We have just celebrated the Anniversary of Harry’s Cochlear Implant operation and we are 3 weeks away from the 1st Anniversary of his Switch On.
I have tallied up 18 words spoken by Harry in those 340 days.
That is nothing short of a miracle of technology is it!!!
On returning from our Summer holidays so much has happened. Harry has started 2 kinder programs , gone back to Gymberoo and is on a mission to walk. Once we were back into a routine he started mimicking words with me again, something he has not done since the infection took hold. He loves to repeat the last line of a nursery rhyme and his current favourite is The Wheels on the Bus ( if that is classified as a nursery rhyme). He sings “All day long” after I finish my out of tune version. I am hoping that at this stage of interpreting sounds he is not fussed as to how well the melody is held. I have to curse the Apps on the Ipad and Iphone though as every version of this song must be American and says “all through the town ” instead of “all day long”. I have finally found one that allows you to record your own voice – you can check out the Duck Duck Goose App http://www.duckduckmoose.com/educational-iphone-itouch-apps-for-kids/wheels-on-the-bus/
In taking a look back at his progress I can rewind to Week 15 (Post Switch On) when we looked at the 6 core sounds referred to as LING 6 SOUNDS representing different speech sounds from high to low pitch. With these 6 sounds a child has access to all the speech sounds necessary for learning spoken language.
A ( ahh sound) as in aeroplane, M (mmm sound) as in mummy, more, I ( ee sound) as in the sound of a monkey or ee-or of a donkey, SH as in Shh the baby is sleeping, U (ooo sound) as in the twit-twoo sound of an owl
There is no doubt he can say all of these sounds now and he could before the infection in Sept.
The next step was associating meaning to sound. A child starts to associate a sound with its related object and start to recognise familiar phrases. These key sounds are now meaningful to him and are spoken unprompted when the object is presented to him.
AAA- aeroplane, Mooo- cow, Brmm- beep , beep- car, Baaaa- sheep,
Cheep, cheep- baby chicken, Meow- cat,
At Week 15( which was mid June) we had clocked up the following words that Harry repeated and recognised as linked to an object:
- Mumm- mummy
- Baa- sheep
- Moo- cow
- shh- for baby sleeping
At Week 30 (1st week Sept before he got sick) we also added unprompted “words”
- EE- ii -ee-ii -oo
- Brmm- aRR for car
- Ali- ce
If Harry had continued at this rate he would have caught up with his hearing peers there is no doubt. But we were unlucky and he got sick and the infection interrupted the flow of information while it concentrated on making Harry well again. But the beauty of all this early intervention is that the brain at such a young age has amazing plasticity and can create new pathways to feed the sensory information via the brainstem to the brain. Click here for more information on plasticity of the brain
Week 45 (Last week January 2013) Harry spoke the previous 5 words plus
8.Uh Oh ( when an object is dropped)
9.Car with the brrmm, beep noises as well
10.Good night ( or Gnn NIgh)
11.Water ( interpreted from Uuger)
13.Doggy ( sounds like Iggy)
14.Milk ( sounds like Mmk)
15.OKAY followed by an Um okay
Then in the last week he started to put more than one word together
16. Go car
17. All day long ( sounds like Or- day- onn)
I think the best thing of all is when he is chatting to me without his implants on after a sleep and those words are all still coming out in context and as clearly.
You couldn’t ask for more.