The day we fitted Aiden for hearing aids, they told us not to expect much from him in the means of seeing reactions - he had a profound loss, he was DEAF and they probably wouldn't do much. It tore me up inside. I wanted my baby to hear my voice NOW not later. I refused to believe them and I fed my child every ounce of language and all the listening opportunities I could. I became a walking auditory verbal model. I put his hearing aids on when he woke up and took them off when he slept; and after a month or so of still not seeing a reaction, I didn't quit. At Aiden's first soundbooth, post hearing aids, he tested around 80db across frequencies. By the time he was 9 months old, they questioned holding off on his simultaneous CI surgery as he was testing up to 50 db across frequencies. HE LOVES TO LISTEN.
Before Aiden's CI surgery, I set up a schedule with our audiologist for Aiden's multitude of mapping appointments. I wanted both ears to be activated at once, she did not feel comfortable with that want. In fact, there was a seven week gap between activations. Our audiologist provided a good explanation of how she wanted to be conservative and make sure Aiden adjusted to his first "new ear" before mapping the second. I took a deep breath and trusted her. After his first two mapping appointments, within the week, Aiden tested at 25 db across frequencies and we moved up the second ear activation by over four weeks. HE LOVES TO LISTEN.
Throughout much of our journey, Aiden has been a rockstar; awing his team of professionals and showing them just how much he truly does love to listen.
Fast forward to November and Aiden's speech evaluation at his school. At this point he is 8 months post activation and receptively tested at five months! I drove home in tears. Aiden's audi came back from maternity soon after and between her and Aiden's school, we found out his map was VERY off. We also found out that he had some sensory integration issues and additional OT issues. I felt like I was going to break down. I had worked so hard since this little man was brought into my world and I didn't know what else I had in me. I felt we were back at square one.
Since our move to Ohio from Maryland, we've met with our new AVT and today we met our new audiologist. Both, highly recommended professionals in their league. Both told me the same thing our wonderful audiologist back at Hopkins said,
"He's responding to all the lings at good levels across all frequencies, he shows he understands receptively, he's only 10 months "hearing", he has a wonderful personality, no he doesn't have much of a vocabulary, BUT I'm not worried about him because I can tell ... HE LOVES TO LISTEN!"
I really need to take a step back and READJUST ... not my expectations, because I will always carry high expectations for all of my kids ... but my FAITH - in myself and what I do not only as Aiden's teacher, but as his MOTHER.
To start thinking first in terms of how far he's come - of the POSITIVES; and not of what he's lacking.
Aiden's world doesn't have to be all about therapy all.of.the.time. Yes, we make each moment a teachable one as much as possible, but it's okay to LET IT GO now and then ... in fact, I'm finding out it's quite healthy.
Remember that everyday this boy makes me smile, makes me laugh, and there's not a day that goes by that I'm not SIMPLY.AMAZED.
He will dance when he wants to dance. And I will.not.stop playing music videos, dancing, and singing my heart out to him.
He will say some form of "shoe" (instead of grunt) when he's ready to say "shoe" and by golly, after all the silly monkey sounds, tapping on my "tEEEEEth" and "bEEp-bEEps" I've done, one day he'll screech out that "EE".
He will SAY some form of his brother and sister's name because I will continue to repeat it over and over and over again until he does.
He will get the /p/ and the /oo/ and the /ee/ and put them all together yelling "POOPEE" throughout the store at the top of his lungs ... and as he does, I'll just laugh, knowing I worked on all three of those damn sounds since the summer of 2009!