Archive for April, 2009

That’s My Boy!

Jay has been getting into a little trouble at school.

Not anything big- he’s not torching anything or calling in bomb threats.  Just goofing around and talking too much with one of his buddies. 

His father and I couldn’t be prouder.

I know, I know- it’s strange to be happy about him misbehaving.  But you’d have to understand where we’re coming from.  Jay is an excellent student.  He has exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine.  We continue to encourage and help him as much as possible and realize that as with any child, our involvement plays a key role in his academic success.  How he does socially, however, is completely out of our hands.  I can worry as much as I want, but I can’t make friends for him. 

Trust me, I’ve tried.

When he was younger I used to take him to parks, cruising for play dates.  I used to bring all sorts of cool toys to try to entice other children, but in the end it was up to Jay to interact with them.  The other children really tried to engage him,, but Jay’s natural shyness and insecurities about his speech held him back.  His speech has improved a thousand fold in the last four years since he first got his hearing aides, but he is still shy.  I think it’s hard for him to keep up with the lightening speed conversations of his peers, and they are not always the most patient and usually get frustrated having to repeat themselves.  Jay does have friends, but they are usually younger than him.  And that’s okay- he’s happy.  But I am glad to hear that he’s coming out of his shell somewhat in class.

My husband and I had a similar inappropriate reaction when my son stepped out onto our back porch to investigate the croaking sounds coming from the toads in our nasty little redneck pool.  “What the hell is that noise?” he asked casually, unaware that he had just used a curse word. 

It was hard to hide our smiles.  Of course we explained to Jay that his language was inappropriate, but secretly we were tickled.  Most parents get to experience this little milestone when their children are just toddlers, but Jay never repeated the words that sometimes slipped out of our mouths.  Children without hearing impairments learn so much by “overhearing” things- they are like sponges for language.  For Jay it wasn’t like that.  For the longest time his vocabulary was limited to what we consciously taught him.  I remember being surprised when his speech therapist told me that he couldn’t name things like “stove” or “hair dryer”.  He would often explain an object’s function rather than name it- he would say “the taking picture thing” rather than camera for example.  So we were thrilled at this evidence that he was absorbing language like other children.

Don’t worry, I promise that if Jay starts vandalizing property or getting gang tattoos we will not be taking him for ice cream or posting it on Facebook.


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