Harry has heard sound for more than one year now. We passed his first hearing birthday back on March 15th, and it is incredible to look back at what has been achieved in that time.
Harry’s progress is steady but slower than we thought it would be.
I remember vividly, Rita ( from the Brighton Early Intervention Service) saying to us at the very start of the year before his operation that he would be a talker . The evidence for this lay in his siblings communication skills. And indeed it is true Tess and especially Alice could talk the hind legs off a horse. Harry is surrounded by the sound of chatter and imagination everyday. He is also bombarded with squeals and screams as we navigate a house of female hormones and all that goes with bringing up two independent and strong-minded spirits.
He was not left behind when the strong will was handed out. He is such a determined little soul and even though we can see clearly now he is different from his peers he strolls through his challenges un-phased.
I am still very preoccupied with Harry’s balance. Walking is still a stones throw away but his ability to stand unaided and balance in an unsupported standing position is a struggle. None of the Specialists have any answers – they all seem to think one day it will just all click into place and we have to be patient. I am thankful Harry has a personality that is laid back enough to not get frustrated that he can’t get around on his own- he is a problem solver and uses tactics he has deciphered to be useful in maneuvering himself around on his own to get where and do what he fancies. Pushing a chair, a trolley, grabbing an adults hand or just reverting back to crawling seems to be enough to get him from A to B.
So on this journey I am once again reminded that my desire to be a perfectionist has been challenged. Things don’t fit into boxes to be ticked all the time . If Harry is not phased by his lack of independent vertical mobility then I need to focus on the positive achievements he is making with speech , as there are lots to celebrate there.
The clarity of Harry’s speech improves everyday. He has the same handful of words that relate to his everyday life and he uses them consistently in context. “Ugger” has now become so very close to “water “anyone can decipher his request.
At a speech assessment last week I was told he should at this stage be learning at least a new word or a few each week. I am not sure that it is happening at that speed so we are going to start speech therapy from the start of next Term at
The thing is he is reading a lot- Harry just loves books and the amount of words we share together whilst reading is enormous. So given this, his vocabulary should be bigger. For some reason the way his implants are hardwired into his cortex and interpreted by his brain is not resulting in instant recognition for him. The recognition however comes after hundreds of times exposing him to the same word in the same or varying context.
No two kids with implants are the same but they all get to the same destination eventually and usually before they start school. PATIENCE is always rewarded