Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Corrina Name game

I haven't written in a while because I have been focusing on our family blog for the most part! Perhaps it is silly to have divided this Corrina blog from the family blog, but in part I decided to do this to keep lengthy descriptions of activities and development separate from such things as trips to the zoo, evenings out with friends, and funny toddler things Corrina does. But, having done this I don't always get around to posting 2 separate notes. The other reason this blog as been stagnant is because we hadn't been to therapy in awhile, as well, we have had a number of adventures regarding Corrina's hardware (processor, coil).

A few weeks ago Corrina began to violently rip her coil off her head during meal times, play times, and car trips. We first saw this as looking for our attention, either to say "I'm bored in the high chair" or "talk to me now!", and sometimes even "If you don't give me what I want I will rip it off and you will have to come over to me!" Yes, I assume she is that smart!
So, after two broken coils (one was sent back with many new decorative engravings called teeth marks, the other was sent back in two pieces), and many conversations about behavior modification/discipline with our audiologist and therapist, our audiologist mentioned that we should check the programs in Corrina's processor. Once we had the processor hooked up to the computer it became evident why the coil was coming off all the time: 7 of the 22 electrodes were 'red flagged', in other words, not working. I thought perhaps this meant that there was a problem with the internal equipment, but luckily it was just the pink processor that sits behind her ear that seems to be broken. We sent this back, on warranty and in the meantime Corrina is using a loner processor.
Here is the amazing part: as soon as the new processor was hooked up Corrina was suddenly happy and responsive. Looking back I don't know why it took us so long to notice that she wasn't hearing properly and was living in a state of frustration and discomfort. It was easy to see that the new processor was allowing her to hear very well, but I suppose the seven electrodes failed over time creating a subtle difference that we did not pick up on. Poor kid! But all is well now.
Actualy, it was quite cute what Corrina did that day in sound booth after reviving her hearing: she decided that she would be the audiologist and started directing (with gestures and noises) the therapist to listen to toys and such. She was also very eager to play listening games and we successfully made it through the Linge sounds (ooo, aaa, eee, mmmm, shhh, sssss) at a quiet volume. We noticed such a drastic difference in her therapy session swhen her processor was broken and fixed!

To finish off this post I will leave everyone with a neat therapy idea that has helped us teach Corrina her name. We have noticed that Corrina of course cares most about noises that have some fun game attached, like "shhhh, put your baby to sleep." Actually, Corrina is doing so well with this sound and action that I can say, without any action, "shhh, go to sleep Corrina" and she will gather her bedtime teddy and go to her crib! But, we were not seeing any results or awareness of her name so asked our therapist for ideas. She taught us a simple "Name Game", it goes like this:
Materials: Two adults or coaches
A bag of treasures (something the child does not play with all the time: jewelry, stickers, candies maybe! etc...)
Corrina and Daddy stand on one side of the room. Mommy stands a few meters away. Corrina and Daddy face away from Mommy. Mommy calls "Corrina", waits for a response, calls "Corrina" waits for a response, and only call one more time "Corrina." If child does not respond Daddy, after second or third call, turns Corrina around and sends her over to Mommy. Mommy gives her a treasure and send her back to Daddy. Corrina and Daddy face away again, and Mommy calls our for "Corrina". This time, if child did not respond to call Daddy turn child around right after second call to make sure she knows 'turn around when called'. Again, Corrina collects a treasure and returns to Daddy. Sometimes Corrina stays and plays with Mommy for a second. Lots of praise is given and Corrina is celebrated when she comes on her own.
After a few rounds Corrina began to turn around on her own after hearing her name once! She enjoyed having jewelry all over her fingers and wrists! Soon we began to decorate Mommy to, and then we ran out. Good time to stop!
To be sure, after sending the child back across the room stand a wait a bit to make sure child is waiting for the call and not just turning around. Play with the waiting time a little, increasing or decreasing to make it more fun. Switch adults around, or use new treasures on different days. Our therapist instructed us NOT TO call more than 3 times because we don't want her name to become white, meaningless noise. As well, this works best if it is only played once a day, if that. Of course this game is to teach the child that their name has meaning and is a good thing to listen for. In everyday life when the child shows that they are listening and turning to their name be sure to offer lots of praise so they enjoy looking for their name when not playing the game! Keep naming hearing positive!


Laurie said...

Corrina is one smart little girl! She looks so precious, too! You are doing a great job with her!

Anonymous said...

You are doing a wonderful job with beautiful Corrina!!!!!! I was born profoundly deaf (1948)Speech therapy at 3 + 4. Successful hearing aid user (phone too) for 39 years starting 1st grade. Never saw ASL til I was 22. LOL!! More hearing loss '93, I became a candidate for the C I. Insurance took forever. Surgery '95. Wonderful!!!!. 2003 was seeing more at HLAA Conv w/2 CI. Had my 2nd CI 2006. Two is not louder but more details. Love my N22 + Freedom. Best wishes to you all and YES you made the right decision. Molly from FL

bre said...

great post, friends.

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

It's Ethan's mom from Ohio. We also had 7 electrodes shorting out on Ethan's freedom and the only thing alerting us was his constant removal of the external parts. The electrodes were intermittantly shorting and further testing showed that some of them weren't getting enough electrical current...we never found out what the cause of the problem was, and it eventually corrected itself. Cochlear Corp. told us that it was happening in less than 1% of implantees. So if it happens again, I'll definitely ask to see if it's the processor causing the problem.

I love that you post AV ideas, thanks for taking the extra time to do so even though you maintain a family blog.

-Heather in Ohio

Sandra said...

Just found your blog from another blog. Our oldest daughter got her CI at 16 months of age. She is now 5 1/2 and doing extremely well. Most people don't even realize she is deaf; that is how clear her speech is. Corrina is a cutie!!!

Jack said...

Great post,Thats really nice to see this post.

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