Ethan has just turned nine years old. It is hard to believe that only five years ago, we crossed our fingers when he was first being activated with his first CI. Would it work? Would he learn? Will he be able to understand spoken language? All these questions, all these concerns have matured into this terrific young man.
We had an airplane party. He loves airplanes and has hopes to someday be a pilot. He is still figuring out how to build all his models and with some help from the parental figures he may get them done soon.
Ethan continues to excel in a small private school. No FM, no therapy, no special services. He shows up on time for school each day and completes his work on time. He wrote his first book report about two weeks ago and brought home an "A" on his first written book report ever. He is an "A" student and loves learning, reading, and playing with his friends and brothers.
I have been challenged on occasion that I am being a dis-service to Ethan by not offering him more services. That if he had an FM he could do better, hear the teacher, understand better. There is no dis-service to this young man who excels beautifully in school. For Ethan I wanted him to really learn how to listen, and really learn how to ask questions. The same expectation I have had with my hearing children. For Ethan to have to depend on more technology only hindered him, and made him feel that much more different. As the case is with Ethan, he does not miss what the teacher is saying. If he does not understand a new learning concept he asks questions.
Ethan is also obsessed with the weather channel. A few months back a local weather man came to visit the school. He had many questions. One visit was not enough. I contacted this local news station and asked if Ethan could possibly watch the news, particularly watch the weather report delivered. Not only did he get to watch he got to shadow the weather guy. Standing right there with him, beside him, looking over his shoulder and during a commercial break Ethan got to deliver his version of the weather which I video taped. Here is fantastic picture of Ethan with the weather guy. Notice their matching clothes. This was NOT planned.
It is so hard to not shout from the mountain tops how very blessed Ethan's life is in a hearing world. He gets that he is deaf. He knows it and we know it but in the same way I can clearly see this screen with my glasses, Ethan can clearly hear with CI's. A blessing that everyday I am thankful for.