If you've been following along with us during the last several months, you know that even though Drew now has his bilateral cochlear implants, we all have much work to do. Right now, his work includes several therapy sessions per month with professionals, and many with the "I'm not an AVT, but I play one on TV" Drew's Mom and Dad.
Earlier this week I took Drew to his therapy session and arrived almost 30 minutes late due to idiotic reliance on Mapquest Driving Directions. Usually they're perfect, but every once in a while you end up in the middle of nowhere.
We could not do as much practice as we would have liked, but Drew did respond to all the "Ling" sounds at close range and was localizing where the sounds were coming from (i.e. turning to the right or left depending on where the therapist was speaking from).
One interesting thing that I learned was that hearing develops spatially from side to side before above and below. For example, when the therapist rang bells from below a table where Drew could not see them, he made an expression which seemed to say "I hear something, but I have no earthly idea where it is!". When the bells were rung above his head he indicated the same confusion. Meanwhile, ringing them to his left or right resulted in an immediate swivel of the head toward the sound.
I feel he is doing very well at this point. I don't really know how to judge whether the map is finely tuned or not, but there is definite indication that he does get a great deal of hearing benefit from the implants, and we look forward to more leaps and bounds in the coming weeks.