Our story began the end of November in 2008 when we noticed our son Sam was not listening to us. It seemed like the terrible 2's were here and he was only going to do what he wanted. As we went into December it seemed like he was not hearing us at all and so we decided we better get in and have his hearing tested. By Febuary 2009 he was diagnosed with total hearing loss caused by enlarged vestibular aqueducts, which is a hereditary condition that started developing in the womb.
At this point our lives were turned upside down. For the first 2 1/2 years of his life he could hear and speak just like any other normal 2 1/2 year old. I remember when we were on vacation 4 months before his hearing loss and he said, "Daddy, I want to go fishing." We also have him on home video talking away. It was hard to belive that he really could not talk or hear any longer.
We were given two choices by the doctors: 1. Learn sign language or 2. Bilateral Cochlear implants, which would give our son Sam an opportunity to hear again. We chose the implants thinking it was a great thing, but not realizing that after the surgery the real work would begin. Such as how to get him the right after care help to learn how to use the implants. And to get him the help ASAP while he still remembered he could talk and hear. That is where everything got tough and for the next 5 months we prayed for a great surgery that was going to happen in June of 2009. The 5 months sure felt like years as we went through all the emotions of having a child that was potentially going to live their life not being able to hear the water falling as it is rains or the birds chirping in the mornings when you wake.
We tried Elk River school district first. Why? Because the district said they had the right program for Sam and to do any other school it was way out of our finacial means. After 4 months with the Elk River school district we had no progress. We knew of another alternative program through Northern Voices but we could not see how we could afford that type of learning for Sam. Not only was the tuition out of reach but transportation back and forth to Roseville MN, every day. With no progress from our school district we had no choice but to do everything and anything to get Sam what he needed.
Northern Voices has been a blessing for Sam and our family. We get so much from this school. As parents we have a great relationship with the faculty. They help us with understanding many obsticles that we are facing with re-teaching Sam to hear and speak. Being involved with a school that works with the students as well as with the family is awesome!
Thank you for visiting our fundraising page to sponsor Sam!
Sonny, Kelly, Sam & Family
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