Something has been on mind this week.
WordPress Blogs have a feature that allows you to see where your readers are coming from as well as how many people are reading your blog.
You can become quite obsessed with these stats and try and imagine who your followers might be.
I am curious as the post that gets the most traffic in our Blog is the one called ” Bionic Seven”, referencing a cartoon and a character with powers related to magnetic fields . This at the time was relevant as I spent most of my day placing Harry’s magnets back on his head as we had not managed to get ones that were strong enough.
So I am wondering Readers what it is about this post that is drawing you into my blog and I am inviting you to send me comments and let me know.
Curious as to whether it is related to the image of Harry’s headband that holds his Cochlear processors in place on his head or just that I wrote about something that is of general interest……..
August 19-25th marks Hearing Awareness Week across Australia and 30th anniversary of commercial cochlear implants.
Last Sunday Channel 7 aired another program on Cochlear Implants. The response from viewers to the show last month was so overwhelming they chose to film a follow up program focusing more on children and how CI’s changed their lives. In the show Prof. Graeme Clark, the esteemed inventor of the Cochlear Implant was interviewed and shown video footage of children whose lives he has changed around the world.
Such a humble man. He never thought that his life’s dedication to giving sound to deaf people would result in over 250,000 recipients of the Cochlear Implant and the ability for those people to hear either for the first time or be brought back from a world of silence.
Coincidentally a few weeks ago, Dan decided he wanted to write to Graeme Clark to acknowledge our gratitude for the impact the CI’s have had on Harry. He asked if there might be an opportunity sometime in the future for us all to meet the Professor. A few days ago we received a reply to this letter from Graeme Clark suggesting we contact his team to organise a time as soon as possible. For Dan, this was up there with his dream to meet Keith Richards (but he won’t say that to Professor Clark!!)
Graeme Clark’s work continues today. He has a foundation that assists those who are financially and socially disadvantaged to obtain a cochlear implant. In addition, the Foundation has assumed a broader responsibility to give hearing generally to those with middle ear disease, and in particular indigenous Australians where ear infections are a major problem. The Foundation is also supporting research to achieve high fidelity hearing, acute hearing in noise and musical appreciation with a cochlear implant and/or hearing aid. The pioneering research by Graeme Clark and team has led to the development of a new discipline in medical research, namely Medical Bionics. It will help form the scientific basis for the development of a bionic eye and bionic spinal cord.
It is from his research that scientists were able to create the current neo- natal hearing tests which are catching so many new babies with hearing loss and allowing them access to sound early enough so they are able to enter mainstream schools speaking and hearing along with their peers.
Below is a link to the Foundation’s Website and the TV footage from Sunday night.
Harry has now had sound for 5 months. It doesn’t seem very long to me but someone referred to him as not being a newbie now.
With all the progress he has made over the last few months , our expectations have been be that he would continue to develop at this extraordinary speed and before he was two years old ( so only 10 months away) he would be on par with his peers. But the reality is that that his output is directly linked to my input and I have taken my foot off the pedal a tad this last month. It is inevitable that would happen- with a family of three kids you can’t possibly put all your energy into just one child, and it wouldn’t be fair to do so even if you could.
So at 5 months post switch on Harry has the following sounds:
G- Some babble with G in it
He also definitely says “uhh” for up in a variety of situations and is close to saying a version of “Bye” when someone leaves. There is even a possibility he said “car” recently but it will need to be repeated in order to be lodged as official.
This is a modest addition of sounds and “words” to the last months listing and we are thrilled that the progress is constant.
On top of all this he is integrating so well at the normal toddler activities. A weekly visit to Gymberoo allows him to climb and explore to his hearts delight- well for 30 mins anyway. He is then required to come and sit on the mat and do singing in a group. This he is not so fond of. He much prefers to maul the other babies and plant kisses on their faces. I have really landed on my feet here as the assistant informed me today that she did a 3 yr degree in Auslan (sign language) and would love to have the opportunity to practice on Harry.
How perfect when only this week we started to learn Auslan as a family.
We have also settled into a pattern of visits to Taralye, the Oral language centre for Deaf Children (www.taralye.vic.edu.au ) This is our support service and from his 2nd birthday the centre will also be able to offer Harry some sessional kinder classes with both hearing and hearing impaired kids.
Once every fortnight I visit Judy our case worker with Harry and she observes and helps me record his progress. Harry now recognises when we get out the car at Taralye and gets excited that he is going to spend time in Judy’s office which is filled with lots of great toys and activities. The sessions are very informal but we always seem to cover off a lot of things in that allocated hour. It gives me a chance to check in any concerns that may surface about how much Harry is achieving and be comforted that he is comparatively making great progress.