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.

Monday, February 9, 2009

You be with me...

I have been explaining the concept about weddings to Prisha. We would come across a decorated car, or a woman dressed up as a bride or how mom and dad got together and pictures of weddings and I would mention to her a bit about it.The other day I was coming back from therapy and Prisha pointed out of the window and yelled out.."mummy, look somebody is getting married". I saw a car being decorated and talked about it.At night on TV we saw somebody getting married and we talked .I then mentioned that when your brother becomes big he too would marry and get a girl home.I went ahead and told her "you too will grow up and marry a nice boy".She thought for a while and asked me " would you miss me" . I said yes and told her that she should call me everyday from her new home. After a little silence, she threw her arms around me and said.."You stay with me!". I was taken aback when I saw her eyes where moist and her face was long.She said ..."you , daddy, rishabh and I will always live together". I hugged her tight as I know I always find it difficult to accept that one day she too would grow and get married leaving a huge vacuum in me.I always feel myself so complete after she came into my life.I do get lumps in my throat when I think of her big day, which is still years away.
She is quite a brat. I was worried sick about her ear pain and was applying the ointment in her ears and she was without the left hearing aid for 2 weeks. I would ask her after she came back from school if her ear was still paining and she would press her ear and say that yes it pained her right inside.I finalltook and appointment with the ENT doctor and he looked in and said her ear was absolutely CLEAR! I insisted on her ear pain and he said he could see the eardrum and there was not an iota of wax and the skin was ok. I realised she was fooling me! She was enjoying her ear without the aid.As her right ear has better hearing and she was managing well without it, she preffered her ear to be without it.I asked the doctor to tell her now wear the aids as the ear was fine.It works psycologically well when the doctor tells the kids.She now goes to school with both aids and THERE IS NO PAIN.......

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Its back

Prisha complained of earache last night again, and there in the morning I peeped into her ear and there was another white boil! Poor girl she is so brave and agreed to go to school with one aid.I am going to see my homeopath for something.
Yesterday she sang for her other friends in the therapy getting a lot of "wows" for her effort from the other mothers.She did inspire an older kid!
We had a lovely class with our speech therapist y'day.I will put it on the blog.We were told about a butterfly that was born in ma'am's garden and she told us the whole cycle of its birth much to the amazement of the kids.I told Prisha later that before she was born, she was in my tummy. The chick before its birth is in the egg etc.She promptly asked me " then where is Prisha's baby?" . I laughed and told her she would have one of her own when she grows.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pain in the ear

Prisha was complaining of ear pain for a couple of days and due to mental pressures I ignored it.The other day I put in ear drops to ease the pain and the next morning she was complaining of more pain.I peeped into her ear and saw a white point.I applied a little medicated ointment and put in the aid and let her go school.She returned in the afternoon and complained of ear pain again and it extended to her cheek and behind the ear.I got worried and the moment I pulled out the hearing aid, out came a thick mucus like white discharge with it.I was shocked and I cleaned it with the ear bud as my lil girl complained of immense pain.I was cursing myself for taking it lightly and was so scared that her ear drum should not be affected.The 4 hrs after that was a nightmare of sorts as that is when I could see my ENT specialist at the earliest.The fear of her hearing being affected was killing me as she said that in school she was hearing cooing sounds in the affected ear.
The doc examined her and to my partial relief her ear drum was all right. She had a huge boil in the canal and the whole skin inside was affected.A 3 day course of antibiotics along with medicated ointment to apply and no hearing aid for 3 days was prescribed.My brave girl sat through the whole procedure while he cleaned the ear as the boil had burst and was giving out lots of discharge followed by blood.It did give her a bit of relief from pain though.At school the teacher was informed the the response may be affected due to 1 hearing aid. Fortunately as the aid she was wearing was in the better ear we could manage most of the talking and hearing.I kept telling her that though she wore 1 aid she can hear well if she paid attention.It psychologically worked well too.
Today we went for a follow up and a scab has formed on wound and it has healed well.She could wear her aid.I was thrilled.The moment we reached home Prisha said to me.."My ear is not paining, I want my other hearing too".The happiness on her face was so pleasing to me.It just showed how she enjoys listening to sounds.She wore her aids and kept saying.."I hear loudly" jumping around the house.I am so thankful she is alright.I even tested her listening skills in the affected ear, to my relief all is well.I learnt not take ear pain lightly.
By the way Prisha made me proud in last speech therapy class.We were doing picture reading and she did all of them very well.Her 1st picture she said -"In the picture there is a monkey. The monkey is peeling banana", the next being good too.The 3 rd picture was complicated and needed more number of sentences to make it more clear.Ma'am broke the picture into 6 sentences and Prisha said all in order at the 1st go[ she missed out a couple of words here and the , that's ok] Yippee, we were all thrilled and ma'am was very happy too.She remembered the pattern well though I have not able to sit with her for over 6 weeks.Great going Prisha.