Friday, May 16, 2008

Dr. Jane Madell Seminar

Today Mike and I went to a seminar on hearing loss. It was for educators, health care professionals, and parents. Dr. Jane Madell Director of the Hearing and Learning Center in New York, was the speaker and she was awesome! Some of it was just statistics for the audiologists, speech therapists, etc., but a lot of it was really great information! When we walked in (with Aiden), she stopped the class and welcomed us and told us babies are welcome ... and then held Aiden as she continued to speak! She was very good! She sat with the parents for lunch (there were about 7 of us) and answered questions. Each of us parents had a different story - one child was just beginning to go deaf at age 7 (how scary for that poor child!), one had auditory neuropathy and the parents believe she can hear, but can't process what she hears, another had a little boy who spent 7 months in the NICU and the drugs keeping him alive caused his hearing loss - the baby still has a traech (sp?) too. We were the only ones with a baby diagnosed as a newborn. The little boy with a traech just had his first cochlear implant at 12 months and was activated to hear at 14 mths. As he told the story about the activation day tears filled his eyes! I got chills all over and started crying with him! How awesome it must feel the day your baby's ears are "turned on" and they hear for the first time!!!! I can't wait for Aiden's "hearing birthday"! Just thinking about it puts a huge smile on my face!!! Oh how I pray that my baby is a candidate for cochlear implants! Just think, 2 months ago I had never even heard of this amazing technology!

Anyway, we met some great professionals there too! We met Becky Clem, who will be one of Aiden's audio verbal therapists, Helen Morrison who is another well known researcher/therapist with TCU Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic, and our new audiologist Tracy! All of them approached us, and without ever meeting us before knew exactly who we were! It felt so comforting knowing they're already looking out for us and ready to go full force with Aiden's therapy! What a great day ... and the best part about it, Aiden was such a joy all day long! It's like he knew we were there to learn more about him!

Oh yeah, I forgot too that they told us about an AGBell convention (which Mike realized silently and then out loud, laughing at himself, that AG stands for Alexander Graham Bell - haha! It is an assoc. for the deaf and hard of hearing) in MILWAUKEE, WI!!! It's a huge convention they have twice a year for deaf/hoh families. And the best part is that it is the last week of June! We were planning a trip to mom's (who lives in Oshkosh, 1 hour away) for the Fourth of July, so we'll just go a little earlier! Not only will it be another great resource avenue for our family, but I can introduce my mom to Aiden's world! How exciting!


Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you and Mike! You guys are taking the step to finding out tons of information for your son. Don't know if this helps but my mom is Chief of Staff for TCU. She has great connections with the hearing clinic there. Please let me know if she can ever help you guys out! My daughter has been diagonsed with a disorder that also effects her hearing. God knows your heart and he hears our prayers.
Brett Wilson

MB said...

Glad you will be at the convention. Maybe we will meet you there! Marielle will be in the kids' program while her dad and I go to all the sessions.