I think he started Little League probably six years ago. His first was tough. It didn’t go well. I think he lasted three weeks. It’s difficult for him when you’re outside in an open space with his implant and the wind blows. Where the fields are it’s about ½ mile from the ocean, so the wind’s blowing, and it’s hard, he hears the wind and he can’t hear the coach and he can’t hear…he’s had it tough. So he did a couple of weeks the first year, maybe the second year he did a little bit longer. But the third year he did the whole thing. He stuck it out, he didn’t play much. Last year the team he played for, they won the championship, and he really did excellent. And this year, he made the all star team.
At the Pool or a Lake
At a pool or a lake they can’t wear their technology, so that’s a challenge for me. You have to work with lifeguards or swim instructors that can help you sign or they’ll let you be in the water with them and sign to them so they can get the instruction and learn to swim. Now they both do very well at the pool playing and will engage other children.
He Just Loves Sports
He likes to spend time with his friends. He likes to be at the school for the deaf. That’s the best time of all for him. He likes stories, he doesn’t care if they’re preached or you’re reading him a book, he likes stories. He loves athletic things like wrestling, baseball, riding his bike, running, jogging, he just loves sports.
He’s Got Visual Skills
He can play soccer, almost any sport right. He can play football. He doesn’t have any problems doing those things. He’s got those visual skills! He’s got perfect visual skills. I don’t know where he got that from. It could be something that like people say if you go blind, other senses take over. But because he’s deaf, his visual skills could be better than yours and mine. But I think that’s what happened, he did it all visually.
If you ask me and you ask his mother the same question, she’s gonna give you a totally different answer. But as the father, you’ve gotta let him go. You can’t hold their hand, you can’t baby them. They’re not gonna have fun, it’s tough. It’s really, really tough when you first let them out there because kids are yelling for him, he doesn’t know where the sound’s coming from, it’s extremely difficult. His mother was always, “you need to tell the coach this, you need to tell the coach that”, and I wouldn’t do it. If Evan chose to tell the coach, then Evan chose to tell the coach. If Evan chose to tell the kids, then he chose to tell the kids. I wouldn’t.
He also does karate. It’s very interesting to see his instructors, they’re always talking to him and asking him to repeat the instructions back and they’re very good because, if he doesn’t have his hearing aids because of an ear infection or something, they get right down at his level and talk to him. And he’s succeeding at karate and all the kids there are just very accepting.
Hearing directions has always been difficult. She has to spend a lot of time scanning to see who is saying what on the team and how it’s all falling out. When they are in a group and getting directions you can see she’s concentrating. The coaches have been in tune to what her needs are and they get down at eye level with the kids and make sure that her better ear is facing the way that they are speaking.
Right away she met her captains and they said they knew a swimmer who had a hearing loss and they did a hand signal. They just checked with the refs and there was never any problem. When they did the gun she couldn’t hear it but she could see it. She would always have her personal signaler to start her. There was never a problem with that.
A Solution for Our Television Trouble
When she watches TV and there’s background noise going on she puts the TV so loud it makes it uncomfortable for the rest of us. I found video rockers at Target for $200. They have speakers built in to the chair. She was so happy. She sits in the chair all the time.