Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ellie's Hearing Test

We went to Shawnee Park yesterday for a hearing test. They first tested her without the hearing aids which came out with basically the same results from Ken-o-sha--profound hearing loss...registering sound at about 90 decibels. Then, we did the test with the hearing aids in. She showed some signs of hearing around 45 decibels, so she is hearing quite a bit more than we thought she was. :) I think it just takes time for her to know how to respond to sound. We keep trying different kinds of sounds and she is gradually responding to more and more. Today, I got a response from an "mmmmm" sound. We try to make different sounds for each toy that she has so that eventually, hopefully, she will try to make those same types of sounds.

Today, it was fun to see her laugh at her cousin, Logan, because he was babbling loudly. It was like it was the first time she had ever really heard him, and she thought it was the most hilarious thing...so cute!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The latest and greatest

We have been noticing more responses to Ellie's hearing. We're pretty sure she can hear us "cluck" our tongues, and possibly some VERY loud talking. Tomorrow, we will go to Shawnee Park for a hearing evaluation. The audiologist there can do a hearing test for her and also adjust her hearing aids if they need it.

Last week I was really questioning whether or not we made the right decision to go with Shawnee Park (auditory/oral) program. I talked to a woman who has a little girl in the Total Communication program at West Oakview. She had such great things to say about the program there, and stressed that it is helpful to use sign language with her daughter. I did have some concerns about how we will be able to communicate with Ellie when she is in a pool or bath or in bed (because she will not be able to wear her processor for the cochlear implant in the water or to bed). Without signing, it seems like it would be frustrating in those situations. Anyways, I was on the verge of switching schools for Ellie, but then I talked to another mother of 2 girls that have been through the auditory/oral program. She assured me that Shawnee Park is a great place to be. Of course, every child is different, but it was just reassuring to hear that her girls just thrived there. They were able to me mainstreamed into their school of choice by kindergarten. As for communicating when the processor has to be off, she said that both of her girls have learned to read lips. Her oldest can have an entire conversation just by reading lips. Amazing!

She also talked to me about insurance. They have the same insurance as we have, and she said that it will cover a bilateral cochlear implant (both ears implanted at the same time). This is huge because it will help Ellie to know where a sound is coming from! We are totally excited about that!! I called our insurance carrier this past summer when we needed hearing aids, and they said they don't cover anything related to hearing, so I assumed they wouldn't cover a cochlear implant. However, I guess they consider hearing aids a "lifestyle choice," but will still cover cochlear implants....don't ask me???? Anyways, since we can go through our insurance for the cochlear implant, we don't have to wait for 6 months for Ellie to wear hearing aids. (that was a requirement set by Children's Special Health Care Services.) So I was able to move up her cochlear implant evaluation to November and her meeting with Dr. Daniels to December 22. So now (hopefully) Ellie will be able to get her cochlear implants sometime in jan/feb. Yay!