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Elijah's Story

Elijah's Bilateral CI Journal
Written by Mary, his mom

January 20, 2005
Today is the day that Elijah's second implant will be turned on. He had surgery back on Dec. 22, 2004. He was turned on with his first CI back in October of 2003 at the age of 18 months. He is now a little over four and half years old. My husband and I are quite excited. Elijah has worn his equipment for the new processor for the last few weeks to get him prepared for wearing it all the time. He doesn't seem to mind it.

We arrive and go back for "turn on". Elijah wears his "old" processor during all of this. The audiologist hooks him up and starts with the beeps. He looks at us and says "I hear it." All three of us are quite surprised that he has said that. She continues with the beeps and each time he says "I hear it."

The audiologist then turns him on to the outside noise. She has set his map conservatively so he will take to it better. He looks around and is not quite sure what to make of it. We try taking the coil to his old processor off, but he puts it right back on. The audiologist said that this was common, that most kids do fine as long as they are wearing both. They don't like just wearing the new one at first. We leave with four maps and an appointment to come back in a week. I didn't really notice any big changes that day. I watch him and he will put the coil back on his new one if it does fall off. At least he is not fighting me on wearing it.

January 24, 2005
Elijah has been doing well with wearing his new CI. I still haven't seen much of a change in him in the last few days. However, tonight, right before his bath I took his old CI coil off. I tried saying some words to see if he understood them. Surprisingly, when I said Elijah(with my hand covering my mouth so he cannot lip read) he said Elijah. I tried momma and daddy, but all he said was "baa baa" in response to that. I also tried his brother's name, Jacob. He did understand that and repeated it. He quickly said FINISHED and put his old CI coil back on. I was wondering if all of this was a fluke though, had he really understood his name and his brother's name with just his NEW CI on. He did get frustrated because I think he knew he was supposed to know what he heard.

After his bath I tried again, with his name and again he repeated it back along with Jacob. I tried a few other words with him again, but he told me FINISH, FINISH, and put back on his old coil. I was so excited though and right before bedtime I tried one more time with just the new coil. I think one reason he was becoming frustrated was because he knew he should be able to understand. He knew I was saying words, but that he only understood two of them. Because of this, if he said, "baa baa" instead of what I said, I gave him a thumbs up and this seemed to help him work a little harder. He once again could repeat back his name and Jacob's name.

January 27, 2005
We went into the audiologist today for Elijah's second mapping session and a hearing test. He cooperated fairly well with the mapping. She put four new maps on his processor. We went into the hearing booth to have a hearing test. Elijah responded to the tones between 35 dB and 45 dB. We were all pleased with that. The audiologist then decided to see how well he was hearing speech. She said "bye-bye Elijah" and he repeated it back exactly to her. We were both shocked. He heard her at 30 dB. She went through some other words, but Elijah, bye-bye and Jacob were the only ones he repeated back!! Overall we were all very pleased.

On the ride home, I heard Elijah saying, "Elijah, Jacob, momma, daddy…." , over and over again. I wondered what he was doing. I finally got to a stop sign and could look back. Well, he had his old CI coil in his hand and was saying "Elijah, Jacob, momma, daddy…" then putting the coil back on and repeating this. Then he would take the old CI coil off again and repeat it, then put it back on and repeat it. He was sitting there and comparing the two CIs and how they sounded. I think he was really trying to teach himself WHAT these words should sound like. Hearing it with the old CI and then listening with just the new CI.

February 6, 2005
Elijah continues to wear his implant daily. He now seems to understand daddy and kitty cat with just his new CI as well as Elijah and Jacob. He still has a hard time with momma and cannot understand that word yet. I am also continuing to work on his expressive language whenever I can!! He seems to be putting longer sentences together. His wooden train tracks had separated and he ran to find his brother. He said "Jacob, come on, fix the train." What a long sentence for him!!

February 14, 2005
We continue to work on expressive language. I do take his old coil off at times and work with just his new CI. He seems to be understanding more and more words, that I need to take the time to write down. He was sick with the flu for several days last week, so we didn't really focus as much on working with just his new CI.

February 17, 2005
We went in for another mapping. Elijah was NOT very cooperative. He did finally sit and drop some blocks in a bucket. We got four new maps and then went to the sound booth. He finally started cooperating in there and came in still around 35-40 dB with just his new CI to tones. We tried speech again. At first the audiologist was trying things like "where is momma, where is Elijah." I suggested she drop "where" and just try just saying one word. He repeated back Elijah, Jacob, daddy, momma, and uh oh with just his new CI on. I forgot to ask at what decibel he was on the speech. We are going back in four weeks for another map and hearing test. We are going to try him in the morning and see if he will cooperate a little bit more.

February 21, 2005
I tried Elijah again tonight with just his new CI. These are the words he understood and repeated back to me: momma, daddy, Jacob, Elijah, uh oh, nose, knee, book, blanket and several other words I don't remember now!! I need to keep a piece of paper and pen around! This is usually around bedtime when we work the most and are looking at books. Even if he doesn't get the word I am saying, he does usually get the vowel correct and the number of syllables that were in the word.

February 28, 2005
Well I finally got organized and sat down with a piece of paper, a pen and a book for Elijah to look at. I took the coil from his first implant off and asked him WHERE things were on the page of a book. There are the things he could identify from listening with only his NEW CI:

Fire truck, police car, fire alarm, fish, dog, bird, bus, signal, stop sign, tunnel, baby, man in green, little boy, big train, red, water, pizza, momma, daddy, wet dog, rainbow, blue car, dry dog, rain, fire hydrant, ice cream, cookie, cake, donut, apple, corn, grapes, banana, cheese and milk.

I could have kept going and asked him to identify more things, but he was DONE! He kept saying finished, finished, and I pushed him more, but finally decided I had enough to make me happy! These are not words that we have worked on with just his new CI, these are just words he has heard daily with both CIs on.

March 1, 2005
We did our nightly work with just Elijah's new CI. I sat with a different book than the one from the night before, and he was able to identify at least 80% of the words I said. This book had a different set of words and words I had never worked with him on. Some of the words were, square, moon, star, heart, brother, etc. I will continue to work on vocabulary and add those adjectives in to help him learn those too!

March 10, 2005
We are going in for another hearing test on Monday! Elijah continues to do well. He is using more sentences. He said, "I want to watch Bob the builder, room". Meaning, he wanted to watch Bob the Builder in his room. We were reading a train book tonight and he looked at one of the pictures and said "railroad crossing". I have not seen any big changes with his new CI, he just amazes me with the fact that he can recognize words so well after only 8 weeks!

March 14, 2005
I took Elijah in for another mapping session today. He cooperated so much better this time and participated fully with the mapping. We then went into the booth to test his hearing. He responded at 25 dB for SRT with just his new CI. This was the best he had ever done with the new ear. He responded between 30 and 40 dB to tones. The audiologist then did the WIPI with him (word recognition test) and he scored 60%. We were all very pleased!! We go back in a month for his three month evaluation of his new CI! I also forgot to mention that the AVT did some testing on Elijah back in February. She gave him the Peabody Picture Vocabulary test. It is a receptive language test. He scored at 3 years 3 months age equivalent. He was 4 years 9 months old when it was given and he had had his implant for 3 years 4 months. His expressive language was tested with the Expressive One word Picture Vocabulary Test. He scored at 3 years 5 months age equivalent, and was tested at 4 years 10 months. He made a year’s worth of progress in both areas since this time last year.


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