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.