California Trip; Nationals and John Tracy Clinic

I have neglected to write about our California trip, which occurred back in early May. I think it just got lost in the graduation momentum, moving us all forward and out and away.

Slightly less than two months ago, Ethan, Chris, Josh and I boarded a plane to  LA during the first week in May. My oldest brother used to live in LA and we visited quite a bit when I was a teen. I am not a fan of LA so what could bring me to LA again, outside of a business trip to UCLA in 2008? Well, Ethan qualify for the USA Men’s Gymnastics National Meet, which was held in Long Beach this year and the John Tracy Clinic. That’s what.

As far as the meet goes, Ethan was happy with his performance and managed to compete in every event, hence an all around gymnast. The more you advance in this sport, the harder it is to compete in every event due to compounding injuries. It is a pretty harsh sport on the body. Anyway, at the meet I didn’t have the best seat location to film Ethan on many events. I did film him on parallel bars but he was very nervous and it wasn’t his best performance, so I won’t post that film. I cannot for the life of me seem to keep him in the camera when he is on floor. The same issue applies to vault. I find horse incredibly boring and can hardly keep awake during the event, so I don’t film it. Why would I want to ever relive it? I no longer film him on rings. I filmed him once on rings and he experienced the scariest fall that I’ve ever seen (I am sure he’s had many more to equal this one, but I hardly ever see him practice). He fell from that tall ring stacks down to his face–straight down–at a meet in San Francisco a few years back. So, all I have from Nationals is his high bar routine.

At the same time that Ethan was competing, Chris took Josh to the John Tracy Clinic–Long Beach location. By the time we knew we were heading to Long Beach in mid-April (when Regionals, the Nationals qualifier was held), JTC–Long Beach’s audiologist only had one opening left and it was right in the middle of Ethan’s competition. Sigh. So I couldn’t go. If any of you don’t know, JTC provides all of their services free to pre-school aged children with hearing loss. If you are ever looking for a worthy place to donate some money, this would be one for sure.

Chris said that the audiologist did a fantastic job testing Josh. Preschool-aged kids are all they do and they have it down. His audiologist confirmed that Josh has a pure conductive loss (not mixed). Over this past year, we’ve had some concern (mostly stemming from the school audiologist) that there was a sensorineural component to Josh’s hearing loss; also some concern that it was progressing. JTC’s testing, however, closely matched Josh’s ABR results from one year earlier. They didn’t provide us with tons of new information, but it was reassuring to have another chart showing mild to moderate, reversed slope, conductive loss–slightly worse in left than right year. Possible occlusion of left ear, as we’ve never had normal tympanogram on the left. Even with tubes, it only shows .2 volume.

Two days later, we drove to the main JTC clinic in LA. We toured the facilities, and yes, I am fired up to attend the preschool summer program in 2012! We also met the woman who has been on the other end of our infant/parent correspondence course for the past ten months. She brought us into the family model room, which is set up like a small house. She spent an hour modeling ways to use everyday household happenings to help encourage Josh’s language development. The most important thing that came out of the model house was that Ethan finally realized that he was a key player in helping his brother acquire language skills.

Ethan is a man of as few words as he can get by with. I told Hannah last night, via Skype, that I missed having her around because my other two children don’t talk. I do see Ethan making attempts, however, to talk with Josh now. Since leaving JTC, Ethan has taught Josh some very useful words, such as Chow Mein, Russia, shoelace, and monster. Josh’s favorite expression over the last month is “Oh Man” no doubt thanks to Ethan as well. Yes, Josh cannot or does not say “Uh oh” when food drops on the floor or the ball rolls across the street. Instead, it is “oh man” with loads of inflection. I can’t wait for Josh to say “cat (so far, he cannot make the “k” or “g” sounds), star (working on this one forever–it keeps coming out as “erse”) and bye, bye (still ba ba)” but hey, he can say “Russia,” so why am I complaining. I’ve now decided that if I want Josh to say a word, it needs to come from Ethan first.

Finally, the boys had lots of fun at the ocean, on the infamous Muscle Beach, and at our hotel pool. Here are some pictures from that trip, long overdue.

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1 comment
  1. Leah said:

    What an amazing trip! Oh, I miss John Tracy. Do the summer program. You will never, never regret it. It was the most amazing thing we ever did, and it helped us (and Nolan) so very much. Nolan’s FM system is thanks to their help! As a side note, we have a lot of trouble with the “back” sounds, too (K and G) – they are later developing and are a bit tougher to say. We finally are getting “CAT” with prompting, but until recently it always came out as “Tat!”

    I love the gymnastics competitions – kudos to Ethan for working so hard to achieve success!

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