Friday, November 18, 2005

Zachary & Yamka!

I went to Regency Square Mall and observed my sister Lily's two children, Zachary and Yamka playing in a large playland with other children. Zachary is 4 and Yamka will be 2 in March.

It was pleasure to watch them engage in action with hearing children at the playland. Lily is Deaf, Zachary and Yamka are CODAs (Note: They can hear but is Child of Deaf Adults). I was bit concerned about the delayed development of their speech and interaction skills with hearing children. Research has proved that the CODAs tend to pick up the speech much later than the hearing children do because the CODAs communicated with their Deaf parents primarily by sign language.

I'm sure Zachary is doing fine in dealing with other children, he's adapting as can be. My concern is for Yamka. Yamka is the kind of girl that once you turned your head around, she disappeared. You'd have to chase her all over the place. However, Yamka is still young from entering a school, so ... her interaction skills with hearing children are dismal but, she is not even 2.

But ... Zachary and Yamka are tough. They'll be OK. In one incident, I stood and observed Zachary as he looked around to see if nobody is seeing him, then he turned and ran around, used his left arm to knock a guy onto the floor. The floor is very soft -- the kid on the floor was bit stunned but giggled with a huge smile on his face. Zachary realized that I saw his action -- I told him that it is not nice. He shrugged. Tough kid, that kid will beat up on anyone else. Good for him, but not now.

As for Yamka, she was sitting next to the soft bench as one hispanic girl -- probably 4 or 5 years old but is bit taller for her age -- was standing on the bench, trying to leap over Yamka's head. Yamka looked upwards and shook her head, she was trying to say NO to that girl who attempted to leap over her head. Instincts probably played a role in this as Yamka could not get this girl to listen, Yamka shoved this girl's right leg as she lost the balance and fell on the floor.

As you can see, these kids are going to be tough. And they are not even 5. Lily's hands are going to be full in years to come.

I rather to have a rough-nosed, experienced, tolerant and challenging nephew and niece than anything else, really.



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