Articles I Have Written
- The Best Books for Kids with Hearing Loss
- Sleep Studies for Kids
- Adjusting to Hearing Aids
- Free Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
- First Steps When Baby Can't Hear
- When Baby "Refers" on the Newborn Hearing Test
- Water Sports with Hearing Aids
- What is the Newborn Hearing Screen?
- The Best Hearing Aid Accessories for Kids
- Choosing Eyeglasses for Kids
- Great Hearing Loss Simulations
Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
We went to the Erie Zoo on Sunday to check out the new wild dog exhibit and had two wonderful language events occur. We ate lunch at Panera Bread and Nolan signed "more" to request more bread. His version of the sign is clapping, which is pretty cute.
Later that day he dropped a toy out of his stroller. I said, "uh-oh!" Nolan looked at me and said, "uh!" Now if we say uh-oh or up, he'll imitate and say, "uh!" Very exciting stuff in this house!
We had more speech therapy today and obtained a few more games to play with Nolan. One is sound vs. no sound. This one is very easy and we simply shake an object which makes sound and say, "I hear it" while pointing to our ear. If the object doesn't make any noise, then we say, "no sound." She also gave us some ideas for creating sound opportunities at home, like setting the timer when I'm in the kitchen. When it goes off, I can say, "I heard that! It's time to ...." and then fill in the blank with whatever I was going to do next. We can also have Dennis ring the doorbell when he comes home, and I can say, "I heard that! Who is at the door?"
We also learned some new signs today: uh-oh, again, off, and on. Our SLP is going to bring some sign books by tomorrow so we can look at ASL vs. SEE and start really considering communication choices. We're taking a lot from the auditory-verbal camp, but we're also using some sign language. It is so hard to know what choice is the "right" choice and which one will work the best for our child.
Our former SLP had never really delved into this, so we were flying by the seat of our pants and not really doing much of anything (I was taking some sign language lessons and we had the speech therapist, but there wasn't any real "method" or "plan").
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I met with our new speech pathologist yesterday, and am so very happy that we finally have someone who has worked with hearing loss before. She noticed Nolan's earmolds weren't seated tightly enough and showed me how to really get them sealed. We talked for quite some time about his level of loss (moderate) and what we want for him. I told her we wanted to go the AVT route because his aided hearing is in the normal range and we want him in a mainstream school setting.
I also expressed some concerns, because Nolan cannot hear us in restaurants (even aided) or when there is a lot of background noise. Bath time also causes some concern for us, because he sometimes seems to hear us and sometimes seems to be in his own world (kids with moderate loss are often accused of "selective hearing").
After some conversation, we came up with a plan that would work for our family and our situation. We will not go with a strict AVT plan, but do AVT therapy and learn some bath related and food/eating related signs. This sort of flexibility works well for us, and eases some of my anxiety about taking him to places where he simply can't hear well.
She was astonished that our former SLP wanted to reduce services for Nolan, especially when his test scores show a lag in receptive language. She said this is a common finding in kids with hearing loss, so we need to really work on this area and narrate our activities, step up the nursery rhymes, and sing and play one-on-one with him.
To that end, we have a new nursery rhyme that Nolan loves, and incorporates several speech characteristics:
(Place baby on your knee and gently bounce him/her in time to the rhythm of the rhyme)
- For the "ladies ride," your voice is high and soft, and the tempo is slow.
- For the "gentlemen's ride," your voice is low and staccato, the tempo is fast.
- For the "country folk" you trill with your tongue (think Mork channeling his home world*), and move the baby around in a silly pattern.
Nolan seems to love it, especially the "country folk" portion of the rhyme.
*I hope people remember Mork and Mindy.... I'm starting to feel old!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Our new SLP called and set up times for therapy this coming week. After ten minutes on the phone, I realized several things:
- Our former SLP never took a look at Nolan's audiogram.
- Our former SLP never asked about communication modalities.
- Our former SLP really knew NOTHING about hearing loss!
The new speech language pathologist asked if I had a current copy of Nolan's audiogram. I told her we most certainly did, and would be repeating a few frequencies on Tuesday. She asked if we had thought about communication styles, and noticed we had expressed an interest in auditory verbal therapy in his IFSP. I had put AVT in his IFSP on a lark, knowing that there were probably no therapists familiar with the technique in our area.
Lo and behold, the new SLP has done AVT with one of her former charges. She has also worked with a total communication model, so she will accomodate whatever we choose to do. We actually get a speech pathologist who has experience with hearing loss? I'm doing a little tap dance as I type this! We want to proceed with AVT, so she requested that we get an aided audiogram to make sure Nolan is getting full access to all the sounds of speech. His level of loss should mean that he has access to all the sounds of speech with his aids, but we should verify his responses when aided.
She will also work with Matthew, since we have a package deal going in the early intervention department. Matt will probably graduate from EI at his six month review (the child still has some articulation issues, but has broken out with 3 and 4 word sentences lately). I would like to get one last hearing test before we boot him out of the system, though... just to make sure!
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Nolan has been demonstrating wonderful verbal skills for his age (babbling five different consonants and two vowels), which led to his speech language pathologist recommending his discharge from Early Intervention two months after he started the program. I fought that and won, so I was obviously surprised when she suggested reducing services two months after the issue was settled. Luckily we had an IFSP meeting coming up, so I called various sources and found a person who would be a better speech therapist to Nolan (via our local stellar audiologist).
Our (now former) SLP wanted to reduce Nolan down to once per month, then once per week after I argued. With no other options for services in the area (no auditory-verbal therapy, no teacher of the deaf, no cued speech classes), I would really like him to continue his twice weekly sessions.
We are very fortunate with our EI coordinator. She is behind us 100% and has assigned us the speech language pathologist who has worked with a deaf child in the past. Nolan's level of loss is only moderate, but at least this SLP has a background in the needs of these kids. We get to keep our twice weekly sessions and the new SLP starts next week! I am a happy camper.
We did note a couple of "discrepancies" in the testing report written up by our former SLP, including that Nolan responds to all environmental sounds (this is the one area that he is not at age level). She also stated that the reason Nolan was referred to early intervention was for a severe speech delay. His hearing loss was only mentioned in a brief sentence in the middle of the report. This is definitely one that didn't "get" the effects of hearing loss on development.
We have won this battle, and are staying on the path to success for Nolan. With the right supports in place, I know he's going to soar.