Monday, July 14, 2008

Back Home and Getting Ready ...

... for all of Aiden's upcoming appointments! It was a nice two weeks off, but we're home and back into the swing of things. Aiden has really done a lot the past couple of weeks! I cannot believe how fast he is growing and changing! I have to say too, his hearing aids have become such a daily routine ... almost like changing his diaper, they go in when he gets up and come out when he lays down. The buzzing can drive me crazy, but I've become good friends with Otoferm!

This is what we've been working on the past few weeks:

The Listening Box - this is a box that we put all kinds of objects in for Aiden's learning to listen sounds, like different animals, an airplane, a car, etc. Of course, before I got pregnant with Aiden I sent many huge bags of baby toys to Goodwill, including the Little People garage and two barns with all the animals! The sounds we're working on right now (using a very "mama drama" voice as our AVT Miss Becky calls it):

  • airplane - aaaaaahhhhhh (long sound with different pitches)
  • sheep - baa-baa-baa (short sound - same pitch)
  • cow - mooooooo (long sound at same pitch)
  • cat - meeeeeoooow (long sound with different pitches)
  • duck - quack-quack (short sound with same pitch)
  • car - brrrrrrm with a BEEP BEEP at the end
  • train - chug-a-chug CHOOO CHOOO

This is how our at home therapy typically works:

"Aiden, listen." (as I point to my ear)

"Airplane." (say object but don't show it ... we call this "Tell then show"

"aaaaaahhhhhh, aaaahhhhh, aaaaahhhhh" (make sound of object)

"Airplane." (show Aiden the object)

"aaaaahhhhh, aaaaahhhh, aaaahhhh" (create sound with object moving around)

Then I give the object to Aiden to check out, which, of course, goes right in his mouth . Babies learn through their senses and since Aiden can't hear, he is learning even more through his sight, taste, and hands. After he's done exploring the object, I say, "Bye-bye airplane", then put it away then ...

"Here comes more." (Then I start all over with "listen Aiden" and a new object. I'm not sure why, but I was told to use the word "more" a lot. This is a question I have for this week's session.)

Peek-a-Boo and Pat-a-Cake - We play these all the time and Aiden just loves them! Especially pat-a-cake. He gets the biggest grin on his face and laughs out loud when we "throw it in the pan!"

Vocal Play - This is where Aiden and I have our mommy-baby talks. They are so much fun! It's amazing to watch how he belts something out then will stop and wait for me. He watches my face so intensely then gets so excited to babble back! We hope that he hears himself make these sounds (even a little) and then he sees my reaction to them by me repeating the sound as well as me showing excitement. If he were to realize that nothing happens when he makes the sounds, then he'll stop making them. We all do a lot of vocal play with him!

Aiden's first booth test showed he may hear low frequency sounds in the 75-80 db range. This range does not include any speech sounds, but we're hoping his brain is detecting a short sound vs. a long sound. We're hoping that when a sound is made, he's realizing there is something there and is getting a good jump start to listening. This is also preparing us all for the therapy once Aiden receives his implants, which we're still praying he is a candidate for.

Aiden's recent milestones include:

  • gaaaaaa's and kaaaaa's sounds
  • da-da-da-da sound when he starts winding up and getting mad (of course Aiden's daddy takes this as his first word! : )
  • short a and long a sounds
  • rolling from belly to side
  • grasping objects with both hands and bringing right to his mouth
  • reaching for objects with both hands (we just saw this for the first time this weekend!)
  • starting to hold his bottle
  • Belly laughing! I love this!
  • Frightened cry ... he's starting to cry when someone he doesn't know talks to him or when he seems to get frightened by a sudden movement.

The appointments we have this week are:

ENT - I can't wait for this one. We're mainly going in to see about Aiden's brachial cleft sinus. BUT, being the anxious mom I am, I am also going to ask lots of questions about the cochlear implant candidacy process. I'm hoping to get the MRI done the same time they do his surgery to close up this hole, why sedate him more than needed!

ECI - I haven't really posted about my ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) crew, I will soon. They are all wonderful! We have a Teacher of the Deaf (TOD) and an Occupational Therapist (OT) who will visit this week.

Four Month Well-Baby Visit - I can't believe my baby is four months already!

Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) - We see Miss Becky this week and Miss Helen next (we rotate between the two each week).

(Our wonderful team of professionals and the role they play in our life is a post all on it's own ... I'll post this soon).

Then next week we go back to the audiologist for another booth test and to adjust his hearing aids. Very, very busy, but all well worth it! I have to say, working with Aiden has become quite fun! It is amazing to watch my baby grow ... in all ways! Every time he flashes that big grin at me just melts my heart! I know he's going to be okay; I have faith it is all going to work out; I have hope my baby will hear and speak one day and right now we're working hard to get there.


leahlefler said...

Wow- I love all the sounds he is making! I need to make a "listening box." We are so late in the game with Nolan since we didn't have appropriate services until very recently. We have the little people garage, but I think I'm going to get the barn for Nolan's 1st birthday.

Good luck with all the appointments this week- these little guys can sure keep everyone busy!

Mom to Toes said...

What a fantastic description of your therapy sessions!

I have a friend with a little girl around Aiden's age that also has a cleft like that - but it is right under her nose. She hasn't had her MRI yet.

Your blog is excellent. Really excellent.

elizabeth said...

Yay! It sounds like Aiden is growing and learning new things right before your eyes! How exciting!

tammy said...

Leah - One of the reasons I love all these blogs is because of the things we share and learn from each other. I love the activities you post on your blog ... they give me other ideas to work on with Aiden! I've been getting objects from Target and the dollar store. I figure that's cheaper right now than buying the whole barn for a 4 mth old!

MTT - Thanks so much for your nice comments! I'm interested in what they say about your friend's little girl's cleft when she gets her MRI. Guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Elizabeth - I'll be in next Friday for therapy .. hopefully we can chat more than the last time!

Cattle said...

Great blog! Thanks for the updates.

tammy said...

Hey Cattle!
Thanks for keeping up with Aiden and all that's going on! Wish we could've visited you all with Mike! Hope you can come down this way again soon! Miss you tons!