(this post was written back in the beginnig of April. Never got to publish it because of all that has gone on in our family for the last few weeks)
I am sad today. With the boys turning three on Monday, Cormac ages out of early intervention. He has been enrolled in EI since he was suspected of having hearing loss. He will now be part of our local school district.
His teacher of the deaf, Joan, came for her last session yesterday. I cannot express in words what Joan has done for our family. I have seen Joan three days a week for over 2 years. She came to the house twice a week for an hour of therapy and she was also Cormac's teacher when I took him to group class once a week. I can't think of many people I see three days a week other than Frank and the boys (well, maybe my Mom). Joan has given Cormac his voice. She has taught him how to listen and hear. She has given him the tools he needs to be all he can be. She has taught Frank and I what we need to do to make sure Cormac is a successful user of his implants. She showed up every week and managed to keep Cormac entertained with her "bag". Cormac's first words when he saw her were "what's in Joan's bag?" He always knew she brought fun things. He never realized he was learnging the entire time.
Joan was here when he made his first sounds. SHe celebrated with us when he finally said "aaah ahhh" for an airplane all the way to yesterday when they had a conversation with each other. Her skills and kindness will be remembered forever. We will miss her terribly. Thank you, Joan, for all you have done for our family.
We will also no longer be going to group. This is also said for me. ONce a week I would take Cormac and while he was in class I was able to sit and talk with the other Moms in the group. And the occaisonal Dad. Miriam led the group. The education we received from Miriam as well as other parents was priceless. I strongly feel I would be lost if I did not participate in the parent infant program. I love being part of Summit Speech School and hope to continue to attend anything we are allowed to attend! I want Cormac to know other children who have hearing loss. OTher kids with cochlear implants. I want his brothers to know other children who are like Cormac. I want Cormac to see the alumni who return and are successful, happy people.
I guess this is just another transition in our lives. While it is sad, it is also happy. Cormac is moving on to the next stage of his development. He is no longer and "infant". He is a three year old and ready for his next challenges.
But I want to make sure to thank all those who have helped us in the past few years through the parent infant program and early intervention. We would not be where we are today without all the wonderful people we have met along the way.