Never Give Up!
Jhairio Corsino, who goes by JJ, was born prematurely at 29 weeks in the Philippines and weighed only 2 pounds. After moving to Brandon, Manitoba at age 3 he was diagnosed with profound hearing loss and had a right cochlear implant mastoidectomy performed in November 2013 as well as the left cochlear implant in March 2014. One month later, JJ was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
JJ’s mom, Jo-Ann describes, “At first, it was tough for us to understand and accept all of these diagnoses for our son, knowing since birth that he was already fighting for his life. But, amidst all of this we became strong for him as we can see he is a happy boy full of hopes and inspiration.”
JJ attended the Central Speech and Hearing clinic for auditory verbal therapy. Jo-Ann adds, “During that time, JJ was nonverbal and we were battling for the communication that he needed. He did it for years but no improvements, not a single word.” He was still not acquiring any speech so the family decided to incorporate American Sign Language (ASL) to his learning. The family received in-house ASL training through our Communication Centre for Children (CCC) who are Deaf or hard of hearing program and the progression began. “He ‘picked’ up sign language and began to use it in his daily life to communicate,” says Theresa Blaine, a Children’s Service Coordinator. “Additionally, he has a signing Educational Assistant (EA) at school and continues to make gains in his daily communication. The family is continuing to learn ASL and teach JJ.”
Over the past 6 years since JJ has been involved with SMD, he received services and supports in many ways such as; Travel assistance, Services that were under Children Services Coordination (CSC), Communication Centre for Children (CCC) who are Deaf or Hard of hearing, Assistive Technology, and more.
“Since day 1, when my son was diagnosed with ASD, SMD was there for us. They helped us navigate everything that we needed for our son. From transportation, respite, children's leisure and recreation activities, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, etc. we are happy that we can now communicate with our son. Thanks for the ASL and all the supports SMD.”
When asked what message Jo-Ann wanted to get across to people who read about JJ, she states, “Don't lose hope. Everything has a reason and there is always a way to find solutions to every problem and people that will support and help you like SMD.”
Did You Know:
- Cochlear Implants cost approximately $11,000 per ear. 80% is covered through Manitoba Health. Families can apply for assistance to cover the remaining 20% through programs such as our Assistive Technology.
- Our Children’s Service Coordination (CSC) program provides supports to families in the form of advocacy, service navigation, family centered programming, and guidance to resources.