Monday, June 18, 2007

Hearing is believing

Small steps: You can SEE when Corrina is HEARING (or better said listening intently)!

This post is going to be detailed 1. So i remember the things we did 2. as a resource 3. just to bring you along on the journey
Today in AV therapy we started with a game to help Corrina concentrate and listen. Our AV therapist (I'll call her D) had a container of water, a tall narrow container, on the middle of the table. She has two colors of food dye for Corrina to choose from (we all love choices!). Corrina wanted to add yellow. We talked about yellow for a bit! Next Corrina got to choose between a choo choo or a roar roar. Once item was chosen Daddy had a turn putting item to his ear, and listening for a noise (ahhhh, shhhhhh, mmmmm, etc...) and when he heard the sound he dropped it in the jug of water. Corrina had so much fun listening, waiting and watching the toy plunk down in the water. I had fun making little comments like when the dinosaur went in the water "oh, not, don't drown me, i'm already extinct!" The short of the long, Corrina worked very hard to wait and listen. It is wonderful to See her hearing!
The next game we played was with a baby doll to teach Corrina about sleepy time words. We would all pass baby around the circle-- while Corrina watched wondering why the heck we took the baby from her-- and tell it "shhhhhh (finger at lip), time to go to sleep". When Corrina's turn came up she lay the baby down, put her finger to her lip and stared intently into the baby's eyes. It was sooooo cute and funny. Then we all took turns going to sleep, and when D would say "Wake Up" we would quickly lift our heads up from the table! IT was a hoot.
Next we worked through the parts of our faces with Potatoes heads. Corrina and Dave had a nice bonding moment because we all know that Dave LOOOVVVEES potatoes heads! We sang head and shoulders knees and toes....

Each session is packed full of activities and songs, play and talking! We also do an audiology session each week and Corrina responded very well to the noises presented. When she heard the noise we showed her to put a toy into a bucket. She responded about 6 times before she got bored. The audiologist is trying to work down to the lower decibels of sound just to make sure that Corrina is hearing them. I think they made it down to 40 decibels this week, which is great keeping in mind that Corrina heard nothing at 90 dec before her implant.

I told dave to start little posts if something happens that he wants to record. I found this in the list:
Today June 11?
Corrina heard herself burp, and laughed a lot

Very nice!

Actually Corrina has been making a number of different noises. She has always made an 'aaaaa' noise, but now it has some 'oooooo's' and g's sorta... very interesting. She is alot more vocal as well, often making lots of sounds when she is excited! Dave has the camera at work right now, but i will do my best to catch some of the sounds on video soon because they are better heard than written!

Monday, June 11, 2007

I hear that!

Today at AV therapy we saw Corrina focus, look and listen to a cow mooing! She watched as we passed the cow (which mooed on it's own) from person to person, everyone taking a turn to hold cow to ear and say "Oh, I hear that, the cow says moo". Corrina was so eager for her turn that she stilled, waited for the cow to be at her ear, widened her eyes and let out a big sigh! She was so excited to listen! She was very tired during this appointment but kept her patience as she learned to wait her turn, concentrate on the toy before her, and of course listen to sounds!
We have many goals for the week that include certain words and phrases to teach while she plays. The most interesting of the goals in my opinion is the 'cause and effect' we are teaching her. She needs to learn that words are powerful. Many children her age understand, for instance, that saying please makes a difference (whether they sign it, or say it!) and has when asking for something they would like. Corrina needs to learn that words have power! So before we stack a block to build a tower we say "Up, uuupppp, uuuuppp," then we bring out the block and put it up, up up! My favorite is the airplane which goes something like this "Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, aaahhhhh...." then the airplane come out of nowhere, flying overhead, all over the room, then lands in front of Corrina! She loves to follow and listen, looking from the airplane to the speaker, connecting the sound and sight! (we still need to buy an airplane toy for at home... this was all at AV therapy).

I would like to figure out how to link this blog to a simple page that has the (boring) specifics, like every word that we will be working on just as a resource to those who either would like to teach their children who are hearing to help with language development, or just for the curious at heart. (claire, how might i do that??? without starting yet another blog??)

Dave is coloring pictures of dogs, airplanes, cows, etc.. so that we can hang around the house so Corrina can learn to associate words with objects/pictures even further.

We are having tuna casserole for dinner! Mmmmmmm (thought i would add something homey in there!)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Cereal Box

This morning I had Corrina at the table and I pulled out a box of Raisin Bran and shoke it beside my ear and said "Oh! I hear that" Corrina's eyes got wide and she smiled, so I shock it beside her head and then mine and kept saying "I hear that. Do you hear that?" She seemed interested and responsive, but maybe she just thought it was funny. -Dave

Janie here: Corrina attended day care for the first time with her hearing ear! There was alot of noise and when children were screaming she did react to the loud sound by pulling her coil off. I imagine this will be a stimulating environment for her both in good ways and in ways that will tire her out! Her one on one worker is attentive to her needs and really cares for Corrina which means Corrina will receive lots of speaking and listening attention. Our auditory-verbal therapists (AVT) visited our one-on-one worker today to teach her all about talking with Corrina in the daycare environment. That time went really well so we are encouraged to know that while Corrina is at daycare she will be benefiting from the great play environment that she is in! Right now she is still at daycare so I will have a better report of her day later tonight!

Just the other day i sewed pockets onto a few tank tops that Corrina will wear as undershirts. The pockets are for her processor to sit in so she doesn't need to wear a harness or have the processor clipped onto her shirt. There is a company that makes these but I decided it would be more cost effective to make my own. I just found some other tank tops that will be perfect for more pockets... I'd better get sewing!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

In the beginning

*There are a number of links throughout this post to provide you, the reader, with an enriched experience of knowledge without interrupting the flow of the story. Please do educate yourself by following the links if you would like information and definitions for further understanding!*

If you are interested a number of links are listed at the end of this post that journal our adventures on our family blog. Posts from the initial hearing tests to her activation, just this week, are listed! Enjoy!

Our story:

We were first introduced to the idea that Corrina may be deaf when I was having lunch with a friend and her mother. They have a niece in their family that is also profoundly deaf and was implanted with a cochlear implant 10 years ago. The mother just mentioned that while Corrina was playing very nicely on her own she hadn't made a peep, which for a 6 month old is really odd. No one had ever suggested that she wasn't hearing, but as this family had experience with a deaf child we took the thought seriously and eventually investigated into a potential hearing loss. Our first visit with our doctor, who is a GP and not a pediatrician, resulted in a referral for an infant hearing test, although the doctor really did not think she wasn't hearing. Luckily he is a smart guy and said "I have learned after many years of practice to listen to the mom!"
After 3 appointments with the same audiologist in a sound booth and very inconsistent results we were referred to Winnipeg Children's Hospital for an ABR which verified that indeed Corrina was profoundly deaf (they indicated amount of hearing loss using the words mild, moderate, severe, severe to profound, and profound). That was in January. We were then given loads of information regarding the different options for families of deaf children. We decided, after visiting each clinic/center, to have a cochlear implant for Corrina and to pursue therapy at Central Speech and Hearing Clinic, which is now were we go sometimes twice a week for audiology and therapy. Corrina visited Sick Kids hospital in Toronto, Canada, on May 1st, 2007 for her implantation surgery which went was successful with a speedy recovery. It is important to understand that in regards to deciding to integrate Corrina into the hearing world through a cochlear implant that this was the right choice for our family, but certainly not the right choice for every family. We hope to have Corrina learn sign language as a second language (perhaps once she has started school) so that she is able to make a choice for herself one day, as well so that she can be involved in the deaf community, a rich opportunity we would not want her to miss out on.
This blog will detail the exciting and mundane speech and listening milestones that Corrina accomplishes. We cannot say was we expect to see in the next month even as each child moves at their own pace through the stages of speech. Many links are listed in the sidebar for anyone interested in understanding more about hearing loss. If you suspect that your child is having difficulty hearing, either a small or large amount, please do investigate as clear hearing and speech are a very integral part of all children's development. Link

We welcome comments and questions about the process. We would love to hear your story or visit your blog if you too have a child with a hearing loss; please let us know you have come by and read our stories!

Here are the links to our original posts as we went through the process of discovering Corrina's hearing loss (from our family blog):

From the beginning:

Does she hear what I hear?
What we Know (A post about her ABR hearing test)
Choices to make (to implant or not to implant, that is the question!)
Hearing Aid Time
Bilateral Implant? (still working on getting funding for this actually)
Surgery is a Go!
Post Surgery
The moment we've all been waiting for: Corrina's Activation (video's up soon)!