Cormac and I were asked to attend different learner's day at a nearby elementary school. The school sets up different classrooms where the children come in to see although some children might learn differently they are all still kids. In one class the children will be able to see what it's like to walk on crutches or ride in wheel chair.
We will be in the classroom for Deaf/Hard of hearing. In total about 90 kids will come through the class. It will be broken down in to small groups. Cormac is very excited and I am hoping he doesn't get stage fright! Since the kids will all be 8-9 years old I thnink he will feel comfortable. He is going to hand out activity books about cochlear implants and we are going to bring in pictures of him doing everyday things like swimming, playing baseball and soocer.
We plan on bringing Cormac's Neptune's along so the kids can see what he wears in the water. I think this is such a great idea for the school. I have to say one of my biggest fears as a new parent of a child with implants or now Ciaran with hearing aids one of the first things you think of is if they would be teased by other kids. As a mentor for AB I talk to lots of new parents and they all wonder the same thing. We have been so blessed because Cormac or Ciaran have never been teased or bothered by anyone about their implants or hearing aids.
I thought when we moved and switched schools the new kids might not be used to seeing them but honestly no one has ever said a word. They ask questions when they first see them. Ciaran and Cormac tell them why they wear them and that is the end of it. We have had kids who WANT cochlear implants because they think they are cool.
In school today the goal is to keep as many children mainstreamed as possible. I think by exposing children to others who are not quite the same is a great experience. It gives parents the opportunity to teach their children that who they are is what makes them unique. No two people are the same. Not even twins and triplets. It's an opportunity to show what makes each one of them special. We should celebrate our differences.
If anyone has any ideas on what we can do to keep the kids interested I am open for suggestions!
Wish us luck