And week 2 begins! Thankfully Lucas settled back into his John Tracy Clinic routine quite nicely. We were concerned that the break of the weekend would affect his ability to separate from us today, but it did not. He woke up rearing a ready to go see his "friends", so we happily complied!
Today's tip of the day was to talk to your child like a sports commentator, to naturally talk about what he is doing, looking at or thinking about. Although we've always been told to narrate his activities, I've never thought of it as acting like a sports commentator before. Very clever!
This morning's session was on classroom acoustics. This topic was of special interest to us, because Lucas is about to start preschool. We learned some ways to optimize his listening environment such as eliminating flat surfaces in a classroom, using carpet to absorb sound, and eliminating frivolous sounds like an air conditioner or a fish tank.
We also learned about FM systems, both personal FM systems and sound field systems. All of JTC's classrooms are equipped with sound field systems, which facilitates listening for everyone. I don't believe that the preschool class for 2.5 year olds that Lucas is slated to attend in the fall is set up with a sound field, but I will have to check. Our other option is a personal FM for Lucas. Lucas's teacher would wear a microphone around her neck, and anything she says would be transmitted directly to Lucas's CI processor. Sounds ideal and great, huh? Yes and no. If it works properly, it will help him tremendously. But, the only way to test the functionality of the FM system with a CI is to reply upon the reporting of the child. We're not sure Lucas is there yet, despite his excellent expressive skills. Then again, he might be.
We missed the session on oral-peripheral motor structures and functions. Although this would have been informational (as are all of the topics), we have no concerns with Lucas's oral motor skills (feeding, speech production, etc.), so this was an okay time to miss. Instead, we had the opportunity to meet with a member of the counseling team as a couple. We had a beneficial session, and were thankful to take advantage of this service offered by JTC.
The other afternoon session was on sensory integration and behavior. I'm always worried about Lucas's behavior, but it was affirmed to me that most of it is just typical 2-year-old behavior. Additionally, I learned 2 very interesting points during the lecture. First was information on a study conducted on 48 hard of hearing children (all with varying degrees of hearing loss) all of which exhibited abnormal vestibular responses when tested. This was affirming to us, as several professionals have refused to relate Lucas's hearing loss to his balance issues, although we have always disagreed with them. Very interesting.
The second point relates to children with hearing loss often being more sedentary. It really makes sense. Hearing impaired kiddos spend lots of time in formal therapy, in the audiological testing booth, being asked to sit and listen, and being carted around from appointment to appointment in the car. Throw in some balance issues, which may cause kids to not want to run around and play, and you often have sedentary behavior. At the very least, this information has caused me to think about how much time Lucas spends running around and playing. I think it's a good thought to keep in the back of my mind.
Lucas was, of course, very happy to see us at the end of the day. It's always a nice feeling. :)
After school, I caught up on a wee bit of laundry and we headed to Ralphs to stock up on groceries for the week. In between we visited the most amazing playground with some of the other families, thanks to the recommendation of a mama from the first summer session. We will definitely be heading back there!
Unfortunately, this is round two of writing this post (somehow the other one never saved and wouldn't publish), so today's report will have to wait for tomorrow.
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!