Drew had his bi-weekly therapy with his teacher through the Regional Infant Hearing Program yesterday. My Mom took him to the appointment, as she does every time. Drew's teacher is excellent and always sends me a detailed report of the session, and my Mom will always let me know how Drew did and tell me exactly what we will be working on in the coming weeks. The report I received this week was excellent:
Auditory Objectives/Materials Used: Detect Ling sounds with conditioned response/Hoop and Box of Chips Discriminate 3 environmental sounds/2 each: Wrist Bells, Drum, Tube Discriminate Ling and/or LtoL sounds/Ling objects and cards, bus, plane, firetruck and monkey, sheep, cat w/matching bags
Child’s Responses: 1. Detected all twice. Imitated /oo/. 2. Discriminated each one once. 3. Would not attend with Ling objects. Used two items at a time w/bags. He discriminated the bus, firetruck, monkey and cat by looking at the item or the bag. He looked at the cat upon hearing the word rather than the sound.
Child’s Responses: I didn’t use the finger puppets. See below for a list of imitated and spontaneous utterances. Spontaneously used a lot of phrases with the correct objects (see below). He did put daddy in chair w/ “sit down”, put grandma in swing w/ “swing grandma”, and pushed the swing w/ “push, push”.
Cognitive Objectives/Materials Used: 1. Match object-to-picture/Objects w/matching bags 2. Attend to a book/Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? with doll
Child’s Responses: 1. He cooperated with this and put the objects in but did not demonstrate any clear matching. 2. This was the last thing we did and he was tired and ready to get down.
And probably the most exciting piece of the report...
ahhhhhhh upon seeing the airplane owl upon seeing the owl (new) thank you when I gave him things roun-n-roun upon seeing the spinner eeeeeee when playing w/slide hi when Grandma walked in room
out sit down go buh, buh w/bus aa, aa, aa, w/sheep dat for cat heyo for hello w/phone ee, ee w/monkey
Drew is making tremendous progress and we feel like we are on the verge of a huge language explosion! He is using acutal words and putting them with objects. Ball is by far his favorite, but he has also used eat, Dada, PaPa and even Mama appropriately! Last night while playing he correctly made a gallaping noise with his tounge when asked, "What sound does a horse make?" He also has an excellent "quack" now when asked, "What sound does a duck make?" This morning he followed this direction: "Drew, please put the diaper in the diaper champ." I was amazed. I get so excited when he does these things. We enjoyed some nice hi-fives after he accomplished that task. (He loves to give hi-fives!)
I also completed a language assesment for Drew. Drew's Dad and I responded to a series of questions on things Drew can do both expressively and receptively. At sixteen months of age, hearing age of seven months, Drew measured at twelve months of age in both categories. Although, I have to say I peeked at the next level and he is doing many of the things in the 14-16 month category, like attempting to imitate "thank you." I believe that when we next do this assesment, in six months, that he will be very close to being age appropriate for his lanugage development.
I know that there are a lot of parents reading this blog, many of which are parents of children newly diagnosed with hearing loss. Some of you have even introduced yourself! I have had a lot of questions regarding early implantation, insurance coverage, simultaneous implants, etc. I really feel that Drew is doing so well because his deafness was caused by Connexin 26 and because he was identified early, implanted early and implanted simultaneously. If you feel like hearing aids are not providing your baby with enough amplification and feel a cochlear implant is in his or her future, be persistent! While having simultaneous implants in all children is not possible (given the geneology of the loss, malformation in the cochlea, known balance disorders), implantation under 12 months of age is possible and the results are amazing. I am so thankful that we put together a team for Drew that believed in getting him implanted as young as possible. The results are truly amazing.