Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's all about expectations

There's lots going on around here, I just haven't had a lot to post about. That's okay! Lucas is wearing his hearing aid really well (in addition to the CI, of course), although I haven't noticed a big difference yet. I think that's hard with a 20 month old who can't tell me how he hears with it. It can't be hurting anything though, that's for sure.

There are lots of changes going on around here. I'm preparing to return to work in a few days with the start of a new school year, and we're making some changes in our communication method. Lucas is talking a lot more, and he is all but functionally walking, choosing to walk now instead of crawl most of the time. YAY!

I've been a big proponent all along of "baby" signs to facilitate communication, hence this post. Lucas has 37 expressive signs to date, and he responds to all of them with verbal only cues. As I talked about in #8 of this post, I think it's important to regularly re-evaluate the effectiveness of a communication method decision. Even if you never change your method, it's good to reinforce your decision too! Well, we've re-evaluated, and we're making a change. In the past, we've stated that we're doing the Lucas method: an oral approach with AVT strategies and baby signs. We are now taking a strictly oral approach. No more baby signs.

Basically, we're at the point where Lucas no longer needs manual communication, because he hears and understands us SO WELL. And although we really cut back on the signs after he was implanted (only teaching them to him so that he could express himself), we have decided to drop signing all together.

It's all about expectations. In the past, we would speak, he would sign back, and we would move on. We were just excited that he understood us!! It has become way too easy. We are raising the bar. It's fine if he still signs back, but we are now expecting a word, an approximation or even just a vocalization, not just a sign. We know he is capable. Just in the past week, he has begun to approximate outside (ow) and knock, knock, knock (nah nah nah).

We are beginning to work with Clarke, an oral school for the deaf, and look forward to benefiting from their services this fall, if all goes well. Lucas may also join their toddler group for 2 year olds come January. We're hoping to give him an extra boost, so that he can be comfortably mainstreamed for preschool.

We couldn't be happier with our decision to have Lucas implanted. It has been seriously life-changing. Not a day goes by that I don't marvel at the miracle.


leah said...

I agree with you completely! It is so important to constantly re-evaluate and adjust the course of action to best suit the child. We started with baby signs, then dropped them for a long time (both because Nolan had no interest and because we were focusing on listening skills). Now we're reintroducing a few for "non-hearing" times at the beach or in very busy restaurants, though Nolan is almsot exclusively oral now. He simply loves to listen and talk, and doesn't want to sign back to us. Frankly, if he's in a normal listening environment, it is simply easier for him to listen and speak!

melissa said...

I love your blog, I love reading updates on Lucas!! He sounds like he's doing ACE!! Keep it up!!

Lone Star Couple said...

That is soo great he is hearing and listening so well, and walking how exciting!
I too plan on using some "baby signs" to bridge that communication gap until Kemper gets implanted and then gradually decrease them. I think you are doing a wonderful job with Lucas and I enjoy learning from you thanks!

Julia said...

Y'know, if you laminate the calendar from AB, could you write on it with dry-erase markers? I've never tried that before. If so, it gives you yet another way to use it.

spankey said...

Hey Jenny (and Lucas)

I wanted to wish you a happy feast of Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle!

The prayer for today in our Church is -
The Feast of Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle
O Loving God, whose will it is that everyone should come to you and be saved: We bless your holy Name for your servants Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle whose labors with and for those who are deaf we commemorate today, and we pray that you will continually move your Church to respond in love to the needs of all people; through Jesus Christ, who opened the ears of the deaf, and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

I hope today is a blessed one!