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
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Nolan took his first steps on July 3, but is just now starting to prefer walking to crawling. It was just before bedtime, so he is sans "ears." Sometimes he responds to us with his aids off, sometimes he doesn't. I guess this is why kids with moderate levels of hearing loss are often accused of having selective hearing!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Turns out curiosity isn't always such a good thing! A little girl grabbed Nolan's ear when I was at playgroup yesterday, trying to get at his hearing aid. Her mother and I quickly removed her hand from Nolan's ear, but he has developed a nasty bruise that is on the top of his ear. His left ear is quite sore now, and it doesn't make inserting that earmold any easier!
On a more positive note, Nolan signed "ball" for the first time during therapy today. He now signs "more" and "ball," and has imitated "all done" and "milk." He also waves bye-bye, and babbles while doing that. Sometimes it sounds like "bababa," though usually it is "dadada" or "yayayaya."
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
We are having a busy speech therapy week. Nolan continues to verbalize, but hasn't added any more consonants to his repertoire. He is babbling with "N" and "B" again, though "M" is still missing. Those sounds are in the same region on the speech banana, so it looks like we just took a brief hiatus from trying those out.
Matthew is getting evaluated by Early Intervention this week. He is at age level (or above) for receptive language, but his expressive is probably a tad behind. He is starting to use 4 word sentences, but does not use plurals or verbs ending in "ing." He should be starting to say things like "boys running," but would say "boy run" instead. Actually, he'd probably say, "boy we" since he can't say any of the sounds in the word "run." We're doing the articulation testing on Wednesday, since his eligibility for EI rests on the results of that test. He doesn't have a hearing impairment (that we know about), so if he has gone from a "severe articulation delay" to a "moderate articulation delay," he will graduate from EI. If he fails to improve on his own, then he'll re-enter the system later on. Hopefully he'll either graduate and improve, or stay in the system. I don't really want him doing a yo-yo into and out of services.
We have a new song/game to play with Nolan. You do need two "rhythm sticks" (two thick, short dowels or cylindrical blocks). I can't find the music for this one (and I can't carry a tune in a bucket, so I'm not going to sing it), but the gist of it is:
We hit the sticks up high
Hit the sticks up high
Hit the sticks up high
Because its fun to do.
You then alter the instructions to "hit the sticks down low," "hit the sticks behind us," and "roll them on the floor." Any variation will work- Matthew actually follows along with the action and Nolan just enjoys whacking the sticks together. It does introduce positional concepts, and the kids love banging things together.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I went through our toys and got rid of the ones that Nolan is now too old for (the walker, the baby gym, and the bouncy chair). Going through our stock of toys, I tried to find toys we are lacking, and ones that would be good for Nolan's speech and language development. Any ideas are welcomed, from those who have toddlers and have a toy that they love! My ideas so far are:
- A Little Tikes "Jungle Jamboree" piano. We don't have any real music-making toys.
- The Fisher Price Little People farm
- A toy lawn mower (we have one, but we have two boys)!
- Richard Priddy books (we have three)
- A toy with a "repeat speaker" built into it- it repeats what the child says.
- A toy telephone (amazingly, we don't have one)
- A See and Say
We have a good set of unit blocks that my little guys play with all the time (probably THE favorite toy), so I might get the castle-shaped extension set for those.
I am also going to make a "learning to listen" sound box, but I don't want that to be for the little guy's birthday. He repeated the "aaaaa" I made for "airplane" the other day, and it totally rocked my world. We seem to have lost our "B," "M," and "N" sounds, and I'm hoping that's just a phase. We have "D," "L," and "A." Usually Nolan wanders around making a "ldldldldldl" noise, which is impossible for any of us to reproduce. In the meantime, I'm working extra hard on "MAMA" since he seems to have the "dadada" sound down pat. Matthew FINALLY says mama, after 2 1/2 years of work! Hopefully Nolan will say it a little sooner than that!
Monday, July 14, 2008
We had Matthew's pre-CPSE (Committe on Preschool Special Education) meeting at the local school district last Thursday. This was not an official affair, but just a "hello" to the school district and make them aware that Matthew has a likelihood of transitioning to the local school district for speech services.
We aren't quite sure if he will be declassified when he goes through his next round of early intervention testing or not. His receptive and expressive language are age appropriate now, but his articulation is still fairly atrocious. For example, take the following phrase:
"Go leet. Die. Ge'in car. See peet in wa. Wa. Too pie wie. Go peet."
For those who can't translate Matthew-ese, that's:
"Go to the lake. Drive. Get in the car. See fish in the water. Too far away. Go to the fish."
If he comes out with a "moderate" as opposed to "severe" articulation disorder, then he will not qualify for further services. I did request that he get another audiological evaluation to verify there is no hearing loss as a cause for his articulation issues, especially if he ends up with a declassification recommendation.
Luckily we brought Nolan in for the meeting, so they could see the whole family situation. They readily agreed that we should have Matthew's hearing tested since he speaks more Klingon than English.
Nolan has guaranteed services due to his hearing loss, so the CPSE chair was happy to meet him and told us her TOD would be glad to be working as a TOD again (the TOD is currently working with students who need speech therapy, but there are not other kids with hearing loss in our school district).
We also saw the audiologist this week, to pick up earmolds and more dessicant (darn that humidity). Our audiologist scheduled another hearing test for August 7th, so we will be taking impressions for earmolds on July 28, doing a hearing test August 7th, and going in for the MRI (pending insurance approval) on August 11th. I am reassured our audiologist is keeping good tabs on Nolan's hearing levels, especially since he seemed to lose a small amount of high frequency hearing between his ABR and first booth test.
Oh, yeah- and Nolan took his first steps. I can't believe my little guy is starting to walk!
It looks like we are on for a busy August and September, but then things should slow down and we will get back to our normal pace of life.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We had hot dogs, talked, and the kids all played wonderfully together. I didn't get any pictures because we were too busy just relaxing and talking to the other parents. There were a variety of communication methods used (all the kids were oral, but most also used some sign as well). We get to meet again in late August, this time at a park near our house.
In the meantime, we have been exploring various local places and learning lots of new vocabulary words (mostly for Matt, but Nolan picks this stuff up while in my front pack). Here are some new words for the week:
From Panama Rocks:
Matt: Slippery, boulder, roots, moss, fungus, streaming light, sharp, crevasse.
Nolan: Rock, tree, chipmunk, light, dark (and all the other words overheard).
From the zoo:
Matt: Rotate, tunnel, camouflage, exhibit, chimes, smelly.
Nolan: Ice cream, dirty, warthog, polar bear, mister.
From the Overlook Park:
Matt: Colorful, mushroom, poisonous, slimy, steep, drenched.
Nolan: Well, Nolan slept for most of this little hike!
We're having a great time exploring some local hiking trails and getting the kids introduced to the woods. Let's just hope we hold off the introduction to poison ivy for quite some time!