Friday, January 17, 2014

One-sided deafness

Elijah was much improved today, but still not totally back to himself. We have started exploring the "homebound" schooling option for him for a few weeks. Dr. L was in full support of having a teacher come into our home for a few hours/day to help him with school work while he is recovering. We worry mostly about his safety in school right now since he is still so unsteady on his feet. To be honest (and I'm so sad to admit this), after a very challenging first half of his school year I welcome delaying his return to school. It was draining and saddening to receive negative reports so often from his teacher. Eventually he will be well enough to return to school, and at that point we will need to address some issues.

Which brings me to... the day E had surgery. After anxiously sitting in the waiting room for 4 hours, I retreated to a chair next to the window. I looked out onto Chicago Avenue and cried huge tears. The wait had begun to wear on me and deep in my heart I knew we would be hearing some hard news soon. A few minutes later, I heard Dr. L's voice. He asked Dan and me to come into a conference room with him. He closed the door behind him.

My main concern was Elijah's well being, so I asked if he had done ok during surgery. Dr. L's answer: "He is fine, but I have sad news about his ear." He talked about the broken footplate and the deafness. I fought back tears and used the time with him to ask questions. I told him about Elijah's struggles in first grade and the behavioral issues his teacher had been dealing with. Without pause, Dr. L said, "I guarantee the deafness is a major factor in his struggles at school."

As he explained to us, which was later reconfirmed from a friend of mine who is deaf in one ear, classrooms and places with a lot of voices/noise are VERY difficult and frustrating for individuals who are deaf in one ear. All noise blends together and no one voice is heard over another. One of Elijah's coping mechanisms in school this fall has been to talk and hum/sing to himself and do a lot of "blurt-outs," which was something he got into trouble for almost daily. Now I understand that he was probably becoming frustrated and turning into his own head as a way to cope with frustration. I am hoping we can make a few positive changes in his classroom to help him not be so frustrated once he returns to school.

In the meantime, we are recuperating! Each day seems a little more normal and brings a little bit more progress and happiness. We are thankful for so many things in our lives right now, and that we are able to spend quality time together as a family. Thank you for checking in!

1 comment:

christine said...

Elijah is in such good hands with you. He will enjoy some school time at home, I bet. He might even thrive doing it that way. It will be interesting to find out. Enjoy your extra time with him. He is so sweet and you and Dan are doing an amazing job.