Wednesday, August 1, 2012

5 Years later!

I guess it's about time I post on this blog.  2 years is a long time with nothing new.  I'm sure this blog has been lost in cyberspace, with no more readers.  But maybe someone new will happen upon our little story and I'm sure some follow up will help! 

Corrina is 6.5, has caught up to her peer level, attend a regular public school, has good friends, loves dancing and crafts, and NEVER stops talking.  We can hardly get a word in edgewise.  She's very smart, and has some great leadership qualities already. 

Here's a quick little video of her telling us about her exciting breakfast at a restaurant. 
I'll dig around for some more videos soon cause this kid can talk!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Corrina Finding Body Parts- 3 years old

It has been an awfully long time since I updated here. I think a video will give a good show! Corrina isn't chatting much in here, but let me assure you she has become a very chatty, expressive little girl. It is amazing to hear about what is happening in her mind, what she sees around her, what she likes and dislikes, and just anything having to do with her thoughts in general! What a gift!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Corrina this Spring

This is a very long overdue post! Corrina's surgery, in November, went great! Her activation, in December, just before Christmas, also went very well. It was shocking for her to hear through another implant. I imagine that the things she was hearing were very different from the well trained sounds coming through the original implant. She became almost catatonic, going into a shell, wanting only to sit on Mom's lap with her eyes closed. This was interesting to us as parents because she is not a cuddler. After some time, and some coaxing with fun toys, she engaged in play and with the people around her. The following week was smooth, with only a few times when COrrina did not want to be wearing her new processor.
Now, 4 months later, she can tell instantly when one processor has fallen off (or gone dead!), and lets us know rather quickly. If she can she will put her own coil back in place, and try to get her microphone hook back over her ear. She is very attentive to the state of her hearing!
On certain days Corrina does so well with simple instructions, phrases of celebration, and even tones of discipline that I feel we have accomplished more than I could have imagined. Sometimes she chats up a storm at the dinner table, copying Mom and Dad's phrases, and mimicking syllable length or tone. She has even learned to say her own name in her own way: Rrrreeeeeennnaaa! Of course other days it feels like we have so much farther to go before she will be comprehending language and speaking like her peers. It is the moments of celebration and success that make the frustrations through out each day bearable and worthwhile!

Like a normal little 2 year old girl, Corrina has been working on learning to clean-up after herself (I haven't caught it on video yet, but she will sometimes sing the 'clean-up' song!), learning which toys she can and cannot play catch with, embarking on imaginative adventures (being a little queen or a power ranger... the debate is still out on this one!), and of course learning to potty train. Her understanding of the words and sounds around her seems to be growing exponentially this month. I do believe that we have the second implant to thank for this! We have noticed that Corrina picks up new words and phrases quicker than she seemed to with one implant. Of course age of development play a role in this ease of learning, however her ability to listen, discriminate and imitate using two ears is excellent!
Corrina's new favorite 'character' is Elmo. She is very clear in communicating with words when she would like to watch Elmo. I find it rather amusing that at this point she can say his name better than ours (mama and Daddy that is...). We like to tell ourselves that this is due to the simplicity of the name Elmo, rather than a measure of love. Only Corrina really knows though... She can be rather demanding thus her many requests to watch Elmo have provided opportunities to learn about manners and limits.
I think this photo needs a little explanation. Before going to bed Corrina wanted to carry her little baby around between the snaps in her pj's. She spent the evening like this, watching closely over her sleeping baby. When we lied her down in her crib she really did not like the idea of her little baby sleeping elsewhere, so we thought what's the harm really, and left her with her baby. Obviously she is a big fan of co-sleeping, as we returned to find her still taking close care of her 'twin'. I can't believe how similar the two look when they are sleep! Now to sew a lady bug suit, or convince Anne Geddes to photograph Corrina....

Above all we are doing out best to enjoy Corrina during this stage of independence. She is such a joyful little darling, quick to learn, and quick to laugh!
Here is a little video of her jumping around...enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Congratulations Corrina!

We live in Canada. Currently our Government considers hearing with two ears as 'experimental' and will not provide the funds necessary for our daughter to receive bilateral cochlear implantation. Due to the fact that this bilateral implants are available in Canada, in other provinces, we wrote to out minister of health demanding that they stop discriminating against our children based on their disability (if Corrina had risidual hearing she would be fitted with an aid in her 'better' ear but because she does not she is told that hearing with one ear is enough) and based on their location. We request to have a bilateral surgery preformed in Newfoundland, which is the very East Coast of Canada, because if we lived in Newfoundland the Provincial Health Care system there would pay for the operation. We sent a letter stating our demands, along with a recommendation from our ENT, about 2 months ago. Just this past week, late October, we received a letter stating that the Government would in fact pay for all the costs of surgery! CORRINA WILL HEAR WITH TWO EARS BY CHRISTMAS! We are excited for her current learning, and thrilled about the impact this will have on her future opportunities!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Receptive Language

Simply put, it's time for a new post! But only a teeny tiny one!
Attention, new link under resources section: The listening Room! This page features wonderful printable murals, charts, songs, pictures, stories, games, etc for AV therapy!

Corrina's receptive language has increased five fold! She now, at 3 1/2 months of hearing, can understand the meaning of her name, bye bye, hello, mmmmm (yummy), shhh go to sleep, no (yahoo!), stop, aaaa for airplane, hot and shoes. She is also continuing to mimic many sounds or intonations we make, like a, a, a for up, up, up, or longer aaaa's when we stretch a word out. She also repeats mmmmm while eating, but in the most cute way I have ever heard. It is so purposeful and quite; she looks very serious while letting us know that something tastes good! Right now I am also enjoying that she knows the word hot. We started teaching it to her with an action: put your pointer finger on object for just a second and quickly pull it away! It is so cute to tell her that things she loves are hot, like pooh bear, and watch her check for heat! Anyway, she knows so many concepts and words very well now. I am finding she knows more than I think she does daily. We are so proud of her and all the hard work she does!

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!

Monday, July 9, 2007


Although I do not have anything new to report I thought I would write a little post anyway for all those hoping for some words from us. We are working hard on composing our bilateral implant request letters and would ask, if you are a person who prays, for you to say a small prayer for us and those who will be deciding about the procedure. We desperately hope that Corrina will receive an implant because she is a very bright little person and having the ability to hear better, localize sound, and pay attention in noisy places seems like such an important thing. But, we also cannot foresee the future so while we feel this is best we are trusting that whatever the outcome is God has Corrina and her life in his hands.
Corrina had alot of fun playing with a toy slide today; climbing up the stairs with her fingers she would reach the top and slide her fingers all the way down, we would all say Weeeeeeeee, and she would laugh! We saw her waiting her turn very patiently and responding to sounds said very quietly.
Corrina loves to make noises by sticking out her tongue and blowing (spit everywhere)! She does this alot in the car. We are teaching her other 'mouth' noises to help make all of this fun. It also teaches her to engage her vocal muscles, something she has little experience with.
I tried to take a picture of Dave and I doing some therapy time at home:

They didn't work out as I had hoped, but here you can see that we are playing with fruit saying "cut, cut cut!" and "yummmy food!"