Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Child’s Special Needs Update: Jack--A "Green Light Go" in the Children’s Hope Spring Newsletter

"We communicate by looking in each other’s eyes, giving hugs, with kisses and pointing,” Heidi Graser had said of communicating with her hearing impaired son Jack, home from Vladivostok, Russia in September 2006.

With sign language the two communicated basic needs, but now Heidi and her son can do more. On May 8, Jack received a cochlear implant and three weeks later, it was activated. For the first time in his life, the nearly three-year-old boy could hear.

“He definitely reacted when they turned the processor on and off. He even giggled when the technician built a tower of blocks with him and then knocked them down loudly,” says Heidi.

At birth, Jack was diagnosed with pneumonia. An antibiotic dose error resulted in nerve deafness. Now, almost two weeks after implanting the processor, Jack is doing great.

“I tried something yesterday and called him from the bathroom. He was down the hall in my room and before I knew it, he was there,” Heidi says. “I almost fell over. ...It’s a big improvement from the days of stomping so he can feel the vibration to get his attention!”

According to his last wellness visit, Jack is growing like a champ. On the growth charts, Jack has improved from the 3rd percentile, to the 15th percentile for weight and head size and to the 20th percentile for height. Having grown 2.5 inches in six months, Jack is now 27 lbs. and very healthy.

“It is so amazing to see the changes in him in the last 9 months. Motherhood—God, I love it! I feel like I am learning right along with him.”

To read the original story of Heidi and Jack Graser, visit their family story online or view their story “in print” in the Children’s Hope Spring Newsletter on pages 12 and 13, by PDF.


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