Today we had our monthly parent education meeting through the Regional Infant Hearing Program here in Columbus. I should say bi-monthly in this case, since we were snowed in for our February meeting! Our parent educator had not seen Drew since January, so I think she was really excited to see how much he has grown in the last two months. All of the staff at the AG Bell School is always smitten with our charming little boy and he put on a nice little cooing show for them before our appointment!
Today the teacher and the audiologist decided to put Drew in the "booth," a ritual that I am sure to become accustom to in the coming months and years. This sound booth allows them to test what Drew is able to hear while wearing his hearing aids. They ran the test across different frequencies and decibels. I am happy to report that we saw noticeable reactions (did you notice that was plural?) to different sounds, including a drum at 60db and a set of maracas at 55db! It was so much fun for me to watch him react to the sound - this was the first time that I actually could see a reaction in him. I hope to have many more experiences like today!
The teacher tested some sounds several times to make sure we were really seeing a reaction from Drew. Testing a six-month-old baby is very difficult, so you have to look not only for a reaction (such as turning in the direction of the sound), but also for any change in behavior while the sound is playing or once it is absent. One time Drew reacted by jumping while I was holding him on my lap. Another time, his breathing got really fast, like the sound was stressing him out! Then his breathing slowed when the sound went away! Both the teacher and audiologist were laughing about the idea of putting a child into respiratory distress from a hearing test - that would be a first!
I'm not getting myself too excited about the test today, as this level is still not enough to get Drew's hearing into the speech banana for developing his communication, but it is very encouraging that he is able to detect some sound! And it makes putting the hearing aids in his ears each morning a little more worthwhile. Anything we can do now to stimulate Drew's auditory nerve is only going to help him once he receives his cochlear implants!
It was a beautiful day...the sun was out and it was a reasonably warm day. Spring is almost here. Oh, and Drew heard something!