I will be leaving early tomorrow morning for Cincinnati Children's Hospital where Drew will undergo a wide range of testing. This will determine if he is a candidate for cochlear implants, and if so, how well they think Drew will be able to communicate orally after the surgery.
Through an aural and speech evaluation, the audiologist and speech pathologist will be able to determine if there are any structural challenges that Drew may have to over come. These could include jaw and tongue deformities. He will also undergo a developmental and behavioral evaluation to determine if there are any issues with his cognitive ability. Learning to communicate orally could be hindered by a learning disability, so they want to try to rule that out. Also, he will have an ophthalmology appointment to rule out any eye problems. There are many syndromes that cause hearing loss and eye problems, so it is performed simply as a precaution.
We were most excited for our cat scan, which was scheduled for Thursday. To us, this is the most important piece of his evaluation. We want to make sure that Drew was born with a cochlea. The only way a cochlear implant will be done is if he has a cochlea. It has, however, been rescheduled. We learned today that you must be born full term or be 60 weeks post conception to have an out patient cat scan. Since Drew was born one day shy of full term, he would have to spend the night in the hospital after a cat scan. Since it is not medically necessary at this point, it has been postponed for about 12 weeks, which will put him 60 weeks post conception. We were disappointed to learn of this today, since this was the evaluation most important to us. But, as I have discussed in this blog before, having a child with a disability requires a lot of patience.