Alexander and Lily

Alexander and Lily

Monday, February 17, 2014

2 Years

I can't believe it's been nearly 2 years since I last posted! Well, we made it through 2 years of commuting 260 miles per day, 4 days per week, so the kids could attend Ohio Valley Voices, the amazing oral deaf school in the Cincinnati area. We thought we'd be so happy this year, not having to make that drive. However, we've found that we miss Ohio Valley Voices terribly. The kids' first year in mainstream preschool has been okay, but it certainly isn't amazing. I keep telling myself, "this is what you wanted, this is what you (and the kids) have worked so hard for...mainstream schooling." I just didn't realize how good we had it when the kids were attending a school, in which all of the staff members are experts in hearing loss.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lily Singing Ghostbusters

This is a video of Lily singing her version of the Ghostbusters theme song. She likes the second one with the pink slime so she sings "pink ghostbusters." :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

We'lll All Float On

"Ok don't worry we'll all float on. Even if things get heavy we'll all float on."

I still haven't made any decisions, but I've decided to take some advice and just relax. I'm going to TRY to stop thinking about next year so much and just focus on right now. We are definitely going to finish out the year at OVV. We are also starting up auditory verbal therapy again this week. We are working with Todd Houston, doing tele-therapy through the University of Akron. We're excited about this new way of trying therapy. This will allow me to be a big part of my kids' language learning again, like in the early days of Lily's therapy. We'll do it right in our own home with a computer. Our first session with Todd is this Wednesday. Can't wait to see how it goes. Stay tuned! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Singing and Nursey Rhymes

Lily has been learning some songs at school that I captured on video: Baby Bumblebee and The Bear Went Over the Mountain. At home we have been reading lots of nursery rhymes. Lily has memorized Little Boy Blue.

Alexander hardly EVER cooperates when I get out the camera, but I did catch him saying "pig and "dog." Enjoy the videos.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Fight with Myself

"She never slows down. She doesn't know why, but she knows that when she's all alone it feels like it's all coming down...she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down. So stand in the rain, stand your ground. Stand up when it's all crashing down. You stand through the pain, you won't drown...She won't make a sound alone in this fight with herself..."

These lyrics pretty much describe how I'm feeling these days. I'm constantly fighting myself about what is best for my children. The life of a mother, right? I can NOT decide what to do about their language learning for next year. I think we have pretty much decided to start both kids in auditory verbal therapy again, regardless of what we decide about school placement for next year. So the question still remains: should we mainstream Lily next year or do another year at OVV? I go back and forth almost daily. I was leaning toward another year at OVV and then I talked to the kids tonight and Lily was crying and saying she wanted to go home and see Mommy. :( To help save on gas, most weeks the kids spend at least one night at my uncle's in Cinci. Some weeks (like this one) they stay 2 nights. It kills me! I KNOW, without a doubt, that OVV is the best school for keeping Lily on track with auditory and language development. However, would AVT and mainstream be enough? Maybe? So the fight with myself continues....

With a Hearing Aid, a Hearing-Impaired Child Can Hear as Well as You - False!

I found this article on I love how it illustrates hearing loss and wearing hearing aids. I was first introduced to this illustration when we visited The Moog Center for Deaf Education in St. Louis this summer. It's funny because I was in the dark about how Alexander hears with his hearing aids. I used to believe his hearing aids corrected his hearing like my glasses/contacts correct my vision. I was WRONG! I remember feeling so disappointed to learn this. I'm glad I know because now I will fight harder and probably longer so that he can get what he needs to learn language, just like I fight for Lily. I wanted to post this for friends and family to help you all understand better too. Many people think "it's not as bad" for Alexander because he can "hear better" than Lily. It seems easier for people to understand that Lily doesn't hear like normal hearing people and that she never will. This is true for Alexander as well. His hearing aids make sounds louder, but they will never make the sounds clearer. :(

FYI: Lily and Alexander both have sensorineural hearing loss. Click on the following links to read more about the differences. Conductive hearing loss vs. sensorineural hearing loss.

With a Hearing Aid, a Hearing-Impaired Child Can Hear as Well as You - False!

Unless you yourself have a hearing loss, the only kind of hearing loss you can probably identify with is the kind that can occur when you get a cold, and that's a conductive loss. You may wrongly assume that hearing aids will "fix" the problem and don't use techniques that can make communication better for a person wearing hearing aids. Hearing aids cannot fix the hearing of someone with a sensorineural hearing loss, especially a child.

Hearing aids can make sounds louder, but cannot make them clearer. Listening through a hearing aid has been described as tuning a radio slightly off a radio station, allowing static, then making it louder. Just as with a hearing aid, as the radio plays louder, the static and noise become worse.

This page will demonstrate visually how hearing aids work for conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Take a look at this image:

img1.gif (1622 bytes)

Try to read the word in the center. Next click on the image to see it enlarged, then use your back arrow to return here. Go ahead...we'll wait.

You should have been able to easily read the word in the center. This is how a hearing aid works for a conductive hearing loss: once sound is loud enough (bigger) it can be understood.

Now take a look at this image:

img2.gif (1826 bytes)

Again, see if you can read the word in the center. Click on this image to see it enlarged, then use your back arrow to return here. We'll wait for you again.

Could you read the word in the center? This is the way hearing aids work for sensorineural loss. Even though the aid makes sounds louder, it does not fill in parts of the sound that are missing or distorted. How much of the word is missing can be affected by things such as condition of the inner ear, auditory fatigue , listening experiences, prior exposure to the word, condition of the earmold, condition of the hearing aid, and background noise.

Some information for filling in the parts of the words that are missing or distorted may be gained through speech-reading (lip-reading). Even under the best conditions only about 30 to 40 percent of speech can be understood on the lips. Mouth the words pan, ban, and man. Notice that the position of your lips is the same for all 3 words. Even some words you may not think look the same, do. Try mouthing the words red and green. Once again, the position of your lips is the same for both words.

Other clues for filling in missing parts can be body language, context, tone of voice, repetition, pictures, or any of a number of different strategies. FM or Sound Field systems can be beneficial if background noise is adding to the problem.

We hope this demonstration has helped you understand why it is important to become familiar with and use strategies that will help a hearing-impaired child understand what is being said. You'll find links to many pages on techniques that can help communication on our Teaching & Education Resources page.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find out what the word is on the second card.

Did you correctly guess the word on the second card? The word is FIRETRUCK.

Found at

Adapted from: Nussbaum, Debra. There's A Hearing Impaired Child In My Class. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University, 1988.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What to Do?

I'm already thinking about what next year will look like in terms of my children's listening and language learning. Although we love, love, LOVE Ohio Valley Voices, I'm just not sure we can keep up with it financially. OVV has offered generous financial aid, but we still owe money for both kids' tuition. Even though we only owe a fraction of the total tuition, we really just don't have it. We can barely keep up with the car repairs now that my 10 year old car is traveling over 1,000 miles each week.

Sooo, we are considering putting both kids back in AVT and sending Lily to a mainstream preschool next year. This option makes me really nervous since the success of AVT depends on the family working on goals during the week. We did a great job at this when Lily was a baby because there was no one else who needed our attention. I'm not sure how well we could make it work now. We need to do at least 1 hour of focused therapy everyday with both kids. What will Alexander do while we're working with Lily and what will Lily do while we work with Alexander? Both of my kids want ALL the attention ALL the time! :)

Those of you with children in mainstream preschool: did you continue AVT? Have your children been successful in the mainstream?