We also celebrated Amelia's 4th birthday while we were there.
My mom, Siena, Amelia and I are currently attending the International Summer Session at John Tracy Clinic in LA. Click on the link below for more information.
We just finished our first of three weeks of classes and have learned so much already. While Amelia is in her preschool class, Siena is in a class for older siblings and my mom and I are in parent/caregiver classes. Not only are we learning so much from the teachers and specialists, we have also met so amazing families from around the world who are dealing with many of the same issues we are.
Perhaps one of the most exciting things for us is that there are 2 other families with children with ABIs here as well. Ted and his family are from Singapore and they were actually in Italy the same time we were so he has the same hearing birthday as Amelia. We spent what was probably the most intense 6 weeks of our lives together in Italy and it is wonderful to see them again. We are also excited to finally meet Evie and her family (from England). Evie received her ABI in Italy about 3 months after Amelia and Ted. All 3 kids are doing well and they seem to gravitate towards each other in the preschool class. It is not very often we are able to spend time with other ABI families so this is very special.
Siena is loving the sibling class and immediately bonded with a very nice girl from Ireland. The siblings are learning about hearing loss and the special role they have our families but mostly they are just having fun playing and being silly.
On Friday, an LA news station ran a short story about JTC and featured Amelia. In the video, Ted is the little boy standing up in class and Evie is the little girl in pink next to Ted. Of course big sister Siena is helping out in the video as well.
We are continuing to use a total communication approach with Amelia (sign language and auditory-verbal) because while we are working on her auditory skills, we don't want to lose her growth in language as a whole and not be able to communicate with her. We are learning lots of new skills to help her and also to empower us to be even better advocates for her.
Amelia has grown so much this summer already. I think she is finally potty trained (yippee!!) and she is teaching her animals to sit on the potty as well :).
She also wrote her name for the first time in class on Friday morning. We have never seen her even attempt it before but she saw another girl write her own name so decided she needed to as well. She didn't miss one letter! Tonight, DJ caught her on video drawing a person on her chalkboard for the first time. She erased it almost as quickly as she drew it so luckily he caught her just in time. Amelia usually prefers to watch us color and draw instead of doing it herself. She seems to just take everything in and learns so quickly through observation. Then she surprises us by being able to do things without us actually teaching her how to do it. Amazing.