Tag Archives: Hearing impairment
The month of May has brought new words, a more stable inside walk and some very in- tune singing. I would be bold enough to describe the recent developments in speech as a flourish of language.
Since we last connected Harry has spent many hours walking up and down our 12m corridor on the camping mats, barefoot, to bring his walk from a tilting totter to a proper toddler walk. Without fail everyday he will wander up and down the hall to the front door and back to the kitchen just to gain confidence walking. It is an innate response and I guess that is what it should be with babies so they can evolve.
His language has blossomed beyond my recent expectations. I have to say that I had resigned myself to slow progress in this area. A word or two a month has been the standard headway for the last 6-8 months and no one was sneering at this because those sounds he had grasped were significant and meant he fell within the boundary of the “hearing age” bracket we had allocated him.
Last count was 18 words in 1year of sound. That brought us unofficially to April. We are now about to move into June and Harry is about to turn 2. In the past 4 weeks I have been able to add 9 new words to this list and 3 sounds for vehicles. Phenomenal
- Ball (without the B)
- Sock (ock)
- Shoe (ooo)
- Row row (from the nursery rhyme)
- School (pronounced “All”)
- All day long (from Wheels on the Bus)
He also distinguishes when he plays with vehicles, the varying sounds they make. The ambulance and police car go “nee nar, nee nar”, the fire engine goes “ee-or, ee-or”, the train goes ” oo- oo”(the ch will come with time).
Having the appropriate sounds to go with play is a massive indicator for the Specialists to gauge how he is getting on. From the speechies and the CIC staff, to the Occupational therapist, they all comment on how appropriate his play sounds are for his real age. I am basking in this praise- it is music to my ears.
In our Speech lesson last week, Beth introduced Harry to an on-line karaoke website. You might well imagine how a toddler who can’t stand yet would benefit from a karaoke session. I think it was a shame there was no microphone or disco ball above us to bring the atmosphere into the room, nevertheless we started a journey on the Raising Children’s website (a Gov’t site) and fell in love with their version of Old MacDonald, Row, Row your boat and Open, Shut them, to name only a few nursery rhymes.
The beauty of this site is that the words are sung slowly and in a great Aussie country drawl. Most are accompanied by a video with animated characters that do the actions for the songs clearly. I am conscious of Harry not spending all day on this as no toddler can cope with over exposure to electronics. Those telling signs that the I- device has expired as a babysitter when you try to graciously pull the item away from their inquisitive little hands and they tighten their grip into a vice around it. And scream!
Without a doubt a child who has lost a sense such as hearing is more dependent on sight to give them information. And so, Harry is drawn
to anything that is overtly visual. This includes TV, and other visual electronic devices. There is a very fine line between him using them to learn and them burning him out with their visual references.
It was only yesterday that we were sitting in the kitchen reading to Harry as he had dinner (as it is often the time we do it to distract him enough to eat). The girls were chipping in with their 2 cents worth of Old McDonald when suddenly I heard an “ All day long” that was nearly so clear that I thought it came from Alice. In perfect response Tess grabbed the hone and tried to get him to repeat it. Check out the video and see what you think, but in our books that is a 3 word sentence and we are ecstatic!
It’s all in the name…
What should I call the headbands?
Should I reference ears, or hearing or fashion?
For sure, “Bionic” will be Trademarked by the Institute, so the whole family sat around the table tonight reeling off various versions of Harry’s Ears and trying to come up with a cool name for the headband.
Maybe we don’t need a name , as
my all time goal is to get Cochlear Ltd to include the headband in the suitcase of accessories
you get when your child receives their implant(s).
Wouldn’t that be awesome as it is all very well being supplied pens with screwdrivers on one end and a million processor covers , but what about an accessory that keeps them on a head that is only 50 cms in circumference ?
So, Folks, I really hope some of you guys all over the world tuning in to my tales will also buy up big on the Bionic Headband. My next step will be to set up shop(online of course ).
And the big news , based on your feedback, i have pleaded to get the price down to $18 AUD . I will be making hot pink for girls and electric blue for boys.
So stay tuned for more details
I mentioned Tina Childress’s Blog last post as I just recently stumbled upon it. Tina is a late deafened adult with a cochlear implant who now ,as a consultant/ trainer, travels throughout the State of Illinois talking to anybody and everybody about issues related to hearing loss and its effect on children.
If you are gathering information to make a decision as to whether to have CI’s for your child this is a great place for easy to understand info and this post has some great presentations she made on the subject, especially the presentation on A Little Hearing Loss is a Big Thing. Please check it out…
For the past three days, I have had the pleasure of presenting at Opening Minds: The Chicago Early Education, Child Care and School-Age Conference
My audience consisted of people like day care providers, nurses, early education teachers, regular education teachers, special education teachers and even one grandparent. They kept me plenty busy with two workshops a day over the three days for a total of six. Here’s what my schedule looked like:
I love all three topics that I got to talk about…sign language, cochlear implants and the impact of hearing loss. I think, though, that I had the most fun with the sign language classes…I haven’t taught sign language to that many people at one time since my grad school days when I taught the manual communications class. I felt like a master puppeteer! Raise my hands, furrow my eyebrows, stick out my tongue and my class stuck with…
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I have spoken in the past about how much as a family we are in awe of Graeme Clark.
A man who himself admits to the fact that he never imagined his life’s work would bring such change to people’s lives across the Globe.
Last month we had the honour, and it certainly was nothing short of an honour, to meet this Genius. As 2012 is the 30th Anniversary of the 1st commercial Cochlear Implant, Prof. Clark has been catching up with some of his fans throughout the year. I am sure that most of those he has met could actually thank him themselves for the incredible technology that allows them to hear and master speech. Young Harry is not quite at that stage and will have to rely on us recounting the story to him as he grows.
The story goes a little bit like this:
It was a sunny morning in Melbourne and the girls were taking the morning off school. They were asked to dress in their finest attire, something suitable for meeting a Gentleman.
The Professor works out of Melbourne University these days but told us he had close ties with Wollongong University where he studied as a young man.
The meeting was brief but very enlightening. Here is a man who has dedicated his working life to transforming the lives of others. If you haven’t read his book “Sounds from Silence” I highly recommend it. The Professor talked to us about the emergence of Nano Technology in the Bionic Field. This seems to be the future for Cochlear Implants, bringing about high definition sound through more electrodes in a smaller array. He mentioned how the current sound really isn’t as good as they want it to be and how he hopes the users can one day enjoy all the complex sounds that music offers.
He also spoke of how challenging working at the forefront of ground breaking research can be, as it often takes more funding than is available. Donations to his Foundation help with this.
We have some lovely photos of the morning and some memories to treasure. The impact the CI’s have had on our family is so entrenched that any connection with this world is a significant event.