I went to church today and was talking to a few people who knew about Nolan's failed hearing screen. During the service, there was an announcement that the former nursery worker was "retiring" so that she could attend the services. I wondered who the new nursery worker was going to be. I don't leave Nolan there, but Matthew can't sit through an hour and a half long service. With Nolan's future hearing aids, I don't think I could ever leave him there (the thought of a lost EXPENSIVE hearing aid alone makes me queasy).
I noticed a new little boy sitting up front with a cochlear implant (CI). I turned to my friend and asked her, 'Hey- who's his mom?" She told me his mom was the new nursery worker. COOL! If I ever need to put Nolan in the nursery, I have the confidence of knowing that she understands the needs of deaf and hard of hearing kids. Plus, she knows about expensive equipment! It was also interesting during a moment of silent prayer- her little boy piped up with, "it's so quiet in here!" It was kind of amazing that a deaf child could remark on how quiet the sanctuary was!
The lady in front of me overheard my conversation with my friend regarding the results of Nolan's hearing test. Turns out she's an ASL translator (she has a deaf sister and translates for the local school district). She offered ASL information and instruction. Yay! We live in a little town, so I wasn't sure how I was going to get in contact with someone who knew ASL (if we use that as part of our communication strategy). I'm a bit lost in all the turmoil that surrounds the diagnosis of prelingual hearing loss. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and communication options must be decided early on in the game. I do know I want to use some sign language at the very least, since Nolan could lose more hearing in the future (always a possibility). Plus, he can't wear his hearing aids in the bath, at the beach, etc. His ability to hear (even with aids) will be compromised in situations with a lot of background noise. Communication options, however, are something that we haven't had enough time to go over very carefully at the present time. Once I get in contact with Early Intervention, I am sure things will crystalize and we can begin moving along.
I did contact John Tracy to get their correspondence course (free to parents of deaf and hoh kids). I am SO glad the organization exists. I am also glad to live in a time where internet capabilities allow for the free exchange of information.