Closing ceremony at ASH is a tear-jerker…any year, that is…sweet little girls, in their best formal uniforms, sing angelic Catholic songs as the year is officially drawn to a close. My daughter, born profoundly deaf, bilaterally implanted with cochlear implants, has taught me more than just about anyone or anything ever could. The picture I show of her above is her 2nd grade first communion picture, which I took, on the grounds of her school. I love this picture. I love HER. She is a phenomenal human being…truly. She works unbelievably hard at a curriculum that is advanced in the first place. Considering the fact that she received one implant at almost 2 and the other at 5, she is doing great. Her speech is wonderful; she is a voracious reader; she is funny and compassionate. I can’t think of her progress without thinking of our Margaret, a dear, unbelievable angel who taught my daughter to listen and speak. Margaret is a certified Auditory Verbal therapist. My husband read an article about her in the Baton Rouge newspaper, told me about her, and within a week, I think, we were in her office, reluctant, hopeful, and worried. Margaret had my daughter do a conditioned response exercise that brought tears to my eyes because for the FIRST time since her implant, I knew my daughter was hearing. It was as if a window had flown open and sunshine came pouring in! I knew this was just the beginning and it was. I sat in awe, week after week, as Margaret worked her G0d-given magic on my daughter. I can’t help but remember Margaret’s words to me when I so desperately wanted to get my girl into the Academy…”If we can just get out foot in the door, we’ll be alright.” Well, we managed to get our foot in the door, and got our girl started at the Academy in kindergarten. Tomorrow, she says good-bye to fourth grade and begins a new chapter with the “Preps”. I can’t begin to express how proud I am of her, although you can probably tell already : )
For anyone who does not know, our two daughters were born with Auditory Neuropathy. We are blessed that they have responded so well to being implanted. Some AN kids are not so lucky.
I just finished swimming with my almost 5th grader, and she is deaf, of course, in the pool because she can’t wear her implants in the pool. I took a moment to look at her and hold her…her big brown eyes are just full of beauty and life…I think of her world…she couldn’t hear at that moment; had to trust me to keep her warned of thunder (a common occurrence in South Louisiana this time of year…pop-up showers); yet, she was able to carry on a conversation with me through lip-reading…she wanted to know what birds I was hearing and from which trees I was hearing them. Then, she wanted to have a kicking contest across the pool…where we don’t use our arms at all, but just kick – our pool is 60 feet long and it’s a work-out in a race!
Anywho, this post is just to say congratulations to my daughter. I am so proud of you!!!! You are such a bright light in my world. I love you!!!!