We have doing activities with Drew on a daily basis to stimulate communication and to see if he is able to detect even the loudest of sounds with his hearing aids. We are enrolled in a monthly parent education program through the Columbus Hearing Impaired Program that gives us specific activities that can help stimulate his hearing. Our current project: sound detection. Without sound detection, we will not be able to move toward developing oral communication.
We were given several activities to help determine if Drew is getting even the slightest bit of benefit from his hearing aids. The results are not surprising to us: he is not detecting even the loudest of sounds. Our early intervention specialist told us that the majority of hearing impaired children are able to detect the beat of a very loud drum, so she sent us home with one last night. While we had fun playing with it and doing the activity with a very happy Drew, he had no idea what was going on. He just sat in his bouncy seat all smiles as we banged this drum in his ear. While it is discouraging not to see any reaction from your child as you pound on a drum less that a foot from his ear, we were not expecting any different response.
We have also been working on stimulating Drew's desire to communicate. We have "conversations" with him constantly, and every therapist that meets him is very impressed by his conversational tracking. This means that Drew is great with moving his eyes between your eyes and mouth as you speak to him. He makes excellent eye contact and will hold a conversation with you, meaning you speak, and then he will coo, grunt or squeal back at you. It is quite fun when he really gets into it! We are really encouraged by how well he is doing with his conversation at such a young age, given the fact that he has never heard a sound!
We had our first music class tonight. We enrolled in We Joy Sing as a recommendation of our early intervention specialist. She told us that a lot of hearing impaired children enjoy the vibration of the music and it stimulates interaction with other children around them. Well, Drew fell asleep! He couldn't hear anything with his hearing aids on, and they kept falling off, so we gave up! Luckily his big sister is the one officially enrolled in the class and she had a ball dancing and singing.
We're trying. One of these days an activity is going to work!