Alexander and Lily

Alexander and Lily

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Good-bye to Dr. Kang

Lily's ENT and the surgeon who performed her bilateral cochlear implant surgery is leaving Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus at the end of December. We are sad to see him go. He gave our Lily the beautiful gift of hearing and we will forever be grateful for that! I made a video of Lily's "journey" to show Dr. Kang what his work has made possible. When I make videos like this, it takes me back to each moment and all the feelings of fear, anger, sadness, joy, excitement, etc. It has been an incredible journey!

Hearing Journey

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Alexander's First Words and Lily's School

Alexander has a few words. He has been saying "hi" for quite a while, but it sounded more like "ha" and now it sounds perfectly like "hi." Here are the other words he has been saying in the last month: dog, cat, cow, moo, nose, good-bye, daddy, uh-oh. He babbles in sentences all the time. We have no idea what he is saying, but he does. :) It's a very different experience than we had with Lily. About 3 months after she was implanted she started imitating words. She babbled very little and she never babbled in sentences. She pretty much just started using words. The difference in the two kids could be so many things. Since Alexander's hearing loss is moderate, he has been able to hear some since birth. With his hearing aids (which he got at 2 months) we think he hears pretty well. So maybe the difference is earlier access to sound. Lily really didn't hear anything until one week before she turned 10 months old. I wonder if the difference has to do with HOW they hear. Lily hears electronically and Alexander hears acoustically. Maybe it's the difference in boys and girls or just personality. I don't know, but it certainly is a different hearing journey with Alexander. His hearing was tested in October and his hearing continues to remain stable, no significant changes.

Lily began attending Ohio Valley Voices full time two weeks ago. Her school day is 8:45-3:30. She goes Mon. Tues. Wed. and Fri. I can't even begin to explain what an amazing school OVV is. We have heard such big changes in Lily's language since she began the toddler program in August and even bigger changes in just a week of the full day program. I was cooking a few days ago and Lily said, "The water has to boil. It is very hot." She gets 2.5 hours of individualized/partner therapy EVERY DAY! This is what her schedule looks like.

8:45-9:00 Device Check
9:00-9:30 Morning Meeting
9:30-10:00 Vocabulary/Syntax (Individualized/Partner Therapy)
10:00-10:30 Snack/Recess
10:30-11:00 Speech/Auditory Training (Individualized/Partner Therapy)
11:00-11:30 Group Instruction
11:30-11:45 Conversational Language (Individualized/Partner Therapy)
11:45-12:00 Language Extension (Individualized/Partner Therapy)
1200:12:20 Lunch
12:20-1:00 Recess/Nap
1:00-1:30 Nap
1:30-2:00 Movement/Drama
2:00-2:30 Vocabulary Review/Sentence Cards (Individualized/Partner Therapy)
2:30-3:00 Individualized Instruction
3:00-3:30 Language Experience (Individualized/Partner Therapy)
3:30-3:35 Go home

She brings home a "My Day" paper every day so we know what vocabulary words and grammatical structures she is working on at school.

We also get a newsletter each week letting us know what they are learning in the regular classroom.

So far we LOVE her school. The drive is huge and certainly not easy for my mom or the kids. They are all getting into the new routine though. Lily wakes up a 6:00 a.m every day now (even the weekends). She is back to napping every day too. Lily loves her school and her friends too. She talks about them at home and asks when she can go to "Lily's school." So far, so good!

We celebrated Lily's third birthday last week. She had a princess birthday party and lots of fun!