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Progress Report I Progress Report II Two years post implant
Our Journey

July 14-17, 2000--Had the First Annual Auditory Neuropathy Parent Conference in New Orleans, LA. It turned out really nice thanks to the help of Dr.'s Berlin, Hood, Keats and the staff at LSU, Dr. Shallop from Mayo Clinic/Rochester, and Arnold Starr, MD from UCI. It wouldn't have been possible without the generous donation from Cochlear Corporation and an anonymous gift from an audiologist on the email list. There were 25 families with AN children and one adult with AN participating. It was great to put faces with the names on the email list. I'm quite sure this was the largest group of auditory neuropathy children (14) to be in one place!

Jake and Rascal July 28, 2000--Jake is picking up more incidental language because I know that he hasn't ever heard me say, "Wow Mom, that Pokemon is way cool." He heard it somewhere! We got a new puppy, actually TWO new puppies and Jake is as happy as he can be about it. He talks alot about them so I keep telling myself this was a good idea because of the language! The Punks I have orders to put a picture of his brother in this page so here is a picture of both boys and the dogs, affectionately called The Punks. Now, back to Jake and language issues! In January he would say, "puppy sick...poo-poo yuck." Now he says, "Mommy, Rascal sick, poo poo on floor...him make stinky mess." So just the difference in that sentence has been great. Okay, I know that is a gross example, but that is all I can think of right now!

August 27, 2000--I am so very pleased with Jake's results that I cry with happiness. Tonight he came up and told me "Take my tooth out, it's stuck, it hurts." Eighteen months ago he would have said, "stuck, hurt," and point to his tooth. He also can not stop talking about Cierra and Halston that he met in New Orleans. He keeps telling me, "Cierra have implant, Halston have implant...not like Jake's...why not the same?" (They have a Nucleus and he has Clarion.)

August 14, 2000--Jake has not really been interested in reading and that is a MAJOR concern I had in school this year since he is repeating Kindergarten. Friday we visited the school so he could meet his new teacher and he was very involved in these books he was looking at and we wondered if he was reading more than we knew. Well, he has gotten this reading bug out of the blue. Last night I read him three books and tonight I had to read him 6 big books, like the Bernstein Bears books....finally had to say no more tonight...boy my throat hurts now! He was able to say many of the words when I pointed to them and was tickled pink that I made such a big deal about him reading the words. I feel like Christmas has come early! Makes me feel a bit better about school this year. Another milestone was that he actually told the new teacher good-bye when we left. His deaf ed teacher had already told her that Jake may not talk to her for a couple of weeks because he doesn't like change at all.....but he surprised us all. He is really starting to come out of his shell! For him to talk to Misty and Cierra at the conference was just mind blowing to us, because he doesn't usually talk to people he doesn't know for days or weeks!!!!

September 2, 2000--Today is the one year anniversary for starting the email list. I'd have to say this is one of my major life accomplishments to be proud of. There are 210 members on the list now. Without Jake, I would have never had the opportunity to touch so many lives. So, to answer the question I have asked myself so many times. Yes Elaine, God did have a reason for giving Jake to you. :)

Jake 6 years old September 3, 2000--Jake started back to school two weeks ago and loves it. He is now 6 yrs 8 months old, implanted for 18 months and is repeating Kindergarten. He immediately fit in with the new teacher, her assistant and the other children, but is having some issues with the small room they moved his TOD into. He doesn't like it because it has no windows or room to do anything and that is our issue every morning, getting him in the door to get his soundfield microphone for the teacher. It is his responsibility to get it and carry it to the classroom, but we have this stand off about him trying to get me to do it almost every morning. Finally, on Friday he took it himself and went to class! We have worked very hard this summer on making complete thoughts and sentences and have finally had a breakthrough. I am HAPPY to report that he has started to use the words "it", "him", and "her" in his speech. In many areas of language acquisition charts he has gained over 2 or more years since he was implanted! Finally, after weeks and weeks of trying to get him to use the word "and" to connect thoughts he did it! We were getting books out to read and he said, "I want to read this one and this one and this one and this one and this one," before I finally told him that was enough. He kept on getting books and saying it. He loves to be read to and is trying to read some on his own but doesn't like for me to ask him to read. Tonight, he was going upstairs without his implant so I stomped my foot to get his attention. When he turned, he saw I was irritated and said "Ok Mom, who's in big trouble, Jake or Josh?" We have also worked on articulation, which is really showing now. He has learned to do the "f" sound with 5 missing teeth and gaps between the ones that have came back. This took MUCH work! He is putting the "ing" at the end of words and making inferences on his own so his speech therapist is pleased with his progress, especially since he didn't have any formal speech therapy this summer. It is just so exciting that he is finally getting it all together and using sentences instead of phrases all the time. He talks to the other kids at school that he knows but at the doctors office this week we had a huge breakthrough! He initiated conversation with other kids and they understood him! Sometimes I have to pinch myself to be sure it is all real, but boy that pinch feels good!

September 28, 2000--We are currently working on possessive markers in speech. For instance saying, "The boys puppy," instead of puppy or his puppy. He doesn't like the drills but is catching on. We have also worked very hard on subject/pronoun issues in his speech and he is doing great with it now.

October 10, 2000--Today the headlines in the paper are that the school that Jake goes to is going to be a year round school starting next July. They have to vote on it, but the board has already said they are changing two schools to the year round program and there are only two mentioned in the paper. In other words...Its a done deal. So here I am, thinking things were going good and going to stay that way and now I feel like the program is crumbling just like the preschool program did. Hopefully I am worrying too much.

October 15, 2000--Jake's exciting sentences for the week!
How did you do this?
Why did you do this Mommy?
Would you stop hitting me Josh? You are mean!
I really scary of the ghost outside in that tree.

In speech he is working on the F sound and doing very well with it. He keeps saying that he is going to be a fire fighter and stop fires when he is big. Hmmm, two weeks ago he was going to be a policeman.

October 18, 2000--I found out today that Jake was approved to do the Fast ForWord computer language program. I am EXTREMELY excited because I have been hinting for it for quite a bit now. They claim that the average child gains one to three years of language and increased reading skills so that would be a great thing for Jake. Hopefully, we can get started soon. He needs pre-testing and then to get the program loaded and started.

November 14, 2000--Tonight the school board voted to make Jake's school a year round school, they didn't care what any of the families said in the end. Most of the core PTA and active parents are going to be redistricted to other schools. Total worry and fear for the schools future looms overhead for our family, especially what will happen to the hearing impaired program.

November 20, 2000--Jake learned how to say the voice off TH sound today! He keeps saying Thursday, three, and think over and over and he is so proud of himself! It is rather soggy around here though as he is splattering us with spit everytime he does it. (SMILE) Hey, what's a little spit among family, right!? On another humorous note, I forgot to put his speech therapy folder in his bookbag this morning and he was giving me this lecture about being in big trouble when he put his hands on his hips and said "You are going to bed a eight tonight, you got it?" I about died laughing! I wonder where he heard that before? He is very talkative today and was excited about the snow we got yesterday. Another major hurdle we crossed is him saying "snow" instead of "snope"! Been a nice day here!

November 23, 2000--Jake has said Happy Thanksgiving at least a thousand times showing off the new TH sound he has learned. He also told his Grandma Lulu on the phone. It is happy and I am so very thankful for the cochlear implant that has changed his life so much.

November 29, 2000--Jake said these sentences today during our speech therapy homework session, without prompting!
The bird is over the rainbow.
The flower is under the rainbow.
The girl is on the bridge.

We have also been working on some basic concepts that he didn't have when they did the pre-testing for Fast ForWord like over, on top of, under, between, behind, and in front of and working on negatives. He is doing well and catches on fast once it clicks in his mind.

December 2, 2000--Today Jake said the sentence, "I see a white car and a black car too," which I thought was pretty good since he used "and" and "too" in the same sentence. He is still saying Happy Thanksgiving just to irritate me, so I am working on getting him on a Merry Christmas kick!

December 4, 2000--Jake is so comical sometimes I have to bite my lip so I don't laugh at him. Tonight we were doing his speech homework and I told him he was doing a good job. He looked at me and said "No Mom, Russo say very good work Jacob!" THEN he said "I am so smart, huh Mom?" He's a little brat! The school board met tonight and decided to delay changing the school to year round until 2002! One less worry at least for another year.

December 6, 2000--Today Jake told Josh to "I will fix it later, okay Josh?" when they were playing with their Lego's. His sentence structure continues to improve more every day and he is expressing complete thoughts orally.

December 9, 2000--We went out to eat tonight and as usual, the boys argued over what to eat. Jake said, "I don't want no pizza Mom, I want some chicken nuggets." A pretty big sentence for him. I was just looking at the Bloom and Lahey language chart and he has advanced from phase 2-3 up to phase 8 in several areas since implantation. Cool!

December 19, 2000--Jake mastered the goals to use the words between, in front of and behind expressively today! He also completed the on, over and on top of goals about a week ago.

Jake Christmas 2000 December 22, 2000--Jake will not stop singing "Jingle Bells" and is about to make me crazy. His speech is so clear people can't believe it. He is very excited and keeps saying, "Papaw is coming Lulu's for Christmas, down from heaven.....yay, I get see Papaw!" Breaks my heart to have to tell him it isn't true, but he keeps on saying it over and over.

December 30, 2000--We had a nice Christmas, Jake was very excited and talking everyone's ear off. Now I can't shut him up! Never in a million years did I think this would happen! He also had a "hearing moment" while we were at my Mom's house. It was the first time she ever saw what we had talked about so many times. When I got up they were all up talking and Jake was talking with them. I asked him a question and he answered me, then another and he answered. At that point my Mom asked me if I knew that he didn't have his implant on! I said "really?" and she said that he had been talking and answering them all morning and didn't have his implant or aid on. Finally, she saw this and knows that we were not crazy when we said that he heard us sometimes without equipment. He has refused his hearing aid the entire break from school.

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