Friday, September 5, 2008

He has no damn right to be that bright

Lovin this title and it came from a really good friend of mine and was made in reference to A.

yeah he is a bright cookie, in spite of my parenting....afterall grown up mature responsible adults don't go around mimicking the voices of the Lego Darth Vader in the cafeteria video off the net, now do they??? well at least one does : - )

So the senior years of high school would be hard enough for any student without a hearing loss. A never does anything by halves, let's just make it even more interesting, let's see if we can have a go at the International Baccelaureate program (IB). The IB has as a component a foreign language and it is a compulsory requirement for the program.

Fortunately the language that A would be doing starts midway through year 10 and finishes midway through year 12, so he gets half of this year to see how he goes with the language before making the IB or SACE choice of stream for year 11 and 12.

He started Italian (yeah Jodi - Italian!!!) about 9 weeks ago. Last week was his first oral assessment. In true A fashion he put the time in preparing for it and wrote it all out. With spaces between lines it was about a page of writing. He had to introduce himself, his address, who is in the family, pets in the family and something about each member of the family - me he chose the word "bizarro" - yep and I love him too!!!

He cruises into my office at the end of the day and I asked him how the Italian oral went. He gets this flustered look on his face, runs his hands through his hair - at which point I am about to hyperventilate worrying about him - just as I am about to tip over the edge, this huge grin crosses his face and he jumps in the air, arms thrown upwards and a "Mum I aced it!"

In reality he scored 15/15 with only two minor pronunciation corrections - helllllloooo - did no-one tell you that you have a profound hearing loss??? Well yeah, but it sure hasn't made any difference to what this kid is capable of.

And if that wasn't bad enough!!! (well good enough really : - ) he was fitted with his Freedom processor for the N22 two weeks ago. We were visiting the audiologist to see how he was going etc and the audiologist decided to see just how well he was going with some sentence level testing.

He scored 94% in quiet and 86% with the background noise being equal to that of the speaker - pretty impressive. After he finishes he smiles at the audiologist and says, I was going to give you a really good answer for one of those sentences but I thought you would score me wrong and that would pull my results down. At which point the audiologist and I know we should know better than to ask, but can't resist the urge to do just that.

"Well" he says "one of the sentences was the house had nine rooms and I have just done all that for my Italian oral. So I was going to say the sentence in Italian not English just for fun" He then went on to say it in Italian for us. The audiologist was impressed but clearly was enjoying the banter with A, and made comments about how sometimes you really like people until you find out just how capable they are then you really go off them. He then told A what he wanted in feedback from him about his new maps when he goes back in two weeks time...when A did his "yeah yeah no problems" response, the audi quipped back with "oh and in Italian too please".

It was all great fun, but not a day goes by, now even 13 years post implant when I am not astounded by just what this young man can do!


Kath Lockett said...

That is so brilliant.... As are YOU ('Mrs Bizarro') and certainly young Mr A.... should send this article to Cora Barclay, or A's surgeon, or tester, or....

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

First of all, love the title! Second of all, the little thing about Italians that you posted is straight on target...third of all, when the hell are you sending tall boy to me????? I have to wait another whole year??? That's great about the paper-intro he prepared. If he's ever in difficulty, scan and send and I'll correct it *smile* I got his back...if I can reach it! And about the audiologist testing, love the part where he knows she would mark him down thinking he didn't respond the way he was supposed to respond, he's so smart - he's figured out the system - best way to really piss people off!

Karen said...