When we found out Cormac was deaf it was certainly a shock. We were not expecting it at all. Everyone kept telling us he would probably get better. He was born early and was still developing. That was not the case and we had to make some big decisions quickly. Frank and I felt lost and not sure about anything. I was referred to a Yahoo forum called The Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle. It is a wonderful place to ask questions and learn from experienced parents about real children who have implants. It has been an invaluable tool for me. I find it comforting knowing other parents understand exactly what our family is experiencing.
When you go to a doctor they give you all the clinical information but not the "real deal". I needed to know Cormac would be OK. He would live a life like any other child. The parents I have met have made me realize Cormac can achieve ANYTHING he wants. We treat him no differently because of his implants. He is just another one of the boys. These children are all inspirational. If not for some of these parents who fought for their children Cormac would not have been able to benefit by being implanted so young.
Working together The Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle has created a brochure for parents. I can tell you I wish I had this when Cormac was first diagnosed. The goal of the brochure is to help parents through this difficult time. The hope is the brochure will be available at audiologists offices, ENT't, Implant Center, Early Intervention progams. Basically, it should be available anywhere a parent of a deaf child would visit. The Gift of Hearing Foundation generously printed the brochures. The brochure is also available online.
Check out the brochure. You might notice a familiar face in the brochure. Cormac is featured in it! He's such a mini celebrity.
I am hoping this brochure makes the process a little easier for other parents. We were so afraid and really felt we had no information and no one to help us. We were also taking care of three infants while learning of Cormac's hearing loss.
There were plenty of nights spent crying. Many days just holding him and crying trying to understand why this happened. Those days are gone. Every once in a while I will still get upset. But just looking at him and seeing how he truly is "just one of the boys" I sometimes forget he is deaf. That is until the stupid magnet falls off his head and starts beeping!!!