Magic In Our Hands: MOOSE Project Documentary

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It kind of seemed like maybe they wanted him to be hearing they would say like oh he's got like fluid in his ears and you know that's normal nothing to worry about on they they did like a booth test so they had like a soundproof room and so they would like place sounds that are kind of associated with the lights and the animals and so he would like look at the lights and he would pass the test so we actually have a paper showing that he passed an audiogram at like 20 decibels he was like 18 months when we moved from Colorado to Washington and we got him tested whenever we moved up here and kind of got like a second opinion so she's very good and they said well he's moving around too much we need to like put him under and it's called a sedated AVR and they put you know sensors on his ears and get it for sure and that day we found out you know he was he was 20 months old at that point and we found out that he was profoundly deaf so you kind of look back and go oh that's why he slept so good at church when the band was playing really loud and he didn't wake up and you know kind of started to make sense it was it was a very intimidating concept for us as as hearing people to say that you know your first baby is deaf like you can't hear our first like introduction into the world was doctors who did surgery to do cochlear implants audiologists who worked with deaf kids with cochlear implants and speech-language pathologists who did speech therapy with deaf kids with cochlear implants and so that was kind of like the group that we were introduced to and they were like you know they saw that we were scared say hi you say good morning the first kind of suggestion at when when we found out during that test that he was deaf was that he's a he's a candidate for a cochlear implant and we're like what's that you're able to give them hearing with this device it's like it's very appealing it's not an easy decision so we're like I don't know and we kind of waited awhile and then we had talked to like my wife's parents about you know if it was a good thing or not and her dad was just kind of like well if you can give a person an option that would help them like why would you not just stay safe with your seat bones and keep them in okay we have speech therapy the state pays for you know the cost of all the stuff and it's like okay this is this is the only way and that's that's the only concept that you're presented with he had went to a school where they're they're stripping oral they pretty much are deaf kids with hearing aids or implants and they don't sign the notes very is a very oral approach you know that works for a lot of kids and so he went there for a year speech therapy you know and us you know working with him like reading books every night and like trying to enunciate the words and really like make it a point to kind of like accommodate his you know not natural hearing because he had the implants he could hear but it's not it's not natural it just he went through like a year of speech therapy and it just wasn't really seeming to work he wasn't like talking you know it wasn't really like making any different sounds on top of that he really resisted against wearing them after a certain time like it seemed like they were becoming like uncomfortable and he would like flush one down the toilet he put one in the freezer hid one you know threw one in the trash yeah after like a year of trying to work with him on that it just it wasn't really seeming to take we slowly became more aware of like oh there's another kind of facet to like the Deaf world there's there's definite or successful and they have jobs and they go to college and graduate you know and they're profoundly deaf and they they only use sign to communicate mostly magical they're there just to kind of different perspectives on like deaf education so the other school was strictly oral speech therapy and no sign they don't sign and that's fine like I said it works for like it and it makes sense for a lot of a lot of people and they're they're successful with them but moves kind of like is maybe like the middle middle of the road between like only signing and only talking because they they do total communication here they they do exactly what I'm doing right now they're they talk and they sign like not each word but it's like you kind of just convey the general idea of what's being said the inspiration for the next project was my son he was born and diagnosed with unilateral hearing loss first after feeling actually very guilty truly for giving our son's hearing loss and having a lot of feelings of you know fear and nervousness and what was his life going to become it actually took my husband singing a gallon - stop right now Asher his name sign is Asher Asher is perfect he's exactly how God led him to be he was born into the perfect family for him it has a half a mom who is tough and a sister whose sons and a DA who's learning to fun and he's going to be just fine he said you Christie you need to change your thinking and so what can we do for Asher to give him the best life that started the journey has just really really working on language with him I need home and we just we've signed and talked all the time and Asher became close to three we uh there's there's no school for him he needs a preschool and so we left him left and we found amazing schools across the state but not a pool that does both languages all the time I kept saying is how hard he needs to have this all the time and so we just thought okay I guess we'll just start our own oh that's what we did now it is March of 2014 he chose for pretty much the last three years not to communicate not to make eye contact not to interact like socialize at all grandpa would like try to sign to jail hey how are you in terms of sloka way and so I think that's hard for even adults to to want to continually do when you know the kid that you're trying to communicate it's just you know like not offended but you know it's almost just like they're like turned off like don't don't do that to me I mean you know like for three years you know we've kind of been just continually trying and until we've came to moose and the features here have been able to work with him and establish that relationship and that connection just just recently over like the last you know two or three months he's actually started to make more eye contact to develop those relationships with his teacher with his classmates and also you know he's opening up to his family form and so now Grandma and Grandpa are seeing him signing they're seeing him looking at their eyes when they're signing to him and I think it's a lot more encouragement I don't know exactly what what it was but he just saw this kind of like light bulb come on and it was like he just he just came home one day and it was like he's look at you in the eyes and you're like whoa like she hasn't looked in my eyes for four years we opened our doors with three straight quarters now we have 28 students here we serve all children and family so we we have hearing jobs are hearing nonverbal for various reasons all together all the time with Oakland the goal of a normal day is to could come to school line up sometimes the hallway go in the clouds have a narrow opening time together time communication time there's math there's science there's arch there's reading library eating recess learning all together for him I think it was a lot more natural to see a teacher up there that like maybe he didn't understand sign yet but he was still able to access it if he wanted to if he chose to when he moved in the kindergarten was a small class of four kids and the teacher I think was was able to spend the time just like focusing specifically on him and kind of like establishing that that connection and she would just kind of like use different methods of teaching him that even if he didn't understand a lot of the sign like he was still he was still understanding what she wanted what she expected out of him the relationships here at mousse are fully inclusive I would say because the children sign for the kids who need sign and so when they go outside to recess they don't need to wait because their interpreter is you know at lunch break or something um the staff here all must sign and hope at the same time and all of our volunteers must sign it and it's beautiful it is magical I like I like I have always had big dreams and then I jump I don't give up so we have 8,000 square feet of building that our amazing building owners are creating a pool for us with and so they they did this for us because they believed and the Moose's Commission did they learn skills to stand on their own absolutely self-advocacy is something that is really encouraged early on they really want deaf children to to be proud and who they are and identify as a deaf person but not to let that hold them back in any sense they want they want these kids to grow up and be productive self-sufficient members of society so absolutely they learn skills to stand on their own general skills for like navigating the hearing world because you know at the end of the day not everybody knows sign language we need to be signing in the home we need to be modeling that language what it comes down to is just the parents being motivated to to raise their deaf child and to encourage them to communicate as the parent has to be motivated and they want to they have to want to learn to sign and basically you know the school is there to support that desire I guess the dream is there kind of like to add it's like everybody know like what what it's like for a deaf person to live I would like to to help people understand it like it's a normal thing there's a ton of deaf people in our world that you might pass by in the grocery store like all the time and not know it deaf people are not that different from us like yes a lot of use sign language to communicate and there is some different like you know niches in their cultures but for the most part they I taste food the same they they feel close the same they learn like they read books the same language is a big part of it but for the most part they're they're human beings that just they can't hear I can't hope for anything better than what what it's happening right now he is he's growing like every day he's coming home with more signs with more more of a desire to like learn and communicate and interact and socialize and that's I mean you you can't ask for more than that or is like life in general I mean we we want to be able to just present him with with every opportunity that we can with with language with friends school just like any any hobbies that he might want I mean you know whatever it's like I I don't I don't care what he chooses but I want him to have options I want absurd to be able to choose and he wants to really focus on the oral part of him or if he wants to focus on the signing part of him and will support any choice that he makes Asher will say that he's not deaf he's after and that's exactly what we want you .

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