Monday, November 30, 2009

Proof is in the Pointing

Taylor is now pointing at words in her books if we ask her to. This is the best evidence ever! And particularly handy since she is only 17 months old and most kids wouldn't point out things at 17 months. So far, she has pointed to airplane, flower, fish, and bottle when asked. I'm sure she knows more words... It's a limited attention span that gets us. :) We are thrilled to have this evidence of her learning and progress. Taylor is also babbling a lot more these days. She will try to "sing" along with music. She really loves The Little Einsteins and singing with their characters. "Aaaahhhhhhhhh!" as they are trying to make the airplane fly higher and higher. If she hears anyone laugh, she looks to see where it is coming from and usually joins in with laughter of her own! I can tell that she LOVES being able to hear with us! We can't wait to get the Nucleus 5, the upgraded version of the sound processor. Thanks for your notes and comments.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Learning Language

For Halloween, Taylor was a little leopard, and Derek was a Chicago Bears football player. They were both so cute. The weather was great! It was a good night.
Taylor has really been progressing. I don't know where November has gone. We are already planning Thanksgiving, and this is my first post of the month.
For the first month or so post-activation, Taylor made lots of meaningless sound. She was always a pretty noisy kid (so much for the stereotype that deaf kids are mute), and once she had the CI's, she was constantly making noise, especially if she was upset or bored. I would try to start singing or make some interesting sound to get her attention back to "listening." Starting about 2 weeks ago, or 6 -7 weeks post-activation, that noise-making really dropped off. She is really quiet most of the time, unless we take her Ears off... then she is back to chattering, but she doesn't realize it. She is still saying Mama, and MMMmmm (as in food is GOOD), and she will still say Mama even without her Ears on if she wants me.
Overall, although the list of words that we think she knows continues to grow, I am feeling frustrated at how to teach her that she has own voice. She has "Mama" down; she does do some high-pitched squealing; if we're singing, she will try to hum along. We (mom and dad) would like to see more babbling or exploring her voice. Trying to put myself in her shoes, I can see that she is concentrating so hard on figuring out all of the sounds and the meaning of the words that we are saying. From that perspective, I am thrilled. She is trying to hard to absorb, absorb. She will sit through 10 books or more! (at 17 months) Her attention span is impressive (at least to me.)
I'll close with a description of our last therapy appointment:
We were playing with our AV therapist. The whole family came to the appointment - Mom, Dad, Derek and Taylor. We were taking turns playing with some toys, and got to a drum. It was Taylor's turn to play the drum, and she was banging away. The therapist said "Stop," and Taylor just stopped and held the drumsticks in the air. We were shocked! So, we decided to test it again. She was playing away, the therapist said "stop," and she stopped right away. Same thing, drumsticks in the air, she just froze. The third time we tried it, Dad said "stop," and again she stopped. We did it again just to make sure she really knew "Stop", and does she ever!
I'm fairly sure that she has heard me say "stop" about 200 times in the two months that she's had Ears. After all, she has a two-year old brother.