Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nicholas

When I found out I was pregnant with my second, I was beginning to think the doctors had misdiagnosed me. I was told I would most likely never have children, yet here I was pregnant again. I was fine with this discovery because I wanted this baby. 

Nicholas is my only son and he never let this stand in way being the only boy in a house of girls. He was born with trucks in both hands. He convinced his younger sister to play trucks with him and in return if he would play Barbie's with her. There were of course exceptions, Nicholas only played with Ken and his sister played with only the pink trucks. It was a good compromise.

When he three years old his daycare asked me if I noticed anything wrong with his hearing. I thought this strange at the time; I was almost offended. Nicholas was a happy baby, he never acted as though he couldn't hear me. Then one day I called to him but he didn't turn around. I walked closer and closer till he finally heard me. It was apparent something was wrong. We spent the next month at Primary Children's Hospital having multiple tests run to determine how severe his hearing was, determine why he had a hearing loss and what our next steps would be. I was overwhelmed at this point, I had left my second husband in Oklahoma to move back to Utah. I was a single mother raising three children by myself and this was about to put me over the edge. I had no idea what any of this meant. 

Nicholas was almost four years old when I found out he was hearing impaired. In the past I have felt guilty because I didn't find out earlier, but those first few years were very happy. No one knew he had a hearing loss. He was enrolled in the deaf school where he spent the next several years. His world got even better when he was fitted for his first pair of hearing aids. He loved them so much! The mold piece that fit inside his ear was made out of a plastic. They came in different colors which allowed each child to pick out their favorite color. They could even combine two colors. Nicholas has had an array of color combinations over the years. He loved the deaf school with all his friends. They were a happy little family. We became close to several other families who were just like us. It was difficult when they started to mainstreamed him into public school. He longed to be with his other hearing impaired friends.

The kids in public schools were not familiar with hearing aids. Nicholas was called names. He became a target or he was a bully himself to keep others from making fun of him. He would act out in school and became difficult to handle at home. I noticed his temper getting the better of him even though I would talk to him about it. I called all around in search of a children's therapist that could offer me help. I came across a psychiatrist that performed a few tests and determined Nicholas had ADHD and Tourette's. I had no idea what either were but learned quickly. We spent the next three years going to bio-feed back. It has been a life-saver for my son. Nicholas does not take meds for his ADHD and the tics caused from his Tourette's are minimal. I am convinced this is from the bio-feed back. 

I have worked hard to make sure Nicholas had a normal life and that he fit in as best he could. He has had his share of struggles dealing with his hearing impairment. He is a tough kid. He's now 18 almost graduated from high school and towers over me. I use to be the tall one in the family- not any more. Nicholas has a heart of gold. There isn't anything he wouldn't do for his family. I have been blessed to have a son that in spite of his impairment has overcome this challenge and rose above. He is my inspiration.

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