Today's tip of the day at the John Tracy Clinic was "Good morning Lings!" It was a reminder to practice the Ling sounds (ah, oo, ee, mm, sh, s) with your child every morning to make sure that they are hearing all the sounds of speech. Although we do Ling checks at home, we never used to do them in the morning (but rather at bedtime), so that was a good reminder.
Today was Lucas's best day so far (and should have been). Earlier in the week, he was having trouble transitioning from one activity to another, but today wasn't as bad. He seemed to be slightly less attached to his blanket and bear today, even being completely separated from them at lunch. I really dislike that he's dragging them around with him everywhere, because he doesn't do it at home, but if it helps to bring him comfort, then I am okay with it. He has even taken a nap e.v.e.r.y d.a.y at school this week. At home, he will only sleep in his own bed, but there must be something in the air here that all the kids are napping! I snagged this shot really quickly while Lucas was sleeping:
I think that the experience books that they created for us to share with our kids about their classroom routines and teachers/classmates are really helpful to Lucas. Not only am I reinforcing what his day is like, but he can also talk to me about the pictures and tell me who his "friends" are. Here's a glimpse at what the books look like:
He apparently is quite a character in class, making up his own rules sometimes. The teachers told me that he would try to get me to come back sooner by counting to 3 and saying "mommy?" He also let them know that someone else had a dirty diaper the other day, by saying "I smell stinky diaper". If only he would tell on himself...
We're noticing an improvement in his vocabulary already. He announced "I'm ready!" before we left for the beach yesterday, and his sentences are coming out more completed, including filler words like articles and prepositions that he seems to usually leave out. The songs they sing at school are also sticking with him. Every morning during circle time we sing a welcome song, and Lucas is starting to sing it too! We sing "where, oh where, oh where is Lucas... (x3)", then he sings "right here in our circle". Thoroughly impressed. He also knows the names of all of the kids in his class. He even awoke this morning and said "friends?", as if to ask if he were going to go to school today.
Tonight before bed I talked about his day with him to see what kind of information he could provide and then I guided him through the other events of the day. He said "1, 2, 3 mooommy, daaaddy" (that's what they do at the end of the day to call the mommies & daddies back into the room to pick them up). It was pretty funny that that's what he decided to share with me.
Today in our sessions, we did a lot on audiology. We got a demonstration on how the hearing aid equipment works, the types of hearing tests that are done and how to read an audiogram. My heart was a little heavy today talking about hearing levels and audiograms. Although I was interested in and grateful for the information, I somehow still mourn the year Lucas spent without any sound (even with his hearing aids) because of his truly profound loss. Before implantation & activation, we never really got any behavioral results to plot on an audiogram. I always hoped that every time we visited the audiologist, that we might be able to fill in something as evidenced here, here, and here. Without his cochlear implant, I'm not sure Lucas would have ever learned to listen and speak because he has no residual hearing at all to use. None. It's just another reason why his CI is such an incredible miracle for him. Really, there is no other word I can use to describe it. It is a medical miracle.
Later in the day we learned about different language assessments that are performed on our kids, when, how and why. We had another session with Lucas's SLT, Ms. M, and he wasn't too cooperative (mainly due to it being at the end of the day and he being totally done for the day). I hope that next week is better for him, but today he just would not play a ling game, even by being bribed with stickers.
Tomorrow we are done at noon, and then we are off to Long Beach to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. I can't wait for all of the great new language opportunities that will arise!
I read a quote posted on the wall from Mrs. Tracy today that I've been thinking about all day long, so I'll close with this thought: "Everything a child sees and hears. everything he smells, tastes and touches, everything he experiences contributes towards language." ~ Louise Tracy
Lucas was born with profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss to two hearing parents. He wore hearing aids starting at 3 months, but he got no benefit from them, as we soon found out. He received a cochlear implant in his right ear 3 days after his first birthday. His second ear was implanted 1 month before his third birthday. Cochlear implants have changed Lucas's life immensely. This site was developed to chronicle his life and progress learning to listen and speak!