|A Story to Touch Your Heart: "An Update on Luke"|
|Saturday, 19 February 2011|
Through John Egbert, DBC was contacted by Luke’s grandma over two years ago. At the time, she was taking care of Luke and his siblings full time. She was distraught and worried about Luke’s language acquisition. They were receiving early intervention services but they were not meeting Luke’s needs nor did they include ASL and Deaf Mentors. DBC was able to guide her on how to advocate for the services she wanted for Luke. Recently DBC received this email from her:
How is life these days? I hope all is well with you and yours, I just wanted to take a minute to update you on our wonderful Luke who just had his fourth birthday. He is so far from that little boy I cried to you on the phone about so long ago. It is hard to remember all his frustrations. He is a delight in every way, and he loves his grandma very much (when I start to leave their house he tells me I can not go because my car has crashed and is now on fire, LOL) and his grandma loves him.
He is attending the Alabama School for the Deaf in Talladega, Alabama and his little fingers just fly these days as grandma struggles to keep up with all he has to say. He is so happy to get to go to school there that he bounds out of bed rushing everyone to get ready so he can go get on the bus (he really loves the bus). He was in tears the days it snowed and he couldn't go to school.
His birthday party included several children from his class as well as a couple from the bus who attend the school for the blind. It was a delightful event with some very funny moments playing "musical" chairs with the use of lights, and music to accommodate both the blind and deaf children. They all had so much fun as did all of the adults who were there.
Luke is a sweet, rotten, inquisitive, destructive, funny little boy just like all other 4 years old boys. He is both adored and hated by his big sisters as he goes about his days either playing with them or taking apart stuff in their room, just like every other little brother in the world LOL. He is a big brother himself now, his father remarried and he has a WONDERFUL step-mom who goes out of her way to learn all she can to help him, (she grew up with a blind mother and we could not have ordered a better parent for Luke or his sisters). Luke treats his baby brother kind of like a pet, pats his head and tries to get him to play.
I get to be grandma again not part parent so I am happy in my original role in his life… the one who spoils him, loves him and does my best to keep my ASL up to his level. I do pretty good signing words but my finger spelling is terrible, I know my alphabet and can struggle through some words but it is hard and I can never "read" finger spelled words as others try to talk to me, I believe it is a result of my dyslexia, I just can not seem to be able to conceptualize the words in the air. I have signed up for some classes this spring (can not wait until they start) and hope that helps. I manage to communicate with the deaf people I am around but suspect I seem a little slow-witted LOL. It is still a far cry from the woman who first talked to you on the phone giving Luke his 6th bath of the day simply because the only sign we knew was “bath”.
I have been surprised at the parents (much less grandparents or other family members) who do not sign to their deaf children. Luke's teacher was surprised that Luke has parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends who all use ASL with Luke. It is hard to believe some families just ignore communicating with their deaf family members but I guess people immersed in Deaf culture see this all the time.
As always I can never thank you enough for all you did for us when we needed you so much, I think of you often and have told the story of your phone call to me 1000 times :o)
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