Yesterday, while volunteering at school, I saw the school pshychologist and Jazzie's speech therapist together in a room, so I decided it was a perfect moment to talk to them about Jazzie's negative attitude about her hearing loss and cochlear implants. You might remember from this post that Jazzie has been making some pretty strong statements lately. So, I went in there and explained what has been going on with Jazzie and the speech therapist in particular was shocked about some of the things Jazzie has said. It seems that at least at school, Jazzie's attitude is nothing but positive. I have also talked to Jazzie's teacher about the situation and she has also never seen anything but positive things. I was worried at first that somebody might have said something to Jazzie about her implants or that Jazzie might have found herself in a situation where she couldn't participate because of them. However, that does not seem to be the case. I was disappointed after talking to the school psychologist and speech therapist, because I was hoping that they would give me some advice. I was definitely not expecting the school pshychologist to say: "Let me know if there is anything I can do". Hello?!?! Isn't SHE the expert? Maybe I should have been more specific in asking for help, but I thought it was obvious that I came to her for some help and guidance. I felt like I got nowhere there. Again, maybe I should have been more specific and I might talk to the them again, but this time asking for some specific strategies.
Ohio Valley Voices has been very helpful and just being there is a great thing for Jazzie. I am doing whatever I can to keep our connection to that school strong. Not only because the school has been so amazing for Jazzie, but because Jazzie seems to be so happy to be there and to see her friends from there. It really is helpful for her. Jazzie was invited last night to be part of the school's annual Holiday Program. This was the first year that they invited some of the alumni students to be a part of it. The alumni students were invited early so that they could socialize and have some pizza together before the show started. I think this is a wonderful thing for Jazzie. There was actually only one other student there that she knows; the other kids that were there last night left OVV right as Jazzie started. There was one student in particular that I would like to get to know better for Jazzie's sake. She is a 13 year old girl and I think she would be a great role model for Jazzie. This girl is into sports, does great at school, has lots of friends, dresses in cute clothes, etc. I don't think Jazzie realized at first that she was deaf, until she took her processor off to change her batteries. Jazzie's face lit up and she came running over to me: "Mom, that girl has an implant just like me!" I think it would be wonderful if there could be some sort of relationship there. I know OVV is working on setting up som a mentoring program for alumni students and I am so excited that there is going to be a summer camp for them next year. I know Jazzie could really benefit from this. She is just so happy whenever she is with her friends from OVV. Here is a picture of Jazzie hanging out with one them, right before the program started:
One more thing; while waiting for everyone to arrive at school last night, Jazzie was standing next to an alumni student who is now in fourth grade. He was talking to everyone and just having a good old time. Jazzie wasn't saying much at the time because she didn't know anybody and she generally gets very quiet in those kind of situations. At one point the boy looks at Jazzie and asks her: "Don't you talk"? Jazzie just nodded "yes", but didn't say anything else. He got a little closer and asked her again: "Can't you talk? What, do you just speak Chinese or something"? This caused Jazzie to roll her eyes at him and say "NO!" On the one hand I thought the whole thing was funny, but on the other hand it gave me some glimpse of what it might be like when Jazzie gets older and kids her age might not be quite as accepting of her and start saying things that might be hurtful or unkind. I know it's coming and I just want my girl to be ready and confident enough to deal with it.
That is why I am reaching out now. To whoever I can.