Monday, April 9

Communicating with Drew

It's hard to believe that Drew is over six months old! These months have just flown by, partly because every day and week is consumed with appointments for Drew. I was encouraged this week when talking with the mother of an implanted four year old. She told me that her life is back to normal now - hardly any visits to doctors or therapists. There is hope! The good news is that our little boy continues to grow and with each days gets closer and closer to hearing!
We took Drew for an appointment with his mapping audiologist through Columbus last week. She put Drew in the sound booth again. He showed noticeable reaction to sound at 60 db again at several different frequencies while aided. He is getting minimal benefit from his hearing aids, but at least we know he is getting something. All of our evaluations are complete and Drew will be approved as a candidate for his cochlear implants at the May Cochlear Implant Team meeting. We are hoping to go into that meeting with a surgery date already on the calendar, so keep your fingers crossed.

We are trying daily to help facilitate Drew's communication. Our house is very loud these days, as the volume of Drew's talking is on a constant incline. It's funny how use to noise we have become, but I am sure that his loudness gets on the nerves of others. At this point, however, we are so happy that he is still vocalizing, since it has been almost seven months without him hearing any conversational chatter.

We also think that Drew is really starting to understand the sign language we are using with him. Every night when we are ready to give him a bath we say, "Drew, it's time for your bath." Then we sign, "bath." Whenever we do the sign for bath, Drew gets this huge smile on his face! It is so cute and we really do think that he is understanding us. I also think that he is starting to recognize the signs "eat" and "milk" together to know that he is about to be fed. He will stop crying when he sees these signs. While I am not a huge proponent of sign language (because we are choosing an oral deaf education approach), I do think that it will help to bridge the gap in Drew's communication while he is learning to listen and communicate with his implants.

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