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.