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Sunday, January 25, 2015

"So You Want to Adopt A Deaf Child?" Part 9 of...

 "Educating the Deaf Child"  
Part 9 the series "So You Want to Adopt a Deaf Child?"

The next several posts will be covering the education of deaf children. Remember the purpose of these blogposts are to help families understand the many unique challenges they will face if they proceed with the adoption of a deaf child.

I have asked families who have up-close-and-personal experience to share them with you. Parental involvement and attitude is paramount in the education of the deaf child.

This topic will be one that will be open ended, as the research for educating deaf children is ongoing. There are many differing opinions as to what is "best" for educating a deaf child. Each deaf child is unique in ways that will impact their learning. Especially when adding institutionalized care to the equation.  In addition, these differing opinions have impacted the classrooms of deaf children at the deaf school, as well as, in the public school arena. 

Families adopting deaf children need to be aware the education of your deaf child(ren) will be challenging and frustrating in many ways, no matter the choice you might make, the deaf school, the public school setting or via homeschooling or a combination of any or all.

You must also realize it is possible the brain of a deaf child that has been deprived of learning language from birth could have great impact on optimum learning capabilities.  Add to that the trauma the brain has experienced from neglect and lack of nurture during those early years. Having a realistic understanding of the possible educational challenges facing a deaf child with no language from birth and a trauma-brain is vitally important for those families desiring to adopt them. 

Do not misunderstand me! 

I am not saying all adopted deaf children will be limited in their learning capabilities or they will be low-functioning.  I am saying parents must be realistic and understand what possible challenges they could face when adopting a deaf child, especially educational-wise. 

Do not expect your local educators to know how to appropriately deal with and educate the adopted deaf child, either.  If you are not willing to become a full-time advocate for your deaf child's education, be it in a formal setting or in your home, you must genuinely reconsider deaf adoption.  You will also teach your deaf child how to self-advocate for their future.

In addition, you will not know what really goes on in a school or a classroom until you have observed it with your own eyes and on multiple occasions.  DO NOT ASSUME just because something bears a name or title, ASL, Bi-lingual/Bi-cultural, etc., it truly represents that name or title.  Check it out for yourself!  Often what is promoted or advertised is NOT what is actually taking place. 

When Marc Marschark's book "How Deaf Children Learn:  What Parents and Teachers Need to Know" was published late in 2011, I breathed a sigh of relief to see much of what my research had uncovered through the years was now shared under one title. This is a "must read"!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Update, January 19, 2015:

I have been hives-free for 9 days and the muscle pain in my arms is diminishing...PRAISE GOD!  Thanks so much for your prayers! Please do not stop.

Note:  After 6 months of chronic hives in 2014, April to November, Charles and I decided I should visit an allergist.  You must realize these hives were not a constant concern or bother.  Yes, they were almost a daily occurrence, but only once in a while did they truly affect my daily life.  In October, the allergist told us how very few people with chronic hives ever know why.  After hearing my travel history of foreign travel, he also mentioned chronic hives could be a sign of parasites.  No, I had no other symptoms other than the hives, until mid-fall when I noticed chronic muscle pain in both arms. I thought it was from overuse lifting suitcases in and out of car trunks and overhead bins on planes. As it turns out that, too, could be indicative of parasites.  However, he was not convinced.

"Parasites are microorganisms that live off of other organisms, or hosts, to survive. Some parasites don’t affect the host. Others grow, reproduce, or give off toxins that make the host sick resulting in a parasitic infection" (

There is always a bigger picture than you and I anticipate surrounding every thing God allows in our lives.  I have not obsessed over having parasites, but I must admit talking to others about it has been a bit uncomfortable, concerned the other person will think it is much worse/gross than I do.  As usual, God just will not allow my mind to dwell there for very long.  There are few I have discussed this with and most are in the medical field in some capacity themselves.  Charles deals with parasites on a daily basis in caring for animals, so our perspective is probably not necessarily the same as others.

By the way, it was not easy to convince our family doctor and then the infectious disease doctor to follow through with all the testing for various parasites, "They are just so rare".

This morning, I have just taken the first round of medication (3 large caplets) to rid my body of Schistosomiasis, tape worms.  I will do that again, later today.  No, they have not found them in my urine or my stools, but via a blood test, only, created specifically for diagnosing them.  I chose today, for the first round of treatment, as the information surrounding the drug states "do not drive the day of treatment and do not drive the day after, as it could impair thinking and/or judgement".  Since I am now interpreting everyday and in the medical setting, no less, the weekend is the only reasonable time for me to do this.  Charles went to our family doctor on Wednesday for his annual physical and told him of my diagnosis.  He said, "Well, that's a first for me!" He did tell Charles it was very possible the symptoms I have been having, the hives and possibly the muscle pain, could be much worse during the treatment.  So, I have doubled my daily dose of Zyrtec to anticipate at least the hives being worse.  I repeat this treatment, one-day 2-dose, 2 - 4 weeks from now.  

Fresh Water Snail
"Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia or “snail fever”, is a parasitic disease carried by fresh water snails infected with one of the five varieties of the parasite Schistosoma. Found predominantly in tropical and sub-tropical climates, Schistosomiasis infects 240 million people in as many as 78 countries, with a vast majority of the burden occurring in Africa. Schistosomiasis ranks second only to malaria as the most common parasitic disease." (

My symptoms are not typical, gastro and/or urinary tract related, so there really is no information out there for muscle infestation, other than to say they can take up residence there "in rare cases".  By the way, since the physical therapy sessions before Christmas, for my chronic muscle pain in my arms and hip, has not resulted in improvement, Charles and I now believe it is quite possible the parasites are causing the muscle problems, as well.  This week, was the fist time I noticed the muscle pain flares as I interpret, but prior to this week I had not noticed any pain during interpreting. 

Schistosomiasis Distribution - Snail Fever
As I reread the definition of a parasite, the thought occurred to me that it could be a very good thing for you and me to be considered a "parasite" of the Word of God. Just suppose you and I were "parasites" of His Word.  We would be the ones reaping the great benefits of "living off" His Word (written and living), receiving daily sustenance, food and water, and thriving. Truly living the "abundant life" God has promised us, right here on this earth. Actually, as we study the scriptures it is fascinating to see some of the wording God uses that seems to relate.

Jeremiah, God's prophet proclaimed, "When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty."  When God called Ezekiel as His prophet this is what He said, "And He said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He gave me the scroll to eat. Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak My words to them."  

Then in John chapter 7, "On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified." And to the Samaritan woman at the well, "Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”  

Then in John 6, Jesus to the Jews, "Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in them.  Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on This bread will live forever.” This particular statement is when many of Jesus' disciples/followers turned away and no longer followed Him. 

And in closing, at the Last Supper, "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.” Then he took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

If this is one way I can better identify with His precious deaf children living with parasites every day, with no means of diagnosis or medicine to rid their bodies of them, I pray I do not miss all He desires for me to learn in and through this experience.
Parasites of the Word of God!   Let's commit to "eat and drink" more of Jesus in 2015, than ever before.  Fascinating...isn't it?!?!