Wednesday, July 26, 2017

sparkly hearing aids

The pink sparkly hearing aids are in!

Madeleine is drawn to jewelry, so the good news is, I think she thinks they're jewelry, so she hasn't been messing with them. Win.

But the reality...

Madeleine has a profound hearing loss.  Normal hearing is measured from 0-25 decibels. M cannot hear sounds above 80 decibels, putting her at a profound loss. Not to pop anyone's bubble, but these hearing aids don't help her much (on the surface).

Why go to the trouble of getting hearing aids?

1 - It's required by insurance. We have to prove to insurance that even though her sedated hearing exam shows she has a profound hearing loss, that hearing aids won't help.

2 - Even though the hearing aids may not help her distinguish sounds, the hearing aids may help stimulate her nerves and essentially help her body get used to the idea of sounds, if that makes sense.

3 - If she medically qualifies for cochlear implants, this is good practice for putting something on or in her head and learning not to mess with it!

So what are our next steps?

1 - M's hearing aid trial is fast tracked due to her age and circumstances.  While we know she's a smart little girl, she needs a full language - whether that's verbal or through sign language - to really thrive.  So we will go back to the audiologist in one month to see how she's doing with the hearing aids.  We'll most likely report back that we haven't noticed any changes.  Or maybe we will.  Who knows.  And then we go back two more times to see to check that little box for insurance.

2 - In theory we know that she qualifies for cochlear implants, however we don't yet know if she medically qualifies.  We don't know too much about her history before she became ours, and we don't know what the inside of her ear looks like and how it functions.  Typically at some point during this hearing aid trial, we would get an MRI scheduled, however I'm going to push to do that sooner rather than later.  The only reason to get the hearing aids is to get the cochlear implants.  If she doesn't qualify for the cochlear implants, then there's no need to mess with hearing aids for the next few months -- and we can move on with her education in a different direction.

3 - We have to switch up her language therapy.  It's unfortunately been a good lesson in government.  (I'll spare you the reasons why I believe in limited government.....#libertarian.)

4 - We continue to learn sign language.  Madeleine has mastered the following:
  • No
  • All done
  • More
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Cheese
  • Cookie
  • Bed
  • Good job
  • Please
  • Thank You
  • Bird
  • Penguin
We've taught her so many more, but she doesn't use them consistently enough to really say she's "mastered" the words.

Plus it's kind of difficult teaching your child sign language when you don't know it that well yourself.  Here's how this goes:  While we're playing, I try to pull out her Little People animals to teach her what they are.  I pull up my app to play the video.  If the app doesn't have it, then I have to google it.  Then I play the video about three times to master it myself.  Maybe another three times, if it's complicated or if it's a word you have to spell out.  And then turns out she's a toddler with a super short attention span, and she's already moved on to playing with blocks.


So. Many. Words.

Apologies for the long update.  Hope you all made it through, and hope this explained some of what's going on. Thanks for the continued encouragement and prayers!

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