Sunday, July 15, 2007
Dirt, Doctors, and a Date
The kids helped us work in the yard yesterday. We (or rather, Christian...) tore down a small partition that lined our patio. We think the previous owners used it to grow some sort of climbing plant, but all we has was overgrown vines that were taking over our patio. The kids liked helping dig in the dirt and were a big help carrying the weeds out front for garbage pick up.
After mostly taking a few weeks off from Rachel's appointments in Charlotte, we had a lot scheduled this week and I thought I'd do my best to give an update on her hearing. While Rachel is probably hearing more than the audiologists can get her to respond to, the levels she does respond to indicate that she can hear most of the mid-range speech sounds at a normal volume, but that she is missing very high and very low frequency sounds. What this means is that while she can hear some of the prominent speech sounds, for now it looks like she won't be able to depend entirely on speech and listening for communication. Disappointing, but expected. However, during her speech therapy sessions it is clear that she is either hearing more than the audiologists say, or she is brilliant at lip reading and imitating. She can identify and repeat most vowels sounds (these are the low frequency sounds the appear to be technically out of her range) and is beginning to identify some animals by the sounds they make. She can imitate several consonants (the easy ones, like B,D,M... and occasionally T) and dipthongs (OW, "eye"). The most exciting thing is that she is saying basic words like Ma-ma, bye-bye, and uh-oh and she actually seems to know that know that they have meaning. She is also babbling (using mostly M and B) and will sign that she is talking. So however much she can actually hear, she is starting to assign meaning to sound and is beginning to recognize the importance of speech. That is huge news for us, and it is really exciting for us to watch her using the sounds she hears. She even will tell me when her implant isn't working, or will put it back on if it falls off. Sometimes she likes to put other magnets on her head and she'll look for the magnets on other people's heads....
Christian and I got to go on a real date this week---we saw the new Harry Potter movie in an IMAX theater in uptown Charlotte. It was really cool, but we sat too far down, not realizing it would make a difference, so we literally watched the movie laying down and couldn't see the entire screen at once. I feel like I need to see it again because I missed a lot. It was really nice to have an evening on our own, however... it doesn't happen very often.