered two failures and received his current (and best working!) implant in June 2007.

Yes, he's bright. More importantly, he's hard working. But look what he was able to do despite having to make up so many years!

I know, I mean I KNOW -

I don't just think or speculate, that his intelligence and work ethic would not have been enough to help him achieve this honor without the CI. Earliest intervention is
always the best case scenario, but for all of you guys dealing with borderline candidacy, or auditory neuropathy, or progressive hearing loss that results in
your child receiving an implant past those all important language development
years, look what can happen!

Keep up the hard work and don't lose faith!

PS. When I requested permission to blog about her child's incredible achievement (btw, I was not a Merit Scholar, just in case there was any doubt *smile*)this proud mom added:

Feel free to point out that several "experts" told me that John would never talk (when he was just 3.5 yrs old), that he was more than likely autistic(another reason why he'd never talk - as if autistic children don't deserve services and/or hope), that he was more than likely mildly mentally retarded (their term, not mine), and that I was committing child abuse by teaching
him to speak. When I politely disagreed with all of the above, they told me
I was in "denial". I suppose I was. I was in denial of all their hogwash.
From non-verbal to National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalist in 13 years -
we'll take it.

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!


VBnBama said...

I just love that story, even more the second time around (first read it on the circle). I was also told after Gage was implanted that Gage had "...obvious delays, not sure if it's enough to consider him retarded or not..." by a random doctor we USED to see on a regular basis. I said nothing, I was in shock, because Gage was in fact above where he should be, language wise, he just didn't have the speech! And yes, that was the doc's exact words, not my own.

Unknown said...

Hi Vaaaaaal!,
Not all doctors are created equally, we already know the same goes for parents.

Anonymous said...

Geez...when I had bacterial meningitis and lost a lot of my hearing at the age of two, a doctor told my parents that I was mentally retarded. That "diagnosis" came in 1972.

By the time I was four, a speech therapist from the state wanted my parents to accept that, as an adult, I would work as a launderer or in some other type of manual labor. When my parents declined to accept her vision of things, she scoffed that I might just go to Harvard.

I didn't attain the status of National Merit Scholar, and I didn't enroll at Harvard. But I did graduate from Stanford. And that is because my parents put a lot of work in raising me and in paying some exorbitant tuition bills.

It's very disheartening to hear that those types of comments equating deafness with mental retardation, along with other discouraging remarks, have remained part of the repertoire of specialists past the 1970s.

It is reassuring, however, to hear that parents still hold high expectations of their kids despite the unhelpful advice and erroneous diagnoses.

Unknown said...

Dear Anon,
Thank you for taking the time to leave that exceptionally well-stated comment! Much appreciated, Jodi

Anonymous said...

And thank you for an interesting and engaging blog! Love your writing.

Naomi said...

Hey Jodi - check out A's latest exploits in Italian - yes Italian!!!

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently talking about how we as human beings are so hooked onto electronics. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as memory gets cheaper, the possibility of downloading our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I daydream about every once in a while.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4i SDHC[/url] DS OperaMod)