This morning I read a beautiful blog post from another mom of a child with cochlear implants. It talked about how we, as parents, see the struggles our children face daily while we are also grateful for their blessings and triumphs. As tears streamed down my face, I read her words that resonated with me and our kids. It made me think about about what our children experience and their resilience.
I also see my children struggle. Tyler recently did a talent show at his school where he signed one of his favorite songs. I posted part of the video. What you didn’t see was the hours he spent memorizing lyrics and trying to remember key sounds that go with those lyrics. He loves music but has a hard time hearing the words. He listens to country music because it’s slower and easier to catch a few known words. During his song, he lost his place. He couldn’t hear the words through the speaker, just noise. You could see him signing the last line to try to remember where he was. He caught up and did a great job!
Haylie had a Christmas party this afternoon with her FFA group. She feels a little guilty having her interpreter stay after school and she’s also proud to try to converse on her own. She told her interpreter that she didn’t have to stay over today. I contemplated using my “mom card” and texting her interpreter to see if she could please stay for a short time to make sure that Haylie had access to all that was going on. Her interpreter goes above and beyond. She would have gladly stayed over. Then I get a text after I drop Haylie off. They are going to have the party during class hours today. Thank you, Lord!
Brayden comes home some days and feels so defeated. He also wants to be independent and converse with his friends without his interpreter. However, he doesn’t always understand what they say. He just nods and runs along. He was sad this morning because his favorite teacher has fun holiday-themed lesson plans this week and his speech therapist has to take him during the fun part. He has to accept that the speech will help with the friends, even if it means missing fun lessons.
We have their IEP meetings, specialist appointments, and therapies often. It can feel daunting. It can also be a blessing. Our kids have an amazing support staff at every turn. They have a crowd of parents and professionals cheering them on. They have devices that they want to wear to every day that give them abilities that make them feel strong and happy. Haylie can dance and sing to music. She can go on field trips with friends and not feel so isolated. She’s bursting out of her shell and it’s amazing to see! Brayden is making friends. He’s becoming quite the advocate for himself. Tyler is finally happy with who he is. He’s made friends and is excelling in his classes.
This road can be tough. It can feel lonely some days. That’s when I’m so thankful for the parents and professionals around us who “get it”. They remind us of the JOY of our children! The joy of their triumphs! This road can be tough, but it can be so good!
Written by Kodi Brandt-Ogle, TN Hands & Voices
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