Saturday, December 26, 2009

lots of interaction

Last 2 weeks have been very full with activities. We had our family from around the world home for that time. Prisha's uncles and aunts and cousins were there and we had lots of action back home. We observed a very interesting aspect of Prisha's growth. Every individual is so different and she interacted with every body at their level. According to her aunt who is into the field of child education, Prisha's emotional quotient is very high.She was dealing with every person defferently and it was all speech dependent. One of her uncles , who has deaf nieces on his paternal side, is a lot into signs. He told me that as a habit he would use signs with Prisha but she always responded to speech in speech and did not pay attention to signs.He was happy that she did not lip read , she responded to everybody from any direction and did not need to be spoken individually. She sang, she acted out the teacher student role so well that everybody was into splits and knew what her teacher must be doing in the class.Sometimes she acts out doctor -patient, teacher student or sometimes it was speech therapy and other times she was the best momma.She kept each person occupied loving them, entertaining them and interacting with them the way a normal child would. Looking at that at times I had moist eyes as everybody was so happy at the way she has turned out. No body pities her and they are all thankful to my speech therapist for her help in Prisha's integration into normal life.It has made my life so easy and simple as she has a spoken language to interact with the world.
I was teaching her our different relations that she was coming across. The funniest was something that every body had had them holding their stomachs.I was teaching her about the various relations that she shares with all and how my relations are different with those very people.As her dad is my husband , I told her that my husband was coming home and I would hug him. She was insisting that it was her husband. After a long explanation she got this straight. When we had our living room full, she started off her dramas. She said aloud, " mummy, I love your husband, aunt, i love your husband , granny I love your husband". For a moment everybody was silent and then there was a huge laughing session after that.I love the way she deals with situations without me interfering and she comes to terms with them and them uses them to entertain us.This time I realized the importance of a spoken language over signs. I am glad to have such a normal life where each one of us enjoying the little child in our home.We are all thankful for AVT and the teacher who has translated it to us so that we can understand it in layman's terms.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

External otitis update

 Prisha has been through a lot last one week. After being diagnosed with external otitis, she started off with antibiotics for 5 days.There was a lot of pain where she would shout and my whole body would cramp up feeling her pain.After 2 doses of the medicines, that night I got a shock of my life when I reached out to clean her ear. Her ear canal was totally closed with big boil as it is and so cleaning it was almost impossible.There was a lot of blood flowing. I just stopped breathing at that moment. I called up her doctor. Fortunately , after a couple of calls , he finally picked up my phone. After hearing my panicked voice, he asked me to just clean the blood and take the ointment T-bact and put some on cotton wool and put into her ear. The whole night I was a bit tensed. Since then , she has been getting better. Every night since then , she has been draining out yellow fluid stained with blood on the pillow at night.It is a lot of relief and at the same time I am amazed at the extent of her infection.Today I visited the Doc. On examination, he told me that her ear drum had ruptured because of the severe infection and it had started to heal.He showed me both the ear drums to see the difference.He explained the whole science behind it and asked me to continue the anti biotics for 5 days more along with some ear drops.Her huge swelling of the tragus of the left ear has reduced to a great extent.The boil that completely closed the canal entrance has also reduced. Now cleaning the ear is easier. I hope this ear infection goes away for good. We have had enough of this this ear.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

External otitis

Prisha had started to complain of ear itch last 10 days.I would put in mullien ear drops and it would be fine the next morning. I have not been using the HA in the left ear still as the skin was still a bit sensitive.Then started the pain in the left ear.I peeped in and there her ear did look bad.I started to have sleepless nights and the fear in the mind played havoc. I spoke to my homeopath and he started her on special medication.Her ear started to have discharge and I needed to clean it 2 times a day which gave her relief. Her tragus [the little triangular ear piece that covers the ear canal] was swollen nearly 3 times and it was red.She was having immense pain and did not allow any touch.I started to panic yesterday when she said she had problem eating, opening her mouth and the pain extended to behind the ear, in front and the lobe. The canal on close examination did show tiny eruptions some with white fluid.I felt it was time to rush to an ENT specialist as she was crying in pain.My fear was for the ear drum. We both had a sleepless night as we had to take the appointment. Meanwhile I was giving her calc sulp 200 ,homeopathic medicine as liquid medicine every 2 hours.Fortunately , it was helping her. Some of her little eruptions did burst. This morning , she got up and was having pain still. I gave her painkiller.This evening we went to the specialist with my heart pounding against my chest.After examination, he found there was lots of fluid wax, which he started to clean. At home the entire roof is down when I check her ear.Here she sat like a little scared lamb. Fortunately her ear drum was intact but there was lots of inflammation of the eardrum and the ear canal was infected too. There was some fungus. She is down with skin infection again and was diagnosed with external otitis.Some anti biotics for three days and eardrops along with pain killers should see her through this.i have written to my homeopath. Hopefully he should see us through this tough patch too.I am hoping that this skin infection should be out soon.The pain is unbearable but I am proud of my lil girl who is bearing it and is wiping away my tears before hers when she cries in pain.Her reward for being such a great patient at the doc were her favorite things- a drawing book and some nice butterfly clips for her hair.On return she did not forget to thank her caretaker GOD- Hanumanji , for easing her pain.She did make the drawing too as thanks giving.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Another bad case

Last week , I took my son's classmate who is deaf to Mrs. Hudlikar. This mother had contacted me 2 years back and I had asked her to do speech therapy for the girl. But she had reasons of her own for not doing.Finally , after she realized that her daughter was having problem at school and was having deteriorating speech due to no correction, she decided to ask me for the same.The girl speaks quite well and is bi-lingual. But she needed to be better for outsiders to understand her and it would help her at school once her auditory skills improved. She had pneumonia when she was 4yrs old and due to high doses of medicines, her hearing was affected and now has a  profound loss.As the 1st 4 yrs of her life she was hearing, her speech was reasonable but had not grown enough.
She was asked to show all the audiograms etc of the last 10 years. What we saw was horrifying. There was no paper that was in place.All her audiograms were incomplete and did not match each other. The mother had done her testing in 4 different cities in India, but all seemed hap hazard and nothing could derived from this. We were not able to understand if she had a loss and if yes , how much. Since there was no proper unaided audiogram, there was no sign of an aided one.All of them told her that her left ear had no hearing left and so there was no need to wear hearing aid in that ears!With no proper audiogram, how could they decide that her left ear was no good? With mother not literate enough to understand the complexity of the subject, the child was loosing out very precious time of speech development.The child and the parents made adjustments and now with complications in school, they decided to take help.
It was decided that 1st thing she needed was an unaided and an aided audiogram to understand the extent of loss.It was decided that Ma'am's name would be used for this as nobody can doubt her expertise in the field and they would take the case seriously.Her tests were done and we were shocked to see that her graphs looked pretty good. She had an almost flat curve across the graph and had severe to profound loss in both ears. She had almost the same loss in both ears which made it mandatory to use 2 hearing aids.Earlier audiograms showed about 20db loss discrepancy!! This was most shocking to the parents and we were amazed once again at the state of affairs in India.Now we plan to fit them with 2 BTEs from Siemens.
This is the state of trained degree holder audiologists in the country.Some of them for their own monetary gains are cheating people and stealing happiness of lives of families.How is it that not one audiologist was not able to ascertain her loss without ma'am's intervention? How many people suffer with this kind kind of lax service.Are we not having a right to good service?How many people can Ma'am help and how may have speech therapist as dedicated as her? These degree holders hold us helpless people like this to  ransom.I feel ashamed of such service, but who would stand up and raise their voice? A person who does, is deprived of any help of buying maybe the tubes, batteries etc.I have done it the past with no results. The numbers in India is too large.I wish some day I am able to open a center where people can come in and leave as happy families.The dream is large, with huge investments , maybe someone up there would listen and find a way out of this.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Distant help

Yesterday a mother we are trying to help in the south of India, called up.She does not have the required support as far as her hearing impaired child is concerned.She is touch with me for the last 6 months now. She was desperate for her 3 year old and then through some contact she had contacted me. She was so depressed then and had the worst things to say about her life and the deaf child.I too was saddened by the situation and kept talking to her to try and help her  come out of her situation. Her husband decided to visit us here in Pune  He visited us 3 months back to understand the techniques we have to teach, the deaf child.He took the videos I post on the youtube under the name "rouchi6". He took lectures from Mrs. Hudlikar and went back a happy and educated man.The mother saw the videos and soon enough we were able to get her out of the situation and today she is a very happy and motivated mom.She calls me about every month 1-2 times and is has all her queries listed down with examples, explanations and all the details that can give me an idea of how her lil girl is doing. I put in all that I know from my own experiences and tell her how to go about it. She asks me to give some demos and we take videos on that topic and put it on you tube so that she knows how to solve that problem.
On the phone y'day she said that the inputs from blog and the videos we have posted , have helped her immensely.She is now knowledgeable enough to know the difference between good and bad or ineffective speech therapy.She is talking to her 3 year old after learning from us in spite of the distance and I heard her lil girl speak on the phone. She spoke so well!! I am so happy and thankful to God that yes, we were able to change a life  of a family with this little effort.It takes me quite some time to edit the videos and to put the lil movie on the net, but it is all worth it if we were able to change some life. I now feel it is possible to even now give speech therapy sessions from a distance thanks to the technology.She recommended the videos and blog to the so called audiological center where she goes for any help. They rubbished it and consider the method we learn as " old and outdated". The mother immediately said it does not matter how and what she is teaching, the bottom line is the kids are talking and going to normal schools. I feel the method we learn will be effective even 20 years from now as it is not just the bookish knowledge that she is giving us. The education, books she reads, experience of the last 40 years and what she sees around herself is all knitted into the teachings she gives us. We are not confined to a boring room, but have sessions in her garden, living room, bathroom , prayer room, bedroom or in the park, in the vegetable market, you name it and we are there. I am so blessed to have her in my life.Now this lady is coming to visit me with her girl and will see for herself how normal our lives are.I am inspired to work harder in documenting the teaching and to share it with other parents.I hope we are successful in our endevour. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Speech therapy and broken bone

Prisha had a fall from the slide in garden on Sunday. She was on the grass just thrown like a rag doll. I screamed and rushed to oick her up. We had no clue then how bad the fall was as the fall was bad. I was scared to move her as I did not know if she hurt her back, rib or scalp as she was crying bitterly. After a while I shouted at her to calm down to know where she was hurting. I made her walk to see if her body was fine.She walked and i was relieved wit tears still rolling down my eyes. I rushed with my friends home , where we made her lie down. She held her left hand tightly against her as that hurt her a lot. I did not want to take a chance. I rushed to the hospital with my friends as I did not want to take  a chance. The X' ray showed that fortunately she just escaped with  a hairline fracture near the wrist of her left hand. I was so relieved that I started to just loosen up and laughed out { the fall was such that I was fearing something really awful}. I cheered up and then we went to the trauma center and got her hand in a cast.Now she is in it for 4 weeks. She was very nervous. But inspite of the fear, pain, nervousness and wait at the hospitals, we had our speech therapy inputs.We talked about the pain, x'rays, nurse, doctor and the cast and sling everything that we could talk about. we related the whole experience to out friends at the speech therapy class and it was good to educate all the kids as it was not something that happens everyday. The teacher had planned something different for the speech therapy class that day, but that is what is different about Mrs. Hudlikar, she makes the speech therapy class situation related and prefers to take the class on what was on the mind of the kids which here was Prisha's broken arm.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sorry state of affairs

A grandmother from our speech therapy class got inspired and wrote about the life changing experiences of deaf children and their parents in a local newspaper of Maharastra , our state.This paper caters to even small villages and is very widely read. After this hundreds of parents with their deaf kids rushed to meet Mrs. Hudlikar asking her to perform her magic on their deaf kids who were speechless due to various reasons. The kids were in the age group of 20 to 30 years but that hope in the parents had not died , that one day their child too would talk and call out to them.It was a very overwhelming experience for her as at that age to develop speech is very difficult. All the wrong habbits in speech have been developed, voice is spoilt and the the child is too settled in his world. The stories that came out were horrifying.A leading audiologist in the city is doing the test and then giving hearing aids which were sometimes out of reach but parents still bought them as they wanted the child to be integrated. No mention of speech therapy where the child learns to perceive sound is given .The speech therapy given is so poor that none of the kids talk. Children who are intergrated into normal lives were not shown as they do not have such kids.The parents are illetrate and are not in a position to ask questions. In due course of time when the child does not talk, due to lack of good speech therapy, the child is recommended for cochlear implant without any preparations for the parents. The poor parents, in order to normalize the child's life are ready to sell their land and homes . Some get them implanted but due to lack of speech therapy, the child is where he was even a year back. When will this mal- practice stop? Is not the duty of the audiologist and the implant surgeon to give a complete service?Is the speech therapy not part of it all?The parents should know that after the expensive aids or CI , how the child would be by showing past cases. They will never show you, even if you ask as they have nothing to show. Why can't the focus be the most important factor- speech therapy? The aid and Ci are just means to bring the sound to the ear, but the speech therapy gives meaning to it and helps to interpret them. I am not against them making money, make it but give the service too. The main thing lacking is also parents support group. i wish they would come together and fight the system. But they fear them as they are the ones we need to go to for the tube, wires, moulds etc. we can't fight them as there are no alternatives.I feel for those kids and their parents. I wish I was able to make this blog reach out to the remotest of villages so that the parents could understand and make choices.The circle could break. My teacher is so depressed looking at the parents who had hopes and tears in their eyes.I wish the mothers could come together and form a group so that we could educate the parents. This was the reason to start my you tube account-    rouchi6  .this is speech therapy which has changed lives for the last 40 years, it needs to be spread.The mothers trained under her are all very good speech therapists and counselor. As we don't have certificates we are not recognized by anybody.I wish some good soul could see this and bring change in India.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Glands behind the ear

I am a bit worried as now Prisha has these glands behind her right ear which have started to pain.She has such nodules behind the ear and the scalp on the lower end since birth and I could feel them while feeding her. I asked a few doctors about it but they all said they are sweat glands and would go away. Month ago she had boils on her scalp above her right ear which pained her a lot. Thankfully they are now scabs and are slowly dying.She is now down since 10 days with very bad bout of cold and cough and 2 days back she complained of pain in the 2 glands behind the ear. Any suggestions? I wonder if anybody has had issues like this and may need attention. I hope it is not related to her hearing impairment.I am at a loss about it. I did surf the net and would consult a specialist, but any input would be really appreciated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kidney stones going

Today I decided to get Prisha's sonography done to know the status of her kidney stones. i did have a bit of a restless night thinking about the findings. I got ready early and woke Prisha only when it was time to go. No toilet as the bladder needed to be full, topped it with milk and then we were off to the clinic. It was decided that the "photographs of the stomach" shall be taken first by me [ for the fibroid that I have] and then she would get hers clicked.
I was thrilled to know that out of the two 3 mm stones , one had gone and the 2nd was now 2.9 mm big. So Dr. Sunil Anand, your medicines are working.After many days , there was some peace of mind. Her boils on the scalp too have reduced in size and pain.Her ear too scratch a bit but the it could be due to dry ears caused by my blow drying her ears. I use mullien ear drops at night and then there is relief all day. I am hoping for some more good news by the year end. Hopefully she would be hale and hearty the entire next year.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ear itching still on

I am wondering if ear itching is part of hearing impaired children or it is just with Prisha. She has been scratching her ear regularly at least once a day.By night yesterday, she was scratching her ears with her fingers stuffed into her ears.My husband tells me that the itch may have always been there , but it is just that she is now able to express it in language.I have put mullien oil in her ears at night which is a homeopathic remedy for otitus media, ear itch and pain and is is to be put in ears so long as the ear drum is not perforated. Her ears are very clean. i had been to the pediatrician as she was again down with fever for 5 days, had very painful boils on the scalp and the face .i got her blood test done along with the urine test to make sure the WBC is all right.2 months back she had a huge infection [ UTI] and the WBC was too high. To play safe I got it done earlier to rule out more complications.Fortunately a few things are a little above border line and can be rectified. The fever too has finally subsided after 5 days .She is looking so pale with those constant illness in some form or the other. With the change in the new medicine the boils are bursting and I am hoping they just leave Prisha alone now.She is on vitamins last 2 months and am giving her more water to drink [ which she detests].When I wash her sores on the scalp with warm salted water , I hate her cries of pain.I am still so scared to put her left hearing aid. She has suffered a lot of loss in school too, due to her various problems.I hope she resumes school this week.

Monday, September 28, 2009

World deaf day

Today was world deaf day.Mrs Hudlikar had arranged for a meeting with a reporter of news paper to come and see for himself how it was possible for the deaf to speak through speech therapy.I am attaching the link of the news paper called DNA.

Some touching moments
Am sharing this from Julia's blog.It was a very soul stirring video and I wanted to share it with people reading my blog.Thanks Julia for sharing. Had a great moment with Prisha when we both watched it. Prisha asked me why the man was not talking.I told her he was using signs as he cannot hear and so he can't speak. To this she asked me why he does not wear hearing aids.Then she went on to tell me that ask his mother to put on hearing aids for him and then his mother could teach him to talk.I was so touched at her sensitivity as well as I felt that she does treat her handicap as part of life. I realized that part of her knows that it is the mother who is responsible for teaching her to talk.
She is now down with high temperature last 2 days. I am really loosing it. The moment I feel she has recovered from some problem and can go back to school , she comes down with something else.Why can't life be just a little normal?It works on me . Every morning I have got used to asking her about the ear pain, cough, cold, sore throat, itching in the ear or pain in the boils on her face. the big boil in her scalp burst last week and huge amount of discharge and then bleeding gave me a sleepless night.I wonder what is causing so much eruptions on her face. This year has been tough for us.Hope that her problems soon are out of her system.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I went to the audiologist today to get new moulds made for her hearing aids.Since her ear is healing slowly, I don't want to use the old mould, maybe even after sterilizing it so many times the ear is still sensitive to the mould or there is still a tiny bit of remains of germs on the mould. Don't want to take any chances.I asked him to look in, keeping my fingers crossed all the while.My heart was beating fast thinking about what news he would give me. He looked up and told me there was just tiny bit of wax and canal was a little red still! I was so happy as I have waited for this news for so long.I have decided to wait for a month more, though he says I can use it now . I don't want to take chances.The ear scratching has reduced thanks to my homeopathic medicines. I am so glad that my homeopath dear Dr. Sunil Anand had assured me that the infection would go provided I trusted him and he told me not to take allopathic medicines as they interfered with his treatment. he told me if he felt the need he would tell me when to go for allopathy. I hope the day arrives soon when she would wear both aids. Her ear scratching has reduced and now when she does complain , we remove the aids and dry with hair dryer. It really helps.Next week I will see and decide if I want to change the mould if her ear is alright.I shall get new impressions done. Prisha is really brave I feel.The thought of something being stuffed in my ear canal for 1 min is so yukky.But I know she did it so well when she was 3 years old and now at 5, she is stronger.Looking forward to some happier , healthier and better hearing times. Cheers to this thought.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ear itching

Just put ear drops last week after the visit to ENT to remove the wax from the ears. I used mullien oil for the little pain she has for the left ear. Her ear had no pain in the morning . I was happy. I used the mullien oil in the morning. By evening she said her ear was scratching I visited the ENT again today and he has asked me to keep using the ear drops waxol for 3-4 days more and avoid using the aid in the left ear for another 10 days. I am careful and have decided to not use the aid for a month more. I want to make sure the left ear is totally normal.i am just worried about her ears scratching last 3 days. i hope the ears are alright soon. I hope this ear scratching is nothing to be worried about.The right ear is itching too. God help!! I just hope all ear problems find a solution soon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another visit to the ENT

Today I decided to visit the ENT again to check on Prisha's left ear. She has been without the hearing aid for 7 months now. She does miss her 2nd HA . The very mention of her ear being all right makes her squeal with joy , she wants her left HA.The doc is very interesting, very positive about life and loves to give advice on healthy living. Love visiting him.He did the thorough check up of her ear and said her ear now has dry scabs and wax which needed to be dissolved with ear drops , to be put into her ear twice a week. It would basically coat the ear lining. The drops would soften the scabs and wax.When the scabs are pulled out , they normally pull out the hair in the ear which leads to more boils.So now ear drops would help heal her ear. I am so happy that finally thanks to homeopathy , Prisha's ear infection is slowly getting better. I do give her lots of multi vitamins and Vit C for building resistance in her body.I hope and pray that she only gets better by the day.Now I am waiting for the day when 2 HA would give her better hearing and better speech.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Teamwork between speech therapist and mother

I uploaded a video on whether it is essential to have a mother sitting in with the therapist while a speech therapy session is going on.This was in answer to a query by my mother. Personally I think being with my speech therapist every inch of the way has made Prisha more exposed to language as I keep on talking to her the way Mrs.Alaka Hudlikar has trained us to do.I am able to do a lot of talking which other mothers of normal children are not able to. The training I have received has made me expressive, gave me clearer speech [I used to talk too fast],mentally more alert, clearer mind and thoughts and above all a more interesting orator.I don't have to think what I have to talk to my child. I always have something interesting to talk to my daughter as the smallest little thing I see I make it exciting with my words, intonation and thoughts.I think every child should be sitting with the mother during the speech therapy session so that the mother can carry home the training and this teamwork works 24x7 for the child giving him more opportunities and exposure to language and above all the bond that is developed between the mother and child is beyond any explanation.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meeting another hearing impaired inspiration

Yesterday, I went to meet Mrs. Hudlikar who had a visitor. The girl was coming down with a box of sweets as she had just passed out as Bachelor of Engineering in Information Technology.She was also a deaf child who came to her and is oral deaf.She is Suroshree.
Suroshree came to ma'am when she was a little toddler.Her mother was a very depressed mother when she discovered her beautiful girl was deaf and had no hopes of of ever getting any happiness in life.She did not know how to live a life with a child who was deaf and feared the tough life ahead of her. She came to ma'am and her biggest fear was -the change of her name Suroshree. Her sentiments were attached to the name as the name was the combination of the parents and son's name.Ma'am assured her that nothing in her life will change, and her beautiful girl would be leading a very normal life if the mother cooperated.Then began years of speech therapy, typical Mrs. Hudlikar style- tough, strict and wanting only results. The girl is now 21\22 years old and just graduated as a B.E. in Information Technology from a normal college and without any handicap category. I was so thrilled to see how hard work had paid off. The parents were proud and so was Alaka ma'am.I too had misty eyes as I could see Prisha's future too shaping up positively in a field of her choice. I too would stand there proudly holding my daughter's degree one day.
It must have not been easy, as engineering is a difficult line.To understand the course, follow instructions, listen in class, do the practicals etc needs a lot of language base without which studies are not possible.It was possible to do it through spoken language.I listened to her speak but was a bit not happy as her speech was a bit unclear. Ma'am came down heavily on her as the speech had deteriorated over the years. It was because she was so engrossed in her studies that the spoken word was being ignored. SHE STOPPED LISTENING TO HER OWN VOICE. When we talk , there are always 2 listeners. One is the person we talk to, and the other being myself.She was listening to others and responding to them quickly without listening to her own voice. When we say something wrong, we correct our self, she stopped doing that.The therapy lessons were left long back as the parents were happy that she had started to talk very well.Over the years, the parents too become complacent and corrections took a back seat.She would now be coming to ma'am for the finish in her speech again.A few tips here and there would set her towards a better speech. This path of learning spoken language is not easy and the learning does not ever get over, but results are amazing as today the girl is independent, does not need an interpreter, did not have to sacrifice her dream of becoming an engineer and did not have to settle for a course which would be like a compromise. I can't imagine a girl like her today would have been settling for something like candle making, toy making due to lack of spoken language because this is what most of the mute children end up doing in India.Not that they are any lesser as jobs, but the point is about having aspirations and being able to fulfil them.
I was amazed at ma'am as she corrected Suroshree's speech even though she need not have. But this what is so different about her. She will not settle for less and I am fortunate to have found her in my life. Yesterday I realised that my work with Prisha too would not get over so fast. But does not a mother of a normal child do the same?i need to make sure I do not ever get relaxed as she is getting good speech, I need to be attentive and let her not slip as the pressures of studies mount over the years over her.The spoken language will always be a priority for us even as she goes towards fulfilling her dreams.Meeting Suroshree was an eye opener in more than one ways.I realised the things I need to do and not do.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Social interaction for a deaf child

It is very important that a deaf child gets accepted by the community.For that it is important that the child interacts with the society around him.In the past there have been kids, now grown ups, who have come to our speech therapist and said they missed out a lot of social conversation around them as they had been very used to reacting to people only when they where spoken too.Other times they were not keen on taking part in the conversation as they could not understand what was being discussed.For this she recommends that it is very important that the child is made to listen to other people's conversation.It really helps. She always asks mothers' to make the child listen to the various conversations around him eg, between father and grand father, mother and aunts, mother and shop keeper etc, and later on ask the child what he understood of the conversation or report to a third person about it.It makes them start to get interested and soon involve themselves in various conversation.Is not exciting to listen to the gossip between friends?Why should a deaf child be left out.? I often ask this to Prisha and it is fun to hear about things happening in school.
Another is having conversation between deaf kids.To get them to start it, she took out photographs of various things and asked to see them carefully and them talk to each other about it. It was actually a totally new thing for the kids.They were used to picture description told to the teacher.Here talking to each other was quite awkward initially.Then they started to open up after a little coaxing and pushing by us mothers. Soon prisha and Ritick were opening up and telling each other what they saw in the photos.It was a good ice breaker between them and also it increased their observation and added new words.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Try this

Hey Leah and Julia, I am on homeopathy for even swine flu.Three of us were quite down with bad throat and body ache running nose.Gelsemium 200 helped us out.My mother in law is also feeling less pain in her body. We were coming down with a comman flu. Try this.It acts like a body strengthner and immunity builder.Check it out.I am doing alot of home remedies to build up our resistance.check out this link.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swine flu

The city of Pune has been hit by swine flu and we are stuck in the house.All schools have been closed and we are taking precautions.Prisha too keeps asking me about why I look so sad.I am tired of one thing after the other.Had to cancel my speech therapy lessons as we have children from at least 30 different schools coming in and Mrs. Hudlikar had to close the classes.It is horribly scary as we are looking at everybody with suspicion. Prisha's immunity is low , so I am keeping her on vitamins and protecting her from cold.My son came down with sneezing this morning and paranoia had the better of me.I gave him all home remedies and homeopathy and all kinds of steams.He is better.God, what age do we live in, that we can't even breathe in peace.Prisha listens to my you tube videos, does some craft work and does not like to go out as she does not like to wear a mask.I wonder how long this will go on.I hope some vaccine is out soon so that we can all breathe easy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Conversation with Bansari

Uploaded a video of Bansari who came for therapy 40 years back and see how well she has got integrated.Her english may not be perfect but she is like any other normal person relying on english for communication.Mrs. Hudlikar still does not stop correcting her!!This is the passion that has changed lives of deaf kids in Pune,India.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

You tube uploads

Just uploaded 3 more videos on my you tube account.Making a small effort to spread what I have learnt and benefited from.The videos are about how early intervention gives the chance to the deaf child to get used to hearing aids, adapt to listening and rules out the possibility of ever relying on visual aids for speech and language, start responding to sounds, and start verbalizing leading to good speech and language with the help of good speech therapy which focuses on listening .It avoids the trauma the child and family may go through as the child is integrated into normal life sooner.Here there are tips on how Mrs. Hudlikar uses her skills to get the child used to hearing aids by training the mothers and giving them ways and means to get the child want to wear hearing aids.Thanks to those tips, all her children learn early to enjoy listening and that is the biggest secret to her kids learning to use spoken language.She empowers her mothers to do the needful making them into good speech therapist.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Choice of the child and parents

A child is born with deafness never realises the importance of hearing as he has never heard anything and when you don't know about a thing you don't feel the need for it. He learns to make adjustments by turning visual.If he is given a choice when he is small [ for which he is too small] he is perfectly okay with people around him doing things for him the way he wants.Given a choice then, he would not really take the pains to talk as it is an effort for him. His mouth muscles are lazy and if not asked to speak early in his life he would prefer to sign. But when he grows up and sees there are people who are deaf like him but are oral, would he not feel the pinch? In our class , there is a couple where a student is trained by the mother and he is married to a sign language user. The deaf parents have come to the class as they both want their child not to use ASL but speak and lead a normal life.The child is too small to decide what is good for him.A child steals, abuses or is in habits, do we as parents show him the way to the right or as he is happy with his life or we let him be. Parents are there in a child's life to take him through this life of right and wrong to a path that is correct. If later in life his language is not developed for the reasons given in the previous post , the child at a right time should be given a language which suits him. But efforts have to be made to make sure a child detected early should be given AVT training to avoid complications in his life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A chat with a teacher/mother of the deaf

Today I decided to finally make that call to the mother of 2 deaf girls who are in their late 30's.The mother had gone through a lot as she was not fortunate to get the help that is available now.She educated herself in the field and somehow managed to get her girls married and they are communicating in half developed language but mainly use signs as the language is too limited.I asked her opinions on this and she too said sign is now recognised as the language of the deaf only if they are not able to develop language for reasons like late detection, inadequate hearing aids, not good speech therapy and above it parent's {read mother's} hard work.She said that people who have had early intervention and have undergone AVT like me and mothers have put in untiring hours of work with the child to develop speech and language and made sure the child is leading a normal life , does not need to learn signs. I put in a point to it- if i am more fluent in my mother tongue and not in English, the moment I meet a person who has the same issue , we would shift to our mother tongue.So like that, a child who is deaf and is brought up in AVT, and also learns signs, given a choice , he would shift to signs where he comes across a deaf signing child. But if he does not know signs and is only oral, he would react the same way to deaf signing person as a normal person would to the deaf person.If speech is not developed even after a lot of efforts, due to what ever reasons, sign language is the best way of communicating.My mind was clear about it but I felt it is always better to know about it from people who are into the field and are exposed to both kinds of methods.The lady has been a very dedicated person in this field and follows a middle path. If detected early, hearing aids put, she advises them to auditory verbal , but if detected late or language is not able to be developed, advises signs.These are people , who you know are leading us onto a right track.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I saw a dream

Leah and Julia, I am so happy to hear that there are parents who are following AVT all over the world and are leading a fully normal successful lives and you agree that AVT is the way of life for all of us.Sign language does isolate an individual like you said.It is like knowing, for example, Japanese and then visiting Spain and not knowing how to communicate. But by knowing a language known world wide, more accepted known even by a small time village person too, you can make yourself understood.I have visited Paris,and I felt the need to know french {had to make do with a bit learnt in my catering college}, in Germany I need to know German, in Bali needed to know their local language etc. But through a spoken English language mastered over the years liberates you. I am confident to be able communicate anywhere in the world, and this I needed to pass on to my daughter and the other mothers who follow AVT do the same.We have a 40 year old lady Bansari, who has been trained by my mentor since she was 3 years old.She is so independent and has travelled to Dubai, communicated over the years through English and does not need sign language. I asked her about her experiences, as being the Mom of a deaf child myself I am curious to know how this therapy has worked over the years specially when there is EARLY INTERVENTION.She said she met a deaf signing person and she could not understand what she was trying to convey through signs.Being deaf herself, not trained in signs but only in AVT, she asked the interpreter to interpret the sign language into english for her!! That was a defining moment for me.40 years back with hearing aids as good as boxes, she has been trained in AVT and leads a normal life like me.Priya Kshirsagar , trained under ma'am too runs a bakery business and communicates through English language, speaks on the phone, talks to her clients for orders and billing etc, listens to music does not need signs as she has only known oral communication as a mode of communication and is leading a normal life like me. These and many more successful stories of Mrs. Alaka Hudlikar include engineers, a dietian who are a couple in their 40s.If they can benefit through this mode of communication, then I have no reason to doubt, as I have better hearing aids, better audiological tecniques and access across the world to know what is new and how good or bad AVT is. I have yet to meet a mother who has a deaf child and does not want her child to talk.It is a mother's instinct which leads her to the right path. There is a mother of 3 year old Rashi, whose mother is in touch with me through phones. She has her aids since 4 months now but through AVt she is doing so well. I was surprised to hear her talk. She spoke so well on the phone.Signs are good when the child has been diagnosed late or the parents too are deaf and are signing.Also signs also are different in different languages.So the purpose is not served.There are students of our therapist who ahve married normal people and they fell in love with these hearing impaired people and I am sure they communicated in a comman language in a normal circumstances.The couple is not communicating in signs, the conversation is in a comman language.
As far as the deaf shift to signs the moment they are left in our class talk !Also don't the normal kids sign when they don't want to be heard?As far as meeting other deaf children out side, how many deaf people do we come across in our lives? In Prisha's school of 3000 kids, there are only 3 deaf kids. that is 3 in a 1000. The chances of them ever meeting is rare and even if they do, Prisha would react as other kids would. If the speech of that child is alright if they follow AVT, She too would talk to them, or she would ignore and walk away.It is how sincerely you take it up.Also if one has to follow sign language , why invest in hearing aids and cochlear implants?
Again these are my experiences as the mother of a hearing impaired child, it is my journey which has taught me and got me on the right track.I was not happy with the speech therapy I was getting when she just got aids. It was my instinct that told me what I was following was not right.The moment I came across this, 6 months into this style, I was sure i had found my path to success.I am sure these personal experiences are echoed by many more mothers who follow this system.
On a lighter note, I need to share something! I had been telling prisha about the concept of dreams since April this year.In May she told me about what she saw in her dream and since then I had been asking her if she saw another one.I needed to affirm this concept to Prisha which is very difficult teach to the child as it is so abstract.Yesterday she woke up so excited and yelled out "Mummy, I saw a dream!'. I stopped in my tracts and turned around an d looked at her. I asked her about it. She told me she saw clouds, and in the sky there was an aeroplane and a helicopter. On the road there was a bus which had flowers painted all over it. She was on that bus. We were so excited, and I took it forward. I asked her to draw it for me and colour it.She produced the whole concept on paper so beautifully. I was so thrilled!All, this was possible in language and she and I did just that though speech and language developed through AVT over 4 years which I think a normal child would also do.I believe in what I am doing and I believe I will succeed.Nothing can deter me from this path towards success.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Importance of a comman language

I was in Austria this summer and during this visit to Ikea, i got drawn by a couple who probably came down to buy something for their home. I was keen to know what was actually happening in that world as far as the deaf were concerned.I was conscious as i did not want to look at them and make them feel odd or make them feel conscious about their disability though I am sure they are used to being stared at. They were both signing away and looked totally unaware of what was happening around them.I asked my husband if we should go and "chat up ". He asked me how would you communicate and what will you say? I had no answer and with a heavy heart, moved ahead. I tried to find about what was happening around but as, like someone said they are a minority and people do not bother till it does not hit them.Looking at them and seeing them so oblivious of the world, I thanked God for sending Mrs. Alaka Hudlikar in my life and for the belief that I had in her that I would work and strive to make Prisha a part of the world by teaching her the language of the masses so that she is not cut off and is part of this bustling booming world of sounds.Today she talks in English and is picking up Hindi. She sings, dances, listens, reacts to sounds around her, talks to me in the dark,does not need an interpreter, talks to the people around her.This was possible as I saw examples in my speech therapy classes.Soon when Prisha is big and ready to conquer the world , she too would know 2 language like her parents and many more people like us and be ready to interact with other people like we do. I am sure the training we have got , she would pick up other languages if she decides to stay in some other parts of the world. Given a choice today and any day, i would not choose my life any other way.World over people have benefited through AVT.Then why as a mother of a hearing impaired child , I would not choose the one knows what is good for my child then me.Ask any mother any she would love to hear her child's endless chatter, non stop questions and I am no different.Had it not been for this , I too would have been deprived of her beautiful voice.I love the little songs that we make and little rhymes she picks from school.I have those moments when I break down thanking the Lord for giving me this happiness and would want it for every child and the parents to have it too.God bless every parent and their child and help them to make the right decision. Every parent has the right to know what is good or bad and decide what their next course of action would be.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ent visit

I decided to take another opinion about Prisha's ear condition.He was recommended by my homeopath Dr Sunil Anand.I was so nervous about what he would say about his ear.The entire class at speech therapy was so ignored by me as I was preoccupied by my nervousness.Fortunately he turned out to be Mrs Hudlikar's recommended doctor and another kid in our class was treated by him too.He checked her ear and told me that the eardrum is ok and healed well and there was a leftover of a boil for which Prisha is being treated with homeopathy medicine.He said that the medication was working and that Prisha needs loads of vitamins and enough food to heal her.The doctor was very open about alternative medicines and really good for both of us.His cheerful ways got me at ease as for now. Though he has given me a green signal for her aid but I think I shall wait for her ear to be totally all right and the skin to heal.Another month after the last 6 months would not harm her without her left aid.I am at ease for a while now.
At the therapy session, Prisha performed well. She was attentive after my lecture last week. She was too distracted in the class last week.I have pulled up my socks and have started to correct her speech a lot and she is listening .My in laws too agreed that it is our firmness towards her speech that makes her speech better. I do not take any lax in her speech easy.I make her aware all the time when she says something wrong and thank God she is listening to me.
This weekend Prisha made 2 cellphones for herself with all waste material. What amazed me was she copied my cellphone to the last detail.She then decided to call her big brother on it and what a firing he got from her. I died laughing as she was copying me.Thank God he was not home or else there would have been fireworks at home! She yelled at him asking him to study and was being fired for not listening. She then was doing pretend play all day. She put it for charging, she looked for missed calls, listened to it ring, spoke to all our relatives and friends. Great speech practice as well as I loved the spontaneity of her speech.
Thanks Leah and Julia for your wishes, they seem to be working! I really hope she comes around and grows from strength to strength.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Facial expressions

Uploaded a video on the importance of facial expressions in understanding speech specially by the hearing impaired.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back after a break

Yes I was away for so long. My lil girl is coming around. Ihad the most difficult 3 weeks of my life as a mom.I was awake most of the 8 days trying to get her fever of 104 degrees C down, sponging her, trying to feed her , taking her to the toilet every 15 mins, consoling her while she shrieked with pain while passing urine.I slept for barely 3 hours in each 24 hrs and that too in breaks.Kept awake through 2 alarms, unending hours on the net to keep awake, gathering information on the net about her UTI. One morning when she screamed of pain on her left side and shivered with chills and fever of 104, I rushed her for a sonography to rule out kidney problem and was shocked to know she has kidney stones . It was shocking that her tiny body is dealing with ear infection, UTI and kidney stones.She would shout, kickaround as in high fever she was not herself.Later when the fever came down and I would be crying looking at her , she would say I was her brave girl and kissed me.She is so brave. We got her on high antibiotics and soon after finally 12 days of struggle we saw her coming around.3 weeks have been tough and my husband finally came down from Austria when i started to crack after 10 long days.Now she has joined school and is drinking lots of water, going to the toilet more often and eating better. i just want this long nightmare of over 6 months to get over.Tomatoes and spinach have disappeared from our dinner plates since then.Difficult for people who only eat tomatoes.Anyway anything for this angel.We are getting back to our routines but the regression in her speech is so evident.I worked hard today to get back her concentration and her speech clarity. Long road ahead but buck up girls!
Today did a good lesson on picture discription.Mrs. Hudlikar discribed a picture to perfection to the kids so that the kids could visualise it.Then she asked questions to see how they have understood and interpreted. After that she showed the picture to the kids.It was really ea different way of picture discription. Prisha had hardly listened to anything thanks to the distraction due to her illness.I was bugged to see how she had hardly paid attention to the discription which was easy.But when she was cross questioned later she related the picture to her own experience in Austria.It was a picture of a white kangaroo sitting on grass with her 2 babies.The other child also related it another experience.Prisha related it to the cows grazing on the grass and the other kid related the picture to 4 white rabbits in his neighbourhood. It was really exciting. Praying hard that my life goes back soon on tracks. Her left ear is still redc so no aids since feb this year. GOD help, I need my Prisha's ear alright, we both miss bilateral hearing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Just when Prisha seemed to get her ear boils out and I was heaving a sigh of relief , she started to complain of pain in her genitals. I got concerned when the pain got too severe and she started to scream at the thought of going to the toilet.I rushed to doctor Sunil Anand, and realised she had come down with some infection . I had surfed the net on sunday as the doc is away, and kept her on homeopathy. She sat in warm water and soda mixture to give relief. The trips to the bathroom are painful and she and I dread them.I am washing her with yogurt and loads of water to drink to drain out the infection. I am simply cracking under pressure.The ear pain has gone and I was so thrilled that finally things are ok. The time stands to stand still.The stomach pain on the left side too is my concern. Maybe she caught the infection from the not so clean toilet in the return flight to India from Zurich.Evey hour seems like a day and she looks so weak and tired.She rocks her self to ease the pain- a habit she has since she was a baby. She rocks herself to sleep.The jerk medicine given every 2 hours I think is working. Hope her pain is gone tomorrow.This year has not been too kind to her . Hope the doc is able to build up her immunity, as he promises.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ear infection

Found this on the net while surfing for ear infection litrature. I am praying that her ear gets all right , it has been 5 months now.My lil girl is so brave, never complaining about her pains, but just keeping herself occupied with her little games. i feel blessed to have her as she gives me the strength to hold on and not loose it.The site gave me some relief.Leah's mail to made me hopeful that all would be ok.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ear infection

This gave me some relief, as I am so worried about Prisha's ear infection. I am suspecting a burst eardrum. Hope its useful as information to parents of hearing impaired children.

See my baby

I was making Prisha's bed today as she wanted to sleep.Suddenly, I heard her say "mummy, see my baby!". I expected a doll in her arms. I turned around and nearly died laughing. She was holding her tummy with a little bump! Looking at my rounded eyes, she quickly pulled out a small ball from under her T-shirt. I think she has really seen the water purifier advertisment from very close. She did look very giggley when she saw the mother drinking clean water and the baby swimming in her tummy.She went all cosy looking at the pink baby. She had hugged me after that as she now is sure that she was in my tummy before she was born.She even goes to the extent of cutting her brother's tummy , doll's tuummy or any one who is ready to lie still.She really keeps me in splits and high spirits.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keeping hearing aids on

We have dealt with lots of moms who complained about how to keep those huge hearing aids on those tiny ears.First we need to know , why do the kids take off the aids.Once we know this the rest is easy.
I had issues with Prisha about the hearing aids being thrown off.She had just started putting them when she was 10 months old.She threw one of them off into the DUSTBIN within that month! They are expensive lil things, the value they don't understand till we make them realise it. Here came Mrs. Alaka Hudlikar to the rescue.I too had actually tried tying the scarves on her but she would find a way to wriggle out of them.
The kids take them off as they do not enjoy or like wearing them.For them the world was a nice silent place with which they made their adjustments.Now with these, there is so much sound which at times scares them and sometimes bothers them. This happens till they realise and understand the meaning of those sounds- sound perception.To top it the moulds too can be quite suffocating in the ears.It is very important that the child should hear sounds [ could be anything from music to mom's voice which makes meaning to him etc.] that excite him and make him want to hear them.Like initialy with Prisha , I used to really talk a lot of things, show her around, sing and do things naturally which made her want to pay attention to what I was saying, diverting her mind from those stuffy , noisey things.So for her they became a mode of communication with the exciting world of sounds.She wanted to be a part of it and give her own voiceing.But there were times , she just would not have them in her ears.She realised I had great importance for those Hearing aids. So when I was ignoring her or giving her a dressing down for some tantrum, the hands would definately go to the aids, threating me.At that moment, I had to be very firm and strict.I would give her a warning and show her my eyes and would definately give it to her in a firm voice. At times she listened but if the tantrum went further, there are times I told her that since she does not want it, she needn't bother, I would take it out and throw it away, then she cannot hear. Sounds nasty but it worked.Then once this warning too was ignored and she was pulling it out, I quickly took them out and pretended to throw them out of the window into the street.She was horrified and started to cry.I told her its gone and since she does not like them she can stay without them.I walked out of the room, with my heart bleeding at her crying. But I knew it was all for her good.She came in later and since she had little vocabulary , pointed to her ears and wanted them on.With a bit of signing [as she was just a year old- I NEVER use signs otherwise] I was able to tell her next time she should not do it. We put on the aids, and then I talked to her in simple small sentences telling her not to throw otherwise mumma would throw it.That was the last of this behavior.
This is Ma'am's philosophy.She does not believe in being very available to the child.Most good medicines that are good for us are bitter.She feels if the child threatens the mother, he is holding her to ransom as he knows the mother would eventually melt.Let him realise the value of the aids and once he starts to enjoy the sounds around him, he will never ever take off the aids.Prisha has been off the left HA for the last 6 months. Her ear boils have gone from her ear[ thanks to homeopathic medicines given by our Dr. Sunil Anand].But since the skin is just healing I don't want to put the aid.She keeps telling me she wants the other aid. If she did not like it she would never want it.It has worked for me and for hundreds of mothers who have come to Mrs. Hudlikar in the last 40 years.So I am sure it would work for everyone.

Good reading

Got this on my mailbox, would like to share.Also uploaded new videos of our speech therapy sessions on youtube [rouchi6].

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Keeping mouth closed

Just uploaded a video on why should the children keep their mouth's closed before starting to speak or when they are just sitting around not doing anything.I found it very useful for Prisha as the deaf kids do leave their mouths open due to lax mouth muscles and speech gets affected.

Click on the link below or in the video bar on the side.

Budapest trip

Our 2 day Budapest trip came to an end and so are the trips around Austria.Another 10 days and we go back to the grind back in India.Budapest was a good place to see and these trips made Prisha get exposed to so much.She is so confident here in supermarkets, stores and in places of interest, back home I can't let her out of my sight even for a minute.The feeling of security here is immense as there is more discipline. Back home the traffic and timing of schools make her lost and there is less exposure even to language. In Budapest we strolled on the bank of the river at night and Prisha sat there and sang for us, her quaint little songs.She danced and needed to be clicked all the time.She gives me poses that make me laugh and people passing by would smile too.My husband was a bit irritated about her song and dance on the riverside but I was thrilled as she was doing it so naturally boosting her confidence and at the end of it is good way of listening to her on natural voice, giving her a chance to correct herself.She is not thrilled with walking and so she was promised a surprise if she walked and also rewarded with the "big girl" tag, which she now wants to be called. So she decided to walk all the way around the place telling me that she was a sweet girl like strawberry and not a sour girl. The smile that followed is enticing.
She loved the view from the top of the Gellert hill and got her poses clicked.We went to a hotel for a drink and she needed to go to the toilet. The lobby was big and I was trying to look for the WC sign. She just tugged me and said come there is the toilet.I was surprised as on out road trips she was the one who would quickly show me the toilets.I was thinking about it and realised since she cannot read just now she depends on the pictures. WC sign has been captured in her mind as a picture and so she finds it more quickly while I am still trying to figure out the script of German.
In the supermarket she loves to pick up her yogurts and chocolates of her choice and even helps with weighing the fruits and vegs. So it is fun. I hope this spontaneity remains once we are back and is not lost in the hustle and bustle.her ear has another big boil near the ear lobe waiting to burst. She is so patient with the pain and tells me that once it bursts I should clean it. I am amazed at her strength.I just hope with medicines I am giving her things are alright soon.I am concerned also as our dear old DR. Sunil Anand , the homeopath, is shifting abroad.We wish him well as thanks to his treatment last 10 years had been good for myself, my son's wheezing and my mother in law's health issues after her cancer treatment, but somewhere inside we don't want him to go.He is the only hope for Prisha right now.Tomorrow we plan to take the kids to Klagenfurt where there is a miniworld. I would love to see prisha get inspired to make her mini world from waste.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Heart , talk to mumma

Prisha is on the latest fad of hearts.Actually this is there for a while now.All her pictures and paintings need to have all kinds and sizes of hearts.It is very cute , I would like to admit, as I go back to the time in college when hearts and smileys seem to rule my corner in the hostel. It has come pretty quick for her , a typical girlish thing. The hearts are there on the chef's coat , the jokers dress, the houses she draws, the mugs, the writings etc are incomplete without a couple of hearts thrown in.Her flowers are always with smiling faces and I realise that her paintings always portray her sense of being, which is very happy.She understands that she has a disability and cannot hear without the aids, has immense pain with boils in her ear still there, now her nose and the upper palate too is paining, but the moment I ask her to draw, she is at it and she forgets her pain.My husband and i were discussing the other day, how she has got so much life in her. She keeps my home alive with her fights with the big bro, her melodramas,her singing,her hugs and kisses which she is very generous with, and her "i love you"s keep me pepped up too.I am so glad she came into my life and then in spite of all the rough rides with her hearing impairment journey, life became easier to live once Alaka teacher came into our life and Prisha started to talk. I get those lumps even now thinking about our journey.It was a tough ride with ma'am hudlikar.She is very tough but when I see the results, I feel the struggle was worth it. The other day we were in Ikea in Vienna, I saw a couple using sign language, my eyes welled up and I shuddered to think that had it not been for Alaka ma'am our world too would have been so silent, we would have missed all the non stop chatter, the constant chatter that is full of jest, laughter, provoking [her big bro only] ,singing[ she makes these funny songs on her own] and that life would have been full of "why me". Today when I talk to a few mothers who are just starting out , my heart goes out to thm and I wish I could help them out with all the lessons I am able to give out to them.For me when I see this door for the deaf, where they can be as normal as me, I wish every deaf child and the parents could walk through it and experience the joy we feel.
I would like to share a little incident that happened y'day. It made me laugh,as well as I had tears at the innocence of it.Prisha had been busy provoking and fighting with her big brother. I always ignore it as I feel it is part of their growing up and also relation building.When it went to far,there was bad behavior, i intervened and since my husband was out, we decided that Prisha needed to left alone till she apologised.The big ego was not allowing her.She sat in the corner and threw a small fit and told me she did not love me and the melodrama was on. When she saw there was no reaction, she sat and was drawing something in her hand.After a while she realised I meant business, she apologised after a lot of tears and ego blasting.I was smiling in my heart as all this is "so cute". She cried a bit and then I told her she needed to have good behavior and then we all love her.I suddenly saw her muttering into her hand "heart, talk to mumma okay, she is a good girl". I just found it so sweet that I could not help but kiss her with tears in my eyes. She had drawn 1 smiling heart in each palm and they belonged to both of us.She told me I should say "I love you to the heart" and kiss it to make up, which I gladly did. I love this child innocence and wish it never goes away.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Trip to Italy

Finally home after a long week end in Italy.We went to Venice and Florance. It was wonderful to see the cities. What excited Prisha was there were no cars and roads in Venice and we just needed to go by boat everywhere. What fun! She did loved going to churches. We did light the candles and she did pray as usual asking God to bless her and to help her to hear and speak well. She did complain to Mother Mary about her boils in her ear and her eyes.She asked her to take them away. It did give a lump as to see how she desperately wants her other hearing aid.
We learnt about all the different kind of boats and saw ships , it was exciting for her. She took out her book and pencil and drew out the big ship.She was tired with all the walking but cooperated well. We sat on the steps near the water and talked about the things happening around.
She complained of ear ache at night on Sunday and when we peeped in , we got a shock as we saw a huge boil burst with a big hole at the end of the ear. In heart I knew it could not be the ear drum but the fear of the possibility kept me uneasy and upset the entire night.She was complaining of ear pain behind the ear too. The faith in homeopathy medicine started to dwindle again.We were quite happy as the homeopathic medicines for ear boils had really worked well this time after the long session with my doc.The next morning I could just run into the streets of Venice shouting with joy as the hole was actually a crust of the boil that had healed. It had fallen off and covered the eardrum.I am glad we bought the otoscope.She is better now. The left eye too had developed a stye but thanks to the homeo preparation , it has stopped where it started.I am glad I did not start anti biotic again. Homeopathy for boils has a more lasting effect.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Walk in the jungle

We went out to see the castle and it was really nice to see it. There was a thick green jungle around the castle in Kafenberg in Austria. As usual my son and husband complained about walking into it. But mom daughter duo did persist. Prisha was so over enthusiastic about getting into it. Well it was the best decission as the whole experience turned out to be not only refreashing but we did a lot of speech therapy there. A few weeks back Mrs. Hudlikar had talked about the jungle and so here we saw one and talked about it. We did focus on the tall trees , snails and the birds chirping. Great job done! Prisha is turning out to be a model in front of the camera. She had all the poses and asked me to click her in all possible postures. Loved it!Her boil is still troubling her but is healing now. Hope a new one does not crop up. I am cleaning up with spirit, drying it up 3 times a day with a hair dryer. She feels a lot of relief.I also uploaded the latest video of our speech therapy session. It is about picture description. These video clipping I got on my laptop are quite a blessing . Prisha is all day hung on these classes. She has learnt her way on the laptop { when I am still figuring it out with nervous fingers} and finds all the videos and sings along and also keeps repeating the conversations on her own.Quite a good speech therapy lesson as it is making her listen well to a different kind of sound and respond to it.Thank God for technology.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Youtube upload

latest video uploaded on youtube.making the most of the free time I am getting in Austria.Prisha is down with ear boil again and now has a huge stye in her right eye. Am stuck to the hotel room and the apartment as she is not too keen to explore the places.She is missing her routine back home.She is talking better , is very happy in super market but tells me not to get into any mall or places of interest. Am having a tough time with her continuous whining due to her aches and pain. I NEED A BREAK!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nonstop chatter

So our journey to Austria is over but it was with a lot of endless chatter from Prisha.The moment our trip to Austria was confirmed, prisha had been super charged up.It meant a lot of spoiling and pampering by dad, loads of going out and lots of shopping. I was worried about the packing as the weather is so different for us. Its cold and we have to be so ready for all kinds of changes. While my son and I worried about what to take , Prisha was soon ready with her packing- her back pack and a handbag were loaded and kept on the sofa so that there is no delay and no forgetting when we leave. I peeped into the bags with a lot of anxious looks at me from Prisha. She was too worried that I might not take her precious stuff which was , a box of all kinds of colors [paints, crayons, pencils and sketch pens] , story books, stationary, papers of all kinds, balls and everything that she could find , found place in the bag. I could see her sneaking with things hidden in her hands and pushing into the bag. I knew if I opened it , there would be a war. So waited till she slept off, and when I picked up the bag it was HEAVY!! She is not interested in clothes and other things, but just her treasure is art work and stationary. I did sort things out and soon we compromised on a decent packing so that she has enough to occupy herself.Thank God!
There was a lot of talking all the way. We made every opportunity to converse on various phases of packing.She was so excited that she wanted to only do things in Austria including eating! She wanted eat her next meal in the plane, do her coloring there too. She was non stop on , on the airport.The singing which included the National anthem and her prayers kept people turning back and smiling. I smiled too as , nobody could understand that she was hearing impaired. She got a little finger puppet on the flight and sure, she made sure the little Tweety was entertained [ and so were our neighbours on the flight, as told to us at the end of the flight much to our amusement ] the entire night. The puppet and she talked while we did security check at Zurich diverting the attention of the officer, who I think got a bit of relief from the mundane job.She refused to be parted with it. She ate and enjoyed every bit of her journey. On the Zurich airport as we had to wait for 3 hours, we decided to do speech therapy along with creative work.She sat and drew the aeroplane she loved and a restaurant with some lovely lights fascinated her. So the artist sat and did her work.The confidence was to be seen as I let her explore the airport, while the mother in me peeped from the corner of the eye. On the way home Tweety became her cell phone and called up her grand parents and told them how she was missing them, the driver was amused too.She went to the familiar supermarket too near our home and quickly remembered all the things we did last year. I then realised the importance of language as she had captured all these moments in language and so it was easy to recall.We are now looking forward to more enriching moments in the next 6 weeks that we are here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Live band

Yesterday we went out for dinner with friends.The atmosphere was just right, open air, cool breeze, good company and a live band playing the famous songs in Hindi.We were busy talking when Prisha called out to me- " mummy, listen, there is nice music". She closed her eyes and shook her head to it and gestured with her hand about how she was enjoying.I was so happy. As from the beginning we have been using a lot of singing , she has got used to enjoying it. She has now picked up the Indian National Anthem and sings it with a few mistakes of words here and there. Go Girl......

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Speech needs attention

Last few days due to her spending a lot of time away from me, I noticed Prisha has regressed in her speech. Gosh , all the hard work of getting her there and then due to lack of spending time makes her go to her comfort zone and out comes her lower jaw and a bit of nasal voicing and there she has a bad voice. Funny thing is the moment I imitate her voice she quickly corrects herself.She is very comfortable with her grand parents, and as they follow her instructions, role plays, dramas, acts, the way she wants, she has no pressure on her and she immediately regresses. I need to focus on the echo stage a lot and do more speech practice.Her school timings are pathetic and so little time is left for her to other things. She met her older cousin and seeing her dance has made her do those "bharatnatyam" steps. I think I will put her in a class as she is quite ready to follow the instructions and learn dancing.
Last week there was a bomb scare in her school. I panicked. After the Mumbai attacks, life seems so uncertain.I rushed to school as I wondered what could be happening. The fear of the fact that in a crowded place how she would be able react, how she would hear in an emergency, would she be able to hear in chaos, etc, questions like these and more haunted me.I died a thousand deaths till I reached school. it turned out to be a hoax call.There was a lot of police and sniffer dogs but they found nothing.I hugged on to my daughter the moment I got her.She is too precious and the insecurity is high in my mind the moment my kids go to school now.
The latest fad with her in her favorite activity , drawing, is drawing hearts.She draws hearts of all sizes and colours and they look so good.She can play with colours of all kinds and as a reward for anything she needs is only things from the stationary shop. Her cupboard is overflowing. Last week we finally managed to clear out a lot. Thankfully she allowed me to throw out stuff.Normally she likes to keep even a fraction of crayon or paper hidden in her cupboard.
We visited the dentist as she developed a cavity.She is quite nervous when we visit any doctor.She was crying as she feared another cut. With a lot of difficulty we managed to fill up her cavity. The doctor was very patient and kept speaking to her with his mouth covered. He was amazed that Prisha did not lip read and was talking like other kids.he asked if I followed signs or lip reading and when I told him about AVT he was amazed. he visits a deaf school close by and had seen the kids struggle with life.I talked about what we do. As a reward for her getting the tooth job done ,for a change Prisha wanted to buy flowers. So she got red roses and zarbera.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Youtube upload

Just uploaded good information about the need of speech and language on youtube.Hope it helps to understand the need of speech.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The feedback from the skin specialist

The 6 long days of medication were over and it was now time to see the skin specialist as the surgeon suggested.He is a well known doctor and we reached the nursing home. The wait was quite agonising as Prisha was crying reliving her pain of the cut she had got last week. I kept trying to pep her up and she kept her tiny hand in my hand trying to negotiate the time the doctor would take.
Our turn came and I too had started to feel the fear that Prisha passed to me. Sitting there made me feel fearful of the pain one goes through of various hurts on the body. The doctor was pleasant and put us at ease.He looked at the boils and told us that it was a bacterial infection caused due to clogging of the sweat pores. I was relieved when he told me that he needed to give her antibiotics for 4 more days. I was a bit hassled up also as her big boil looked a bit inflamed in the morning today. My fear was that he shouldn't want to open it again. He has given an ointment that is not oily , and to increase her resistance and build up immunity, was prescribed her vit C and multi vitamin for a month. She needs to be bathed twice a day with a medicated soap to make sure there is no sweat remains. I need to make sure that all this is followed all summer as the temperature is already soaring and she does sweat a lot. So summers are going to be a bit of a test. I am still refraining from putting aid in the left ear . I think I am still not ready to take that risk as we have been through very tough times because of this. She is also doing well with just with one hearing aid. She responds when I call from the other room and takes all the corrections from far also.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our chat with the ENT specialist

Today we got prisha's dressing changed. The boil looks better and has reduced quite a bit. The wound has healed but needed to be covered for another day. I hope the bulge would go away soon.She still gets scared the moment we enter the nursing home.She has developed a bit of a phobia as far as the incision is concerned. She keeps asking me if he is going to cut her up again.
The ENt specialist turned up to have a look at her ear.He spoke to Prisha and was a bit taken aback. He looked into her ear and said that there was a small boil in her ear but would be ok with the antibiotic medicine. I really hope to see it clear up.He then asked me about her loss. When I told him she was having a profound loss, he asked me if I had done the aided audiogram as this kind was not possible with profound loss.[ he really thought I had no knowledge in this regard and probably did not know that her loss must be mild ] When I told him a few facts , he knew I knew my subject quite well. When I told him my speech therapist name, he looked a bit taken aback again.[All of them know about her but none will recommend her as she is against their mal practices] He told me Prisha's speech shows she was ready for a cochlear implant. i knew that the conversation we were having was leading there. I told him that as I was able to develop speech with HA why opt for a CI. I am happy with it. I have seen the kids who come in our classes. CI have worked but here from what I see in Pune, there have been such cases which give me goose pimples.There is CI , but after that there is hardly any good speech therapy.Resulting in lack of speech.I feel that they should know what they are talking about. Everybody focuses on expensive HA and CI, but with so much poverty in India, and not much help from the government, how can an ordinary man afford them? Why don't they focus on speech therapy. Nobody shows any interest in it. is it because it is not as profitable? I feel I am more educated about the subject than any of these degree and diploma holders in this field.I was able to talk about it to the doctor and he was so uncomfortable and quickly wrapped me up from the room.Let us work towards the benefit of the masses. India is big and I know how difficult it is for an ordinary man to understand this subject and also to put together enough money to buy aids.Can't we promote AVT and help people to develop speech with whatever aids they can afford? I am glad today I educated the doctor and showed him a larger picture.Let us not be selfish and work a little more for the society. Just because CI has more scope to make money, one educates himself quickly on that subject, and when we talk about speech therapy , they look elsewhere. I am glad that I am able to show these people that with good HA too we can develop speech and give answers to their questions but when will the answers come for the questions of the common man?When will AVT take over and every deaf child talk? I hope soon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The big boil

We went to our pediatrician who had a look at the boil that was at the base of the neck .It looked bad. From the size of a shallot before it reduced to 1/3 rd its size after the anti biotics.He advised me to get her admitted into the hospital so that the surgeon could scoop out the rest. The whole conversation was not very child or parent friendly.With such a dispassionate view of the whole thing made me wonder if it was to make some money and not really considerate towards us. I was breaking down. How could I See my princess go through this 24 hr or so ordeal.We thought of a second opinion. A surgeon , who we have visited earlier,lived close by and we decided to show it to him.He told us it was not such a big deal.He too Prisha inside who was howling and said he would take out the abscess without the anesthesia. I heard her yelling for me from the OT.I was howling away, closing my ears to shut out her shrieks.10 minutes later , she was out sweating and full of tears.I hugged her tight. While she sat out with her granny, the surgeon told me there was no abcess left as it had drained out in sleep a few days back. Little cavity needed to be closed but that too did not need stitching. A regular dressing for a week with antibiotics, a topical ointment to be applied in her nose and other small boils would take care of the problem.The bacteria in the nose had reached into the ears and started to come out as boils in the ear and later the infection got bigger and the bacteria had attracted her more vulnerable areas that is her head and neck and have erupted into boils. I now have to be careful about her ears being dry and no cold , so that this does not occur again.There should not be any long term cold .a tough lesson learnt.But she is a tough girl.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

They haven't gone

The boils became worse.One at the nape of the neck is now the size of a toffee.I had to rush to a pediatrician , who has advised me to start anti biotic and if does not go with that, he will consider puncturing it to remove the abscess.I am dreading it.Honestly she is very brave , but this is going to be painful.I can't see her going through this.The boil in the ear too has dried up and other small boils on her head too have gone. Monday will decide the future of the boil.
My little girl is growing up.She now wants clothes that show off her naval! Wants to do make up and really pose in front of the camera.I have to guide her a bit and all done through speech and she gives me the perfect picture.
as for my youtube, Ma'am suddenly said she does not want to be clicked anymore. I was really hoping to be able to spread the knowledge about this field .Hope to coax her. Hope it does not take 1 and half years like before.
I have been doing a bit of expanding her vocab specially on action words. I am trying to sit and do a few everyday and then I use them in full sentences.I wrote them on a sheet of paper , so that they are in my view and I can use them in different context.That way she can find more ways of expressing her thoughts.She has been playing teacher.The confidence is so high.I love the full voice that she uses, her intonation is a copy of her teacher.Clarity is coming too.Luckily people around say that they have no problem understanding her.She is graduating to the next class and hopefully she would be at par with other kids.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Swimmer's ear

Last 1 1/2 months have gone since prisha had her ear infection.She had little boils in her left ear canal and has been braving the pain since then.I have given her 3 rounds of antibiotics and applied ointment and it kept coming back.A few days it really got worse as a huge boil appeared outside the canal. It was full of abscess.My heart just reached out to her as when I peeped into her ear she screamed in pain. There was another big boil inside.I panicked and went to my homeopath. He gave me medicines for 3 days. The abscess formation is too much.He asked me to avoid applying anything in the canal.I felt that the antibiotics only healed from outside. The root cause was inside and homeopathy heels from within.I decided to be patient once more and have been regularly going to the clinic. I cleaned it with ear buds carefully 3 times a day and applied an anti fungal, antibacterial cream- cloben G. Yesterday I was very hassled as the ear buds were soaked in thick yellow mucus each time.The doctor changed the medicines for her and today she is better.The ear bud pulled out a bit of fluid and a little bit of dry abscess to my relief.The pain behind the ear was absent and the little covering on the ear canal was a bit less painful.She has developed a lot of prickly heat on her body and has 2 big boils on her neck, 1 on the forehead and a lot of prickly heat on her body and arms. her left toes are red and swollen and has a bit of itch on the palms too.Looking forward to seeing the doctor again tomorrow.
I did a lot of research on the net[Thank God we live in these times...]. It is the swimmer's ear that is bothering us. She had a cold early this ear and maybe the ear was wet, plus the middle ear too must have got a bit of fluid due to the cold, and to top it the mould that are worn nearly for 13 hours without a break must have been a haven for the bacteria to develop.Prisha has been extremely brave and patient to deal with all the pain.I am hoping that the infection goes away soooon.
I am going to be careful in future. I need to wash the mould with soapy solution and anti bacterial wash once a week, keep the aid in the de- humidifier along with the aid often.The mould should be wiped with spirit everyday , apply a bit of anti bacterial cream to avoid any infection and redness. Air the ear 2-3 times a day by just removing the aid for 30 seconds.Wipe dry the ear after a bath and shower, after a shampoo specially- ideally use a blow drier from the distance of 18 inches at cool into the ear so that the canal is totally dry.I hope that she gets over this fast now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

ASL verses AVT

I have come across this discussion of ASL verses AVT lately.A pediatrician cousin working in US had a discussion with my teacher , Mrs Alaka Hudlikar, also wanted to see how AVT is preferred to ASL. Well after the discussion she too came to the conclusion that AVT is definitely the best way to integrate the deaf child to normal life in the early intervention programme.She says that 99 % of the deaf kids have parents who can hear.They have no clue of the sign language. If they diagnose early , and fit with hearing aids that suit them , next comes language development. To teach the child sign language , the parents first have to learn it as with little kids, they spend maximum time with the mothers.To learn any new language , be it sign or french ,German etc , it would take minimum 2 -3 years to perfect it and then you need people who would communicate with you in that language to practice it.In that time , 2-3 years of precious , formative years of the child's life when he develops language go wasted.The mother tongue of the family needs no time and as soon as the aids are put the mother can talk to the child under the guidance of a speech therapist to help the child to develop speech and language.Moreover in the last 40 years of her taking speech therapy classes, there is not a single mother who has come and told her that she would like her child to learn to sign.ALL mothers say just one thing, teach my child to talk, I want to hear his voice, I want him to call me " mummy".All the mothers are ready to do anything to hear their child talk. More over in my entire life ,had it not been for Prisha, I would not have met so many deaf people.How many people on the road and public places know sign language? Are we not limiting their world? They need to be with someone all time to help them decipher to other people what they want to communicate. Today if somebody asked me about it , I would never want her to sign.I love to hear her sing and speak.Had it not been for AVT , I would have been deprived of this pleasure.I would be afraid to leave her alone all by herself.Today she leads a very normal life like any other normal kid. There are normal kids who only have one language, deaf also can do with one language.If I go to south India, I manage with English, I don't learn the local language of all the places I visit. Once one language is learnt, the deaf too can pick up 2nd or 3rd language if they want. Prisha is picking up Hindi, thanks to this programme. There is difference between my normal son and her.There is a child in ma'am's class who has picked up 4 languages.The method is the same, teach the child to listen and speak. Once they learn to reproduce the sounds they hear, they can learn any language. So I really feel , in the early intervention programme, the child's best option is AVT. If diagnosed later than 10 years, then yes, sign language is a better option.