First off we are moving. In October we toured a deaf school in Ohio and felt like it was a great place for SJ to learn and develop with her new cochlear implant. I know I have mentioned it before, but getting the device is only half the battle. It takes years of therapy and training to make the whole operation worth while and give a child the opportunity to hear and speak. This facility seems like a wonderful resource for her, but it is an hour and a half away so we are going to move in with my brother and his wife. We will still be about 40 minutes from the school, but this will get us one step closer so that SJ can begin classes and J can find a job in the area. We are nervous, but excited about this next endeavor.
SJ starts at her new school in a couple weeks. It really is a dream school. She will have students just like her to learn beside. She will get private time with a speech therapist. There are two activity centers. One mimics a house where everything is toddler sized. This is a way for SJ to learn about all of her environment like dishes, dress up, laundry, bedtime. They even hang photos up of the student's families. The other activity center focuses on a different theme each month. When we were there it was farm. They had a little barn and real hay bails. The children play games learning about animals and farm related vocabulary. Last month the theme was restaurant where they learned about food and mealtime.
I was hesitant about putting SJ in preschool, because I really cherish the toddler age as a time that I have to teach my kids and have them at home with me, but she has special needs and needs special support. I was really pleased with the environment at the school. I don't have to worry about her childhood being consumed with therapy because they have an extremely fun, loving, playful approach to it. They keep the parents involved on so many levels and I like that too. I know she's going to love it. I've compared it to going to Sesame street!
The other BIG BIG news is that a month from now SJ will have bilateral hearing. This means that she is having her second cochlear implant (the left side) put in on February 14th. We wanted this from the beginning. In fact we wanted her to have a simultaneous bilateral implantation, which surgeons are doing more and more of these days, but our ENT does not. While I do not look forward to having to go through the surgery itself, I feel extremely blessed that SJ will be able to have "two ears".
Do you have a favorite verse that encourages you in stressful times? I would love for you to share it.