Thursday, July 23

Moog Summer Workshop: Therapy

While Drew's Dad and I were in the Parent Sessions learning about Modeling & Imitation, Language Development or Cochlear Implant Mapping, to name a few topics, Drew was in a classroom and in therapy sessions. While we were at the conference, Drew received four hours of individual therapy. This is more than he has received all summer! With the state of Ohio in a budget crisis, the funds to our Regional Infant Hearing Program were reduced by over 50%, thus changing our services from weekly to monthly.

Drew's therapist at Moog, Michelle, was wonderful! Drew responded really well to her, and did well during his sessions. Michelle was really investigating Drew's language progress, both expressively and receptively, to see if there were in gaps in his language or things we have been missing.

One of the struggles with Drew continues to be his stubbornness. During therapy, Michelle would work on a task with Drew to see how many critical elements he can understand at one time. She would say something like, "Drew, Mommy drives the truck." Drew's Response? "No, Mommy rides in the car!" He has a mind of his own, and won't follow the task. So, while we are happy with his expressive, spontaneous utterances, we have no indication as to whether or not he auditorally can process the request of his therapist. It's very frustrating. We would assume that he understands, and simply has a mind of his own, but that can set us up for failure in the future.

Michelle was also looking to see if there were any gaps in his language, and she found that he didn't know any of the words in the kitchen! She showed him pictures of pots, pans, spatulas, toaster, etc. and he didn't know any of them receptively, let alone expressively. As Michelle was explaining this to me, it makes sense: Usually I am trying so hard after work just to get dinner on the table, that I often give the kids an activity to complete to keep them out of my kitchen! Now, I guess I will need to find something for them to do in the kitchen that will allow Drew to experience a lot of new vocabulary.

Overall, Drew's therapist thought that he was doing well and that with continued early intervention he will continue to develop his language and speech skills on par with his hearing peers.

How can you record your child's milestones? Moog provided us with a copy of My Baby & Me, which is an excellent book to track your child's speech and language development from the very beginning. Drew's Dad and I commented that we had wished we were given this book three years ago. I would recommend it for any family who has a child with hearing loss. It will show the first 100 words, next 100 words, has tabs for therapy records and notes, and in many ways is like a baby book to record important milestones.


Lily's Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lily's Mom said...

Doesn't it stink that RIHP had to cut the hours of therapy? And of course it has to happen right when we'll be needing it most: after Lily's CI activation. I checked out "My Baby and Me" and it looks awesome. I'm definitely ordering it. Thanks for sharing.

Do you have an AV therapist for Drew? I'm not sure how to go about finding one for Lily.

Lily's Mom said...

Great to meet your family and the famous Drew. You were all just as I had imagined. Too fun. We loved Moog and are ready to return. Keep up the good work. We'll continue to be faithful readers.

tammy said...

What awesome services while you all attended classes! We're looking into what "seminar" we want to attend next year, so we'll have to look at this one too. Is it something that is offered every year?
I can't believe they cut your budget so much to have to go from weekly to monthly sessions!?! Sounds like it was made up at Moog though!
I just saw the My Baby & Me book as I was researching things with my current issue (BTW .. thanks again!)
And ... I just wanted to say I hate to see all the BS you all are having to put up with but truly admire your courage to keep going forward! Drew and his sister are very lucky to have you both!

Ben's Mom said...

Thanks so much for sharing about your experiences at the Moog School - we hope to attend next year. Sorry you are going through such an ordeal with your school system. Thanks for sharing that, too. You are both such great advocates and I admire you. Thank you!