August 1, 1999--We have been busy all summer with swimming pool visits. Jake loves to go to the pool and asks everyday, "Jake go swimming pool, okay?" Other than that we have been practicing speech, articulation goals and Kindergarten skills getting ready to go to big school in a few weeks.
August 14. 1999--Jake's six month evaluation. Thresholds are between 15-30dB on the audiogram. He showed progress on the Paden Brown Battery of 2-7% but after that it was downhill with the testing. He scored slightly lower on the ESP and PBK because he wouldn't cooperate no matter what we promised or threatened him with. Typical Jake!
August 16, 1999--Today was a traumatic day, more for me than Jake. I have tried to tell him he was going to BIG school, I even took him there and went in the front but couldn't tour due to remodeling. We got a new cord for the processor because the one we were using was looking worn and I wanted him to be sure he heard everything. So off we go this morning, he gets all upset when we pass right by his old preschool building. He was yelling, "Mommy, turn, turn." We get to the school and I could see it on his face that he wanted to get the heck outta there. I took him to the HI classroom to see his transliterator. Luckily, she was with him at preschool as a teacher assistant. He was okay, sorta, but very clingy and saying "Go bye bye, Go bye bye". I get teary eyed because I see his fear and of course, he picked up on that. His mainstream teacher took him and started to lead him to the room and he grabbed my leg so hard I almost fell. BOY, can he scream loud. Poor baby was screaming, "No, wait Mommy, wait....NO, I said NO!!!" About that time he is kicking and hitting at the teacher and I am trying to get out of his site because they assure me he will be fine when I am gone. His headpiece fell off and was beeping in the distance as I hurriedly scrambled out of site. Then I hear his transliterator calling my name and here she comes with the microphone and part of the cord from the CI. He somehow got a hold on it and ripped it half into. So I had to drive all the way back home and get another cord and return to the school with it so he could hear. At least he had his hearing aid as back up. Now here I am traumatized, feeling so mean and helpless because I abandoned my baby at a strange school with strange people and to top it off he was without his CI for about an hour. When I got back and he was playing with the teacher and being tested. He was having a ball! I was so relieved, I had expected to get back with him in the office with handcuffs on! He wound up doing fine. He won't go back till Monday and I bet we will go through this again. Also, he called his transliterator Leighann at preschool and now he can't understand why he has to call her Ms. Stone. His preschool mainstream transliterator is also at this school now since the Cued Speech Preschool program closed, so I hope since he knows some of these people he will be okay. I am severely traumatized...my baby is in big school!!!!!
September 2, 1999--After a lot of thought and conversation with parents of children with Auditory Neuropathy that were like us, isolated from anyone else with an AN child, I have decided to start an email list! Dr. Berlin has agreed to be my professional contact.
September 3, 1999-- The email list is up and running as of yesterday! A few of my online connections have joined today. I can't wait to see the list grow. I hope that it is beneficial to many parents of AN kids.
September 10, 1999--Jake is settling into school and stays without complaints after the first week. He seems to like the kids and learning because he cries if they are out for a day and even asks to go on the weekends.
September 24, 1999--Jake had an IEP addendum yesterday to increase speech services and mainstream time. He is down to three hours of resource time now. I found out that the SLP is only responsible for articulation with Jake in the public school system here. I did get it increased from two sessions a week to three at thirty minutes each. I was hoping for forty-five minutes slots three times but knowing my hyper little boy as I do I know that forty-five minutes of articulation drills and he would be bouncing around the room. The SLP is doing great with him anyway, he has started to get the 'f' at the beginning of words! His 'l' in the final and middle position are coming along well and he is doing the 'p' and 'b' in all positions much better. I really like his HI teacher and feel confident she is very capable of doing the auditions goals. The good thing is that Jake likes them both, thank goodness. :)
October 2, 1999-- Today Jake got on the phone and told me he wanted a cheeseburger! All the right sounds in all the right places!!!!! WOW....is that cool or what? For a while I have been trying to get him to at least say his first name when I ask him "What is your name?" Now when I ask he will say "My name is Jake!" I love it!
October 7, 1999--Jake is so proud to learn words like rectangle (tetantul) and triangle (tritantul). His new word yesterday was octagon (oktuhton)!
October 19, 1999--Jake frequently brings tears to my eyes with his speech production and increased social skills since the implant. Today he rolled the car window down and was trying to talk to people stuck in traffic with us! This from a kid that NEVER spoke to anyone except us, his neighborhood playmates (very little to them) and his teachers. You had to almost pull the words out of his mouth and you still couldn't understand much of it if you didn't hear him talk a lot because he talked in a low voice. He is looking at books and making up stories as he goes by the pictures he sees. He is using language scattered up to Phase 6 and 7 from the "Bloom and Lahey" language chart, when he had only been to around level 3 before implantation. From "Which One?" to "Which one is it Mommy?".......From "What doing?" to "What that man doing (in) tree."
November 11, 1999--Nine month evaluation was today. Jake was not really cooperative. We got an audiogram, but that is about it. I don't know how reliable it is either.
November 17, 1999--I am sometimes overwhelmed with the progress Jake has made since implantation. Last night he came in the room fussing up a storm. He said as clear as a bell,"Mom, Joshua hurt me, bad boy!" He said hurt with the 'r' and the 't' sound! I was SO excited. He is now telling me what to say when he does his articulation targets well. I said "Good job" but he corrected me and said, "No Mom, you say very good Jacob." Before the CI you were lucky to get a two-three word utterance out of him and then you couldn't always understand it. He is beginning to enjoy music on the radio more and asking to have the radio on in the car. I never thought I would see that day! I waited so long for something good to happen in his language acquisition and finally it is happening. I'm glad I took the chance and had him implanted.
November 28, 1999--This is my first birthday that Jake was able to sing most of the Happy Birthday song to me! Music to my ears, even though it is just a bit off key.
December 10, 1999--I just realized that this is the first Christmas that my precious Jake will actually hear the sounds of Christmas. The jingle bells, the fire crackling as it burns, Christmas carols, Santa saying HoHoHo and so many other things he has never heard before. In the last 10 months, he has experienced so many sounds that I never thought he would hear. Things like hearing bacon frying on the stove last night, the "welcome, you've got mail" message on AOL from the other room. He is very interested in music and wants the radio on in the car now since his last mapping, before he absolutely hated the radio on so I kept it off when he was in the car with me. And last week he was singing along with the radio to a song he has surely never heard, but he picked it up and was singing "come uh, come uh, come uh, come uh, come come, yeah yeah yeah". He is singing "Jingle bells, Jingle bells, jingle all the way" over and over lately. It isn't very good singing but it is absolutely music to my ears!
December 25, 1999--Jake's first Christmas with his new hearing was great! He got a train track set and loves to hear the noise it makes. He couldn't figure out what the sound of tearing wrapping paper was for the longest. I didn't know what he was talking about until he realized what it was as he ripped open a package. He clung to his Papaw and talked up a storm to him. He is a real Papaw's boy, for sure. The really odd thing is that before he was implanted he was terrified of my Dad. I thought it was because he is six feet, four inches tall and looked so big to him, but as soon as he could hear he was fine around him. Maybe he was afraid of what he couldn't hear?
December 29, 1999--Jake still responds at times without his implant or hearing aid on. Tonight he was getting ready for bed and had no equipment on. I said in a normal voice "Jake". From the other room he answered me "What Mom?" It really freaks me out at times. I wonder if they will ever figure out how these kids do this???
December 31, 1999--It still amazes me that fireworks aren't too loud for him with the implant on. They are too loud to me, but he doesn't flinch.