There are a lot of people in my life that I am thankful for. They are family and friends and professionals who make a difference in Miss Kat's life. (Miss Aimee, she still talks about you every day, do you want to come to her birthday party again?) They know who they are, and I try to go out of my way to thank them every time I see them. Today's post is a little different. I want to thank the people who have changed Miss Kat's life, but we have never met.
First, I would like to thank Abbe Michel De L'Eppe. He set up the first "manual" school for the Deaf and showed the world that the Deaf could communicate, be educated and learn to read.
Second on my list would be Jean Massieu. He was the first Deaf teacher of the Deaf. He started a tradition that continues to provide some of the best teacher in Deaf education today. He is also the name sake of my daughter's first school.
The next two people on my list go hand in hand. They are Laurent Clerc and Thomas Gallaudet. When Miss Kat was newly diagnosed with her hearing loss I read a children's book about Clerc and Gallaudet. I cried with joy as I read it. I am so thankful for these wise and inspired men. I can not imagine what my beautiful child's life would be like today if they had set up a school for the Deaf and taught children sign language. My child can have language, communicate with other children, go to school, and learn, all because of these two men. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
The next person (group of people, really) is Dr. William House et al. who helped create the cochlear implant. They have profoundly changed my daughter's life, and yes, it is for the better. She has a better relationship with her extended family because of her implant. She is less frustrated playing with hearing children, and she is able to understand and speak to anyone she meets. That is also amazing, and I am thankful for that opportunity.
The last person on my list I have actually met, in passing. It is Rachel Coleman, the creator of "Signing Time". I know it sounds silly, especially compared to the other people on this list, but honestly, she changed our lives. It was through "Signing Time" that Hubby and I learned our first signs. Miss Kat saw other Deaf kids for the first time on those videos, and she and I would sit and practice our signs watching the videos. They have also brought ASL to hundreds of thousands of little kids. Almost everyday we meet children that, thanks to "Signing Time" have seen ASL before, and are just a little more open to Miss Kat. Thank you Rachel Coleman for making my baby's life better.
So, that's my list. I'm sure in my ignorance I have missed some very important people, but these people have touched, and changed my beautiful daughter's life, and they have never known her. I have cried with thankfulness over the contribution of each of these people, and I can never repay them for what they have done for our family.