Thursday, December 30, 2010

Update on Naida IX

       Since we got the new Naida IX, we have been noticing all the changes in her hearing and all things around it.I was back from India after a week and had just got the new aids before leaving.Once back home I realized Prisha was talking loudly again and was asking me things again or "not listening well".So we did go last week and had got filters changed but still this week, I felt she was listening as well as when she had got Naida III.We went back, got her new mold for the left ear and then decided to do her puretone audiogram.While the test was being done, I was a bit taken aback as she was not responding to many tones.My heart just started to sink.After the test the result was not too good.She was hearing at 35db when earlier she was at 20db!!Mrs.W was surprised too.She asked if Prisha's earlier tests were done at about the same time, but those were after school when she was really tired.And these days she has holidays.So that was ruled out.then she thought it could be back ground sound suppression.In India, our audiologist had switched that off and over the years Prisha had learnt to distinguish on her own the various sounds and had learnt to pay attention to voices even with amplification of only 60db.So mayb, just maybe, with Naida IX she is not able to hear better with suppression.So she switched of that.But still no effect and so she has now amplified by about 15 db for her to hear better and we are finding that we now have to talk softer and Prisha too is softer.So we observe next one week and next Friday we shall go again and see what changes need to be made.We have to still find out why was she hearing better with Naida III.Is it because Ix has more channels and so the tuning makes the peaks and gains flatter?We would find out answers to our questions soon.We trust the company a lot and am sure they would make sure Prisha gets the best help possible.

Friday, December 24, 2010

FM system not needed

'H' is the tube to be changed
    Today we were at "Geers" to get her hearing aids tuned more finely but sadly Mrs.Wiesel was unwell and another audiologist was there to help us with issues.We were told that there could be some water deposit in the filters of the HA.These filters are present in the transparent tube in front of the BTE.This happens specially in the winters with the difference of temperatures in and outside the house.The snow and moisture in the air can clog the filters and despite keeping the aids every night in the de-humidifier.It does not dry up as much and we need to unscrew the transparent tube and replace with a new one every few weeks.We did that and Prisha could make out the difference instantly.It was decided that we shall see for a few days and if we still feel Prisha needs more amplification, we shall do so when Mrs.W is back as she is a specialist with kids in absence of Mrs.Z and knows Prisha's case well.So we shall watch.
    Another thing that thrilled us was a small incident while the audiologist was putting Prisha's HA back into her ears.While she was doing this my husband was talking to her from near her and I was across the room and I started to question her and Prisha was responding to me.She answered everything well and the audiologist was beaming with joy behind.I looked puzzled.She said that Prisha was so well conditioned auditorily that she did not need even an FM system!!I was surprised.She said that Prisha was hearing very well at 20db and also her training over the years have made her respond to sounds very well and she felt except maybe at supermarkets or at celebrations or at other public places where she might need access to direct sounds from us, she did not need FM at all.She added that in Germany, she would not find such a conditioned child at all ! The parents would work here for about 4-5 months but after a while let it go.Our 6 years of dedicated work with her, where focus was on listening, it finally paid off.I am happy for Prisha but yes, our work needs to continue as we have to make up for lost learning due to her under amplification. I am so thankful to Mrs.Hudlikar.Its thanks to her that we are seeing all these positive feedbacks in our lives.Prisha leads a near normal life.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The big Indian wedding

Prisha dancing on stage
   We went to India on the 4th of December for an engagement and a wedding of 2 of Prisha's cousins. Well what a jam packed programme and what fun we had.Prisha enjoyed every bit of it.She danced and sang on the musical night and was dressed at her best in all the Indian attires.Thanks to her aunt Nisha who visited us, she was taken care of while I did all the things that needed my help.The 3 days of celebrations were something that she thoroughly enjoyed and participated in.She was the centre of attraction with all spirit and many reltives we have not seen in many years were very happy to hear her talk and respond to sounds like normal kids. We did loads of compliments and we did feel how much efforts have gone in to get her where she is with all sorts of wrong amplifications and advise in India from our audiologist, our job was tougher.
We did meet an ENT specialist and we were told how well she was talking and it was not there so with other kids.he did talk about CI and related issues and I would have loved to have detailed chat with him about it and about the conditions of speech therapy and lack of awareness etc in India, but time fell short.We were there just for 5 days and with all the celebrations, I missed on that.All in all a lovely trip!Posting some pictures of her.
    I have also noticed that Naida IX has been great for her but she may need more amplification as there are times she does not hear things and needs repetition.We heard her hearing aids and feel we need to increase her loudness for her to hear better.So we have an appointment tomorrow morning where she gets her new mold for the left ear {needed change again as sound was leaking}, lets see what changes and fine tuning are needed.She definitely has suffered long term due to bad amplification in India, we need to work harder on her speech .She is alright with regular day to day speech but finds it difficult to express anything new in her own words. She halts and her intonation is forceful and it worries me.She is very spirited and her speech therapist in school loves that fact that she takes all the corrections very well and never gives up.We need to find a good English speaking speech therapist outside the school too.Despite our efforts, we have not been able to find one here.Speech therapy in English is quite a weak area in Germany.So we have to work on her all by ourselves, following our instinct.She has made huge improvement in that last 4 months here but the graph has to be steeper still.We are not giving up but are working full force.Loads of reading ,writing, corrections and input in all ways possible.We are here at home for our winter break and so we hope to make the most of the 17 days and make sure that when she is back at school, she is more clear.The school too is finally realizing our efforts after their initial resistance to our working with her.By next June we definitely hope to see her at par with the curriculum {the IB curriculum was difficult for her to follow with its open ended style, where she had to express herself more}.Keeping our fingers crossed.
Riding the horse to the bride's home


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Upgraded to Naida IX

   Today was the day for hearing aids trial of Naida IX.Prisha had her ballet and she did not want to miss it.Requested her teacher for a special favour.She was put with the youbger group at 4 pm and so we could meet the new audiologist Mrs.Wiesel who is looking after Prisha as Mrs. Z is still sick and would be in the hospital for surgery.Mrs.W is again a lovely person and gave us loads of information and we love it that Geers really looks after their customers and each person working is so sincere.We love them all!
  Out came the new HA with Fm attachments.Looked very big and since they were already set to her required needs, Prisha wore her new NAIDA IX.She loved them instantly.She said she hears more clearly and loudly and when I asked her if she wants the ones she wore before, she refused! That means there was a huge difference.Mrs.W told me that this model has 20 channels as opposed to the 6 in Naida III and so were tuned for finer details and it would help Prisha make the details in the consonants specially. They are also great for focusing on speech more and also they make listening to music also possible.We are happy.We tested her and she was able to make out all the differences and is happy with them.We tried the FM , she said it was wonderful and liked it that she could listen to us from so far.But we do have issues and our reservations on the FM system.Like Prisha's teacher pointed out, that she is always walking around in the class and is talking to each child and it would interfere with Prisha's concentration when she is talking and helping other kids.She told us Prisha was listening very well in class and she did not feel the need to wear an FM but she is willing to try.We are going to India for a week for a wedding and after we are back she would go to class with and FM.We would like prisha to have the FM when we are in the wedding as the 4 days are going to be full of celebration, music and dancing to bollywood songs and running around in public places and  it would help Prisha to be in touch with us always. New journey again and lets see how we are able to work on this new path.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Naida IX

   Prisha's hearing has definitely improved in the last 1 month with Naida III.This has 6 channels.She is picking up new sounds and tsking corrections much better and we too have to stress our voices lesser.So we thought that we should try out Naida IX which has 20 channels and can be fine tuned much more for clarity.Till now under insurance the amount is covered by insurance and so the FM and these are covered.But we decided to pay up the difference and upgrade so that she can get better hearing.We ordered them and today we got the news and we are going on Monday to try them out.We are really excited.We want to see how well she performs with the 20 channels and how she likes them and if she can make out the difference, it would definitely affect her speech and we would decide to keep Naida IX.The FM system too is arriving soon.We asked the class teacher, she ready to try it out but does not feel necessary to have it as all the teachers feel that Prisha is very attentive, gives eye contact and understands things told her.So we shall still keep it with us so that we can use it in public places specially when we are in India for the wedding on 8th Dec of her cousin.It a whole new journey.We still haven't been able to get any English speaking speech therapist in Germany.Next week we do have an appointment with a center who is ready to interact with Prisha and see what we can expect.So next week , our another round of appointments and trials.Look forward to some more positives.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Speech audiometry

    Here in Germany, Prisha got new hearing aids and they are covered under insurance.For this we needed to get a prescription from an ENT specialist from here.A good friend introduced us to a very good ENT specialist who has a good knowledge on the subject and is not one of the pushy ones ( we had one before who pushed us to depression about his views on Prisha's hearing and was pushing CI ). She did Prisha's aided and unaided audiogram and she was so happy to see that prisha was very responsive to sounds and aided was at 20 db too here.She looked at the reports and said that she was so glad to see her hearing levels and said there was no reason to believe that hearing aids are not helping her.She said she was "NOT A CANDIDATE FOR COCHLEAR IMPLANT" .I could just not believe my ears and would have actually gone and hugged her.I felt like going to the other ENT  specialist and showing him these reports and results.But he is not worth it.I feel somewhere, if a child is not auditorily trained(conditioned) enough to pay attention to sounds, even if he hears the softest ones he should respond ,he would probably miss them out  and then the hearing thresholds would be elevated and so maybe the hearing aids too do not help and then they are asked to go for CI.Prisha has been trained to pay attention to even the softest sounds and so she has been able to amaze her audiologist from the time she was 3 yrs when she 1st went for an aided audiogram.So it is very important that while one is training the child in AVT, the child should be conditioned well.I would play games with her when she was just a year old and it took Prisha 6 months when any sound and she would start looking for the source of sound.I would constantly draw her attention to various sounds and before the test too, i would tell her she has to concentrate hard and get the best test possible.I would explain how the test would be done and as an example I too would sit with her and concentrate. Children follow their parents and are sincere if the parents give the task the required importance.As a result, her thresholds are really quite accurate and the hearing aids work well with and she is able to say what she wants loud and what she wants soft.This is one of reasons, it excited mrs.Z to do her job with more interest.She could not believe the results of Prisha's tests each time we sat down to tune them .When her new aids were tuned, Mrs.Z's colleague made some changes  as we had gone back for rectification, and there was distortion in the aids. Prisha told me that when she said "mummaaaaaaaaaa" at aaaaaaaa, she heard the sound like a telephone ringing.Mrs.Z was so happy that Prisha is able to make out those very small differences and so tuning it to her needs is possible.The ringing sound was the amplification of the sounds from inside the circuit of the aids to due over amplification.So she made some more changes and the issues were settled.
     Last week, in absence of Mrs.Z, we went to meet Dannielle who was there at Geers to help us in her absence.She is also very good with kids and her work and knowledge is great.She put in the new molds and made few more changes and put the sound recovery on.This mode helps to reduce the feedback from the hearing aids.She said as her responses to sounds are good, and so she would like to do a speech audiometry for Prisha in German.In Germany speech therapy in English is not available and even if some do it, it is not upto the mark.And so even speech audiometry in English too is not available.We have trained her with the 'ECHO" too where, she just says whatever she hears without worrying about the meaning of it.This is also very good auditory training and even normal babies do that and is a very important part of speech development in babies.So I explained to prisha about the process and we decided to go for it.She knew not a single word of German and knew numbers only from 1-29 that too not so well.She started and we were quite pleased as she got a little over 50% correct! The aidiologist was pleased and said this was good as she did not know the language and for that thsi is good enough.She has given us the list and numbers from 1-99 which we neeed to practice and then do the speech audiometry in German to get an understanding of how well she is able to hear.Look forward to that now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prisha has new hearing aids

At the portfolio day in school
Good work done Prisha,we are proud of you
   I needed to do this post long back.But was waiting do just see the outcome and not feel too pleased at the beginning.The audiologist at Geers had told us she would try new hearing aids Naida III from Phonak in the left ear to help her hear better. Mrs Zellhorst had already increased her hearing capacity to maximum with the Siemens Artis but she needed to change and do better with her hearing.But when we reached there she said (I too was of the same opinion) she would like to change for both ears as the same group hearing aids make for better hearing.So we had Naida III for both years, which are capable of compressing high frequency sounds into low frequency range.So they do not miss out anything and are great for the hearing loss.
   So 15th of October it was , and what a day!! Prisha was given new hearing aids, molds and tubes and they were already tuned to the required levels.The moment we switched them on, prisha just opened her eyes wide.She looked a bit shocked if I could say so.We asked her how they were, she said good. Then we started her puretone test.She started to respond so well slowly that Mrs.Z too looked amazed.She signalled my husband to show no response on his face as that can affect the way the kids respond too.I could see with the corner of my eye, how happy and emotional they looked.I could see their eyes slowly turning misty.After the test, she looked so happy and proud and I loved the fact that Mrs.Z was so involved that she seemed a part of our happiness.We love you Mrs.Z!! She tuned it so well that her aided audiogram was at 20db!!!!Prisha was actually hearing such a vast spectrum and that too without our being loud! It was 1st time in her entire hearing age! We all had tears which we tried to hide.Prisha too smiled shyly and said she was hearing very well with the new aids.On the way home she was so tired and wanted to sleep in the car.She started to complain to us that she couldn't sleep as the sound of rain was disturbing her! We were so happy at this complain and just enjoyed that moment.Next few days we started to observe her and we need actually not strain our voices. Which was such a relief for us.I then realized that just because I was loud and so focused on her speech and language , she was able to pick it up inspite of the low amplification.I will follow up on it and will not rest till I question my audiologist back in India.Was it done on purpose, so that out of frustration I would consider CI , which has been a case in India with many?I would take this up seriously.
   We have had to many changes since then, the mold was giving trouble and we went to correct it and small changes with the gains.And then we had a set back, Mrs.Z fell sick and has to go through a surgery and may not able to come to work this year. We have been praying for her health.She is such a lovely person and kids love her and so do we!
   Prisha has been hearing pretty well in class.The teacher at school are happy and say she is very attentive.We too worked hard at home to put what she had lost in so many years.She had issues in school as he wasn't hearing enough and plus concepts being new, accent to deal with and to top it our laid back attitude for 4 months in our transition here, took a toll on her language.We have been working on her slowly and steadily last 6-8 weeks and are seeing results.She is reading, writing and using new vocabulary.I had kind words pouring in from the German teacher,Art teacher,Drama teacher, where they told me she was very focused, attentive, good eye contact, good concentration and they had no issues with her.Which was great for us.We also had her class portfolio last week and we saw her work.Her maths was new to us and so we could not do any support from home, but in her unit of inquiry, we saw a huge change.Her weekend news was good to see as we revised that from home.There was a page in the beginning, where she could not say a word and the teacher just about could not make her a thing, to her relating and teacher writing out and she copying, to her copying from the board to now she writing the whole week end news by herself! To add to it , her drama teacher came in to us and gave such a positive feedback.She said prisha is a beautiful child and she gives undivided attention,quick response to actions and vocals.She was skeptical about her response initially when she knew about her impairment.But she is thrilled at the way prisha follows all instructions spot on and is very expressive with herself and she told us we must continue what we are doing with her.That was great news after the very very depressing news from school 6-8 weeks ago.From rock bottom, we had climbed up.
   Yesterday was her parent teacher conference.We were going with not too much great feedback from the school.We were surprised, as the teacher gave a great feedback. She said, prisha was very attentive, caring,happy child who loves coming to school ,extremely hard working (who would know it better than us) ,followed all instructions and had made a huge leap in her understanding and comprehension and literacy skills.She said we needed to now just fill the gaps here and there and work on her being able to work on her being able to express herself in her own words and longer sentences.She needed to able to summarize the stories in her own words and sequences.She gave us tips on that and she also agreed to meet me every 2 weeks to give me a feedback and things to work on her which was fantastic.She also said she was willing to give Prisha the required push too and help us reach our goal, which is total integration by next June.She also told us that, a speech therapist comes to class everyday for 15 mins to help Prisha understand where required and if she felt she needed more focused work,Mrs.K took her separately in another class alone.We have now all agreed to work in better co-ordination with each other. I am very pleased with my meeting yesterday and hope to keep climbing up from the rock bottom that we had hit 6-8 weeks ago.So, we "Keep Walking".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

John Tracey clinic - the beginning

Sharing this lovely video of the beginning of John Tracey Clinic.Reaffirms my belief on oralism.When they could believe in speech for the deaf then, then why not now?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ychu9o5Oghc&NR=1

Also sharing the link of the blog which has discussions on oralism
http://kokonutpundits.blogspot.com/2010/11/video-john-tracy-clinic-storythe.html

Thursday, October 14, 2010

AVT link- very interesting

     I have been doing a lot of internet searching on hearing impairment and related issues.Since things here are different , there is a lot of motivation to learn and am not scared to ask questions unlike in India.Last 2 months have given me loads to work upon, think, ponder over and it is good to get inputs from the net, bloggers,doctors, surgeons,audiologists and of course hearing device users.It is not important what technology you follow, whether CI or hearing aids. There are pros and cons to both. You can get plenty of these points of view on the web. Fundamentally, I have learnt that through good AVT and a focused and dedicated approach, I am able to develop normal speech in my child. I have nothing agianst any particular technology but then after seeing some good resulty with my daughter's speech and meeting some of my audiologists older students (5 year old to 45 year old) leading perfectly normal lives, I do not feel that any intrusive application is yet necessary. This is a decision, that we can take anytime. Last but not the least, if deafdude1.blogspot.com  is anything to go by, then I see definitely an alternative to CI in the near future. Lets wait and watch.
      I also came across this blog which confirms my belief in AVT. The site is very interesting and some very important aspect of AVT is there.Also for my reference, I have kept the advantages and disadvantages page on my blog, from her point of view, which I found interesting.
http://www.auditoryverbaltraining.com/ha-ci.htm




Lets see what future holds for the hearing impaired.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reading and writing

   Since we have 10 days of autumn break,we are all working on Prisha's reading, writing and thinking skills.Initially it seemed a very tough and uphill task as the 4 months of long break seemed to have just taken a toll on her mind and eventually speech too.The kick start was difficult but the last 2-3 weeks of work is making a difference.The whole concept of putting her thoughts to language and then to put it into writing is a journey by itself.  I remembered the transition was tough for my son too when he was 6, but I was more worried about Prisha may be because of her being hearing impaired.Now we have taught her to break the word and she is able to slowly break her own words and loves reading by herself with me around. At times she does gets lazy but after a giggle at herself, she does it.We are working on T,D,B,P sounds which sound very similar and she slowly making out the difference.The rest she is not having problems.The new settings are making her hear a lot better and we are talking to her at normal voice levels.She loves it while I read to her and in between I stop and ask her questions, relate it to our lives and at the end I summarize the story , followed by her summary.I help her out with that.She is able to hold the story in her mind along with the chain of sequence, we slowly get it down into words.It is turning out to be fun for us.
Painting,sticking and working on the puppet

A write up on the procedure

Love the results
    She was reading about Santa in a story book and she wanted to make a Santa puppet for herself.So we looked around for material and yesterday we made a lovely puppet followed by a write up on it.This write up included the material required followed by the steps to make the puppet.It was a day well spent as the outcome was wonderful and we all LOVED it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another visit for aided audiogram

   Friday was the 2nd visit to Geers for tuning Prisha's hearing aids.I explained to Prisha that she needed to pay attention to sounds so that Mrs.Zellhorst could tune her aids better and she would hear well.Fortunately Prisha's autumn break started and so she needn't be rushed from there to school.She loves going to school and hates it if we miss it.
   We received the same warm welcome and Prisha was asked to sit and make herself at home, which she did with all the toys kept for the kids.She got me the kaleidoscope and was so fascinated by it.She asked me what it was called and I helped her to learn the new word.To this ,we got a "wow" from Mrs. Zellhorst as she said it was wonderfully corrected and she said it very well.I have to see still how speech therapy,a very important part of hearing impairment, is done in Germany.She is amazed at how quickly Prisha takes corrections,responds to sounds while doing pure tone and audiograms and is so well conditioned that she is able to tell how she wants her settings and is sensitive to changes immediately.I thank Alaka ma'am for it!!
    Prisha was then taken for her pure tone test again and we started with the test.She performed very well and responded to all frequencies very well.First it was decided not to change the settings but on 2nd thoughts some more adjustments were made.Her binaural aided audiogram now is at 40 db at 1K and 2 hz , 50 db at 4K and at 60-75 db for higher frequencies, which is great.We need not strain.She responded to all of it Audiologist is now suggested us to change the left HA as it is tuned to its full capacity but more changes are given in that ear, it would support her right ear better.As of now it only helps in directionality.So she is going to make changes slowly.A new HA from Phonak  would be tried on her this Friday where it would give her more amplification in higher frequencies.That would give her more clarity and eventually we would see the change of both HA , maybe to Phonak as they are programmed specially for kids.We are going slowly as too much change would affect Prisha too much.
The new pipes are conical from inside
The entry is smaller and the side into the ear bigger
    Another change is the ear mold. Prisha's impressions were taken for new molds, where there is scope for more ventilation in the ear leading to fewer infections.I would get them this Friday hopefully.She is also putting special tubes which are conical, thinner at the HA side and bigger in the ear canal, so that would give her additional 5 db raise in the hearing, which is great too. I am very excited about this change and look forward to her better hearing. I have to now work on increasing her vocabulary. She forgets the new words and needs to be reminded more.This is normal in HI kids.Normal kids can learn 10-12 new words everyday, it is as low as 5 words for HI kids.This was told to me by Ma'am and she said just work on her reading, it would eventually show in her speech.Yesterday she wrote a small summary of the book she read 2 times with by husband.That was very encouraging.Need to just help her so that she can express herself more.She does get stuck sometimes at what she needs to say. need to get back her fluency back that she had.It is so true, the regression is very quick in these kids and they can't be left without the environment of language and learning.Lesson learnt.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Audiometry in Germany

   Well, last one month has not been easy for us.I had my share of sleepless nights with the school wanting the latest audiograms and the person who was to do it was out for a long vacation.So my journey here in Germany has again been mixed and in some ways quite like in India.We have to be alert and fight our case and hang on to our beliefs.
   We did have an appointment with a leading ENT surgeon who specializes in CI.As we got his contact through a friend and we needed some place and reference to start with, we got her aided and unaided audiograms there. Prisha has been trained very well and I have full faith in her as far as my training with her goes. She has been conditioned so well that she was a surprise for audiologists in India since she was 2.5 and now here in Germany too.The audiologist was very impressed with the way Prisha conducted herself during one test after the other. She lost it a bit when for the BERA , she was wired up, but she stood there.
    Seeing the aided audiogram with this clinic was SHOCKING. According to this one , Prisha's aids were just a bit tuned to barely hear.Her right showed an average of 75 db and right was 110 db average.When we met the Doctor, he said Prisha was not hearing too well with HA and would benefit only with CI.But when I asked if she wasn't hearing, how had she been able to pick up so much last 3 yrs (they were tuned then last), he said since is intelligent!!! But I feel if she was not hearing, what good would be her intelligence?? To be able to speak intelligent stuff or even day to day things, isn't hearing required?Does he mean that all deaf people who have no speech, are not intelligent? Are those deaf people,who make those paper bags and doing vocational training to earn their living, less intelligent?It is just that they have no speech and language that is required for education to do the big white collar jobs.Given a chance of oralism, am sure , they too would hold big jobs too.When I asked him if the HA could better her hearing capacity, he said no, as the aids have a limit and these HA have been tuned to the best.I was so depressed but I was convinced that as usual, I was being cornered into thinking that it was only CI that would benefit.He said he could not understand her speech, but my friends say they never need interpretation from me for her and nor do her friends, even those who don't speak the Indian English have no problem.I was convinced that this place was not for me and so left the place.We have seen some bad cases of CI and are convinced, the complications are not meant for US.
Audiologist at Geers was impressed with my contraption for
securing hearing aids,she also gave one to us which is close
to our design.Not bad!!
    The next journey was tough, trying to understand in a foreign land what is good for us as friends around have limited understanding of this subject and I have seen more of sign language here. I googled ( always my savior )and started looking for Audiologist since I don't need an ENT now. we know she is deaf and needs only an audiologist to work for her. Came across this company called "GEERS". They have branches across the country.I asked for recommendation from Siemens too since we have aids from them.At Geers, we made small changes and were referred to their company for only kids in a place 30 kms away. Since the audiologist was away on vacations, we finally made it to her yesterday.Prisha was mentally prepared by us to give her best and we decided to start afresh.
Reward for being so attentive and good
   After the full case history, we went in for the unaided audiogram and Prisha was great as usual and gave excellent results. She took the entire frequency range from 125 to 8K. In the right she is able to hear the entire range but needs aids to boost her hearing.The left was bad and can only be a support ear and for directionality. The aided audiogram was done with present settings and results were not good. The audiologist had not aided them to her requirements and were not used to their full capacity.Why was this? she is known to be a crook by all.I was suspecting fowl play earlier too but had no options till now.I was refused a copy of her hearing levels graphs of HA by her.Had she done this so that Prisha would not respond and I would go to her for CI which she has been telling me in various ways? she has implanted kids as young as few months just after detection without waiting for HA trials.Nobody talks against her since we all depend on her for things.The audiologist here , if she was surprised at the results, did not show it. Maybe she was being professional.I have always been very vocal about this topic and so am not a favorite of people involved in this field in India.have learnt not to trust anyone except my instincts and my inner voice and ask questions.Our defense mechanism is very high too.I spoke to Mrs.Hudlikar in India and she said that had my input and pressure to perform wasn't there for Prisha, she wouldn't have spoken!All these 3 years, Prisha had been straining to hear and I was shouting to make myself heard ! I plan to take this up seriously in future once I settle Prisha's hearing issues and the school.

      Next, the audiologist plotted her on a graph and then she made new settings afresh according to her.But Prisha is very sensitive (thank God, I keep pushing her into listening and keep talking and questioning her) and said she was hearing loud and soft like waves. We decided to take a break and go around a bit for her to get used to the new settings. But she looked SOOO miserable and kept saying , she could't hear. So we went back and asked and were told that since Prisha was used to her old settings, the new change was too much for at one go and all changes need to be made slowly.So old settings, increase of 10 db and hey presto, Prisha was happy!! She was hearing clearer louder and better.Both the aids were brought closer to the speech banana which was far away till now.we need to go back on Friday and the lady would then raise all the frequencies into the speech banana and so she would hear even better.I had tears welled up in my eyes.We did the test for direction too with the 5 speakers in different direction and Prisha scored on all 5.She was doing it for the 1st time and was a bit confused but her eyes would 1st look at the speaker and then her mind made her look around not being to sure of herself.2.5 hours we were there and she gave in her BEST. I was so proud of my little girl and she was loaded with goodies from the clinic.The audiologist complimented on our team and she said she had never seen this kind of work in her career.She has been long in the field and was surprised at our work where Prisha has been conditioned well, my husband looks into the technical part and I am into training Prisha.She was surprised when I did my own tests with Prisha from behind her to understand her new settings and Prisha scored 10/10 on it and she was not lip reading me at all.She said in her long span of job, never has she seen mothers working this way with their kids here in Germany.I was humbled and thanked her immensely for her very involved work.She did such a fantastic job and did it with so much dedication and I am so glad I have someone we can trust.
   Yesterday after a long time I slept well, ate well and just chilled out.I read the stories to Prisha without having to be loud.I did not have to shout across to the room as she responded to even softer calls.I have submitted the aided audiogram and would the final one soon to the school. I would be scanning all the audiograms on my blog that I have till date.Huge differences but it would be able to show how alert parents need to be.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Audiograms and puretone

   Yesterday we were with a big ENT surgeon who specializes in CI and we were there for testing her hearing. I am very sure that I do not want to do surgery but would like to wait for maybe stem cell in future.We got her aided audiogram done and we were very depressed with the results.Prisha's gain is not too good on the hearing aid and that means she is not hearing too well.But our hard work and her willingness to work has given us the results so far. But she does strain for listening and does talk loudly. The audiologist in India did make a mess for reasons of her own and she refused to do anything further when we went to her. She had been after me to get her implanted and has fingered with her levels of hearing aids. I was scared to go back as I did not want to mess it up further.She is known to be a crook and she is the only one who has the latest technology and we were dependent on her. We had asked her in the past to give us the printouts of Prisha's HA levels for our reference and she has always denied to give.I have always felt she has been cheating us but cannot fight it out for the simple reason that I depend on her for HA services. The helplessness was always killing.But through hard work, Prisha has been auditorily trained. She had told me that her aids have been given maximum gain and nothing can be done further and out of sheer helplessness we have just survived so far. Once here, we were looking for answers.But after yesterday, I was so depressed as the doc told us that nothing further was possible and only best hearing was possible through CI.But I am very keen to continue with HAs. So we took our quest further and decided to look for audiologist instead of seeing a surgeon. We contacted the Siemens HA cetre and through them we came across a company which has centres across the country.At there center , I was so amazed at the facilities. She told us that the kids centre was elsewhere and she is fixing our appointment with them as soon as possible.She checked her aids, looked for the settings and we asked her if it was possible to increase the volume in the right ear which has good hearing. She increased it by 1db and was surprised to see Prisha's instant reaction. She suddenly softened down, was hearing better and answered the 5 ling test too very well! The lady gave us printouts of all her levels of her HA original as well as after the 1db change too.I was so happy and sighed with relief as I knew we were in the right place after looking around for 1 month now.In the car too Prisha was not straining to listen while I talked from the front seat and she was happy too.I was so upset about my audiologist in Pune  telling lies to me that nothing more could be done.Here with just 1 db change, she was so happy. We need to check her entire frequency range and see how best we can work on her to get better hearing so she is comfortable and is able to function better.In India, I was so helpless but here I got a few answers. We hope to get our problem solved soon. According to the audiologist in Pune and the surgeon here, the change in HA    cannot be adjusted in the speech banana.But the audiologist here is sure that we could better it and get good help.Things look suddenly nice after a long time.I ate a big breakfast and slept well after this.Soon we should have some good reasons to smile when Prisha is doing very well in school.Yesterday, she broke a word herself to read it by herself using phonics (jump).I was so happy and had tears streaming down.Hopefully her issues in school would get resolved soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Phonics for reading

    Have been doing my part of the job for Prisha for increasing her vocabulary - reading. But I needed to understand the way she is being taught in school too, specially English and Maths. So had a word with her teacher as I wanted a feedback on how she is doing in school.Here there is no homework, unlike in India and so since nothing comes home, I have no clue on what to teach her and reinforce what is being taught in school. She told me Prisha is doing great in music, drama,art, German,P.E.( physical exercise) but somewhere she is having problem in English.She is not able to write down what is being talked about.I got it. Till now she had not started to write in India on her own. The whole style is different. Here they break down the words and write with the help of phonics. In India, it was more of the teacher giving and we coping and then slowly learning to read by writing simple things. Not so much focus on phonics.So the issue is not so much of HEARING, more to do with different style of learning. Part of me was relieved and a part of me said " how to go about it, its an uphill climb".Time is going by and i want her to catch up with her class mates.So more focus on phonics and we need to encourage her to listen to the words , break them and then be able to write them on her own.Phew, tough task it seems for my little girl.But then all this needs to be covered. Target is 2 months, we give to ourselves to get her to start reading by herself and make her own sentences and write.So the whole family has decided to pitch in. Hubby dear is going to give a little time, I read to her and my son would do some word construction on whatever we see around us on the way to school, after school and at home and outside.My girl is very supportive and never says no. I love the way she is holding up strong and is cooperating with us and giving her total time and attention. Reward.......30 mins playtime on the school playground after school (she loves it and I decided to stay back for her), PSP time 10 mins each day and loads of love n hugs from mum. Sounds like a whole package.
Tomorrow we also have our appointment at the new clinic where we have been earlier to her aided audiogram and to get her puretone audiogram too. We would know, hopefully how much her aids are helping her.She has been conditioned very well and I just hope we get the best of results.I am hoping so as she has been able to identify Hindi diphthongs very well which are very difficult.She has been able to do the 6 ling tests well too.Hopefully her aids are tuned to the best settings.I would know how good my audiologist in India was.( She does not have a good reputation and is known to do anything to get money).So a BIG day for all of us tomorrow.need all th luck.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Listen, understand , speak

    Prisha has been finding it difficult to understand this new system of education here. In India, the kids got lesson books and the teacher gave questions and answers which the kids learned. In Maths too the lessons had loads of practice and there were typical style of teaching. Here the style is very different. the kids have to apply logic, think and understand the topic or unit for the week or month.She was finding it difficult to express herself.She was unable to put words to her thoughts on how she came to a solution or came to a conclusion.The HOWs and WHYs are abstract and as she has no practice of for eg, how she knows there are 20 circles.She got the answer correct but the language to explain the method has to be worked upon.Her vocabulary needs to be expanded and we need to make her think more.So we have 3 strategies to make life a little simpler.
1)Listen carefully,understand, think and speak -in that order.She needs to pay attention to what is being said, think and understand and then speak up.
2)Ask, ask ,ask if she does not get what she is hearing.She would give explanation if she asked her doubts.The accent is different and so sometimes she does have a problem with a few people and so ask again.
3)Read ,read ,read.We are really reading and trying to use as many new words as we can in our lives.We have joined the library for story telling sessions once a week too to understand and get used to the accent. i would explain if she does not get some thing there.
      We hope to achieve something in a few months. Need to motivate ourselves constantly and keep working.The teacher has agreed to update me more on what is happening in the class.The speech therapist in school would work on her phonics 15 mins everyday till the October break.Lets see if she does more after that.A friend's son would help me to understand what is happening in the class too.So lots of positive thoughts and actions should make our journey in this new school more even.Keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More and more

       Since Prisha has a new system to follow in school , very different from what she did  back in India, we decided to help her at home to focus on THINKING. The teachers are more focused about the HOWs and the WHYs and so she needs to think of those and then put her answers in language. Hmmmmm ......a lot for her since she did get ignored a lot by me this year with all my German exams and then the relocation and associated jobs that came with it.She does get stuck at places, 1) she is trying to understand what the teacher is saying along with the accent 2) she is trying to put into words into place as she does get overwhelmed.She knows why 5 is bigger than 2 but why and how she needs to think and she just stops doing that as no one in India asked this in school.I too was a bit overwhelmed the other day and thought about it a lot. Well , came to the conclusion, she needs more language input from me. The day to day language is there but that is never enough. Somewhere when we see the kid is getting her way around things and is able to communicate in day to day activities, we to get a bit chilled out , not realizing that with her the input has to be constant and continuous. As she has just started her 1st grade and she needs to increase her vocabulary and understand things and new words which only come to her with constant use. In daily life we do not come across too many situations and activities and so to do that , I need to bring those situations to her through the world of BOOKS.Beg, borrow steal!!
        So here we go! A book daily from her class teacher's library, where the stories are very simple and few sentences which by the end of one reading , she is able to read by herself. We focus on new words, concepts and I associate them with her daily life or give examples from our environment to make her really GET IT.Then 2 times in 9 days she gets to pick her 2 books from the library, the stories are more abstract according to me, as she sees the color of the book and gets them home , more than the content. And no points for guessing the color.....PINK!!! I am surprised at HOW do all girls like PINK!!! Then every week end we get to pick up at least 10 books and CDs from the school library , but I am realistic, we borrow 2.
          So we read to her as much as we can.I am trying to use various new words and bring them into our daily use. I am planning on putting up a big poster on the fridge and add our daily new words on it, so we can use it more often.....more a reminder to this lazy mum.I am actually getting a little tired with the hectic pick up and drop to school.But we need to do what we need to do! She is joining 2 after school activities, ballet and story telling. The teacher there was very helpful as he said he knows it would help Prisha and so would give her preference!! Thank you Mr. Owen for that.Though she loves the way I tell stories, I am keen she joins that so she would have more exposure to the accent and the way stories they tell them.I wish though, he was a bit louder.but I am sure we would find a way around it. She LOOOVVVES ballet!! She loves the dress and the feminine moves and the feeling of being as pretty as the princess.O, she loves it and so do I love seeing her trying to copy her teacher.I picked up a CD on ballet from school this week end and my God , has she ever seen a CD so many times!! She has just ben practicing the moves and since it is an inter active CD, I am happy when she responds to the teacher.So she is understanding what is being spoken on TV.She is also watching the school website where there is a site for kids to practice Math and English in a fun way. So we are all looking at things positively and hoping that this learning experience is going to do lots for her.Though at times I do get a bit low thinking how I would do it, but then this is a one way tunnel.I want to do it with full spirits and do it to the best of my ability and make my little girl a very happy and prosperous young woman.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Prisha goes to school in Germany

All set for the new school


First day at school
In class
      Last month has been so full of my settling in the new place new home and in 2 days it was also school time, that I had no time to write on my blog.I am so glad, today I am updating it , weather is just right to sit at home and write.The cold  and the rain  and coffee just put me in the mood.
     Prisha started school on 12th Aug and we had no idea what we could expect. We all were very excited at the newness of it.It is a long day and Prisha went happily and after 4 months of being home, home felt empty with both my kids away for a good 7 hrs.In the evening she looked fine and the teacher wanted to see me the next morning. I was a bit worried as I did not know what to expect.The next morning at school Prisha started to cry as she didn't want to go.A promise of a surprise waiting at home fixed that.But I got concerned and felt that Prisha was finding it hard to understand what others are talking as the accent is very different and there are people from so many countries.She was finding it difficult to make friends too as some don't speak             English at all.So I was prepared with my concerns too to meet Mrs.Hunt, her teacher.
     Mrs. Hunt wanted to understand a bit more about Prisha. She thought that she was not hearing well in the class and maybe Prisha needs to lip read.I told her that since all this was new to her, she would take time to adjust.Also she needed to sit closer to her and also NO LIP READING.She is auditorily trained and did not need signs and lip reading.She said Prisha was not responding to her name being called too a couple of times.I told her that since she is new , she was more interested in knowing what was really happeneing around her with her kids next to her. Assured her that I would have a word with Prisha.I also mentioned about her not being out when it rained and she not being cold and wet as the cold aquired leads to ear infection if not treated early.So she needed to be as dry and warm as possible.Explained to her about battery change as Prisha is equipped with that knowledge too.The meeting went well and I too happy to have quick rapport with the teacher.
    The school nurse too wanted me to update her with all her issues.I told her all the issues and she said she would inform other teachers too about her requirement about being closer to the teacher and if they had issues , we would solve together.I was happy to get positive input from them as in India , I needed to do things myself and not much support was there from school.
Next 2 weeks have gone by when I have observed what she did in school.She sang out her German rhymes where she was learning numbers and little poems.She has been singing them away , though a few words here and there need to be cleared and that is happeneing slowly.So a new language and I love it when she tells me what a few words means!`Like this morning, in the shower ,she sang a number rhyme and then she said...schlafen.....Mum, schlafen means go to sleep.Her German teacher mailed in to tell me she was bright and there were no issues.I was happy.She gets one story book from school every day which we have been reading and talking about it.Drama class feedback too was good.Music class is great too as she sang out with perfect intonation but words needed to be clear here and there.The rest is well.She loves school and i am happy about it.
      Yesterday Mrs. Hunt wanted to see me again this morning.She said the nurse wanted to meet me.I went a bit uneasy again and was a bit worked up.The nurse needed her aided audiogram to know her level of hearing with aids for records and there were no complaints from teachers about her hearing, she laughed looking at my concerned face.
      Today had a meeting with the class teacher and she said that Prisha would require a little support from school to bring her to the level at which they were teaching. I could understand it as in India the styles are different and it was more rote method.here the emphasis was much on thinking and putting into words, where she sometimes is not able to or gets stuck somewhere.So she needed my permission to add her into a support class and maybe a little work with speech therapist to get her used to the accent and aid her speech.I thought that would be great as any extra work from school would not only help Prisha pick up more, it would give me a chance to work better with Prisha.she is a quick learner but she needs to leave her shyness away a bit and open up with the teacher.Also in Maths too she said she knew for eg, 5 is bigger than 2 but "how" she came to that ,she was not able to express. Maybe Prisha was not prepared for this kind of questioning as back in India , we were never asked in school about it and so did not know how to put across this.Since I too am new to this system, I asked her what she would expect, she said some kids say they counted, some showed them how. But Prisha was not able to.So I need to work on that.She could count the 20 circles and say they were 20 of them, but how did she know that they were 20, she fell short on that. The simple answer could be like said I counted, or I counted in pairs, or she could put dots on them and said they were 20 or even if she wrote on each circle the number would be fine. So need to work on it. the systems are different and has nothing to do with hearing loss.She listens to her name very well after I told her about it.The teacher has no complains and said she was bright and just needed support.I am happy about it and I hope they would add me on in those classes too as I could then work from home for her.She is now going to update me each week and also give extra work from school to give practice to her.I am looking forward to this work and hope to see Prisha at a much different level from where she is in a years time.She is already very confident, I see a vast change in her in 3 weeks of school.So more to come.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Prisha makes phone conversation

    Yesterday I was in conversation with parents who happen to discover that the child they adopted a month ago was hearing impaired.The conversation lasted about 2 hours over Skype call and since it was on loudspeaker and video, the conversation was audible to all in the house.Prisha was busy with her jobs and I thought she was not aware of what was happening.After about an hour and half, she told her dad "Dad ask mumma to stop talking, she talks so much".I found it really amusing.
 Phone made from razor packaging
     The conversation was all about this new development and so is normally very draining as far as my energy is concerned.It does drain me out emotionally as you are trying your best to share knowledge and give the best guidance to the family so they do not fall into traps of wrong doctors who have their materialistic gains in mind.The afternoon saw us connecting with another friend whose cochlear implant has major issues due to being wrongly implanted and now depends more on the other ear which works on hearing aids.Fortunately my friend was very eager to help the new parent as they live in the same city.And we exchanged notes on how best to get her the best help possible.the phone played such an important part the whole day that I did not realize that though Prisha looked totally lost in her own world ,,she must be listening to my talks as the sounds are falling on her ears and she is very auditorily trained.
     Since I was feeling a bit claustrophobic being at home all day on the sofa, we decided to go out for a drive and see a bit more of the country side in the area we live.As we set out, I was enjoying the nice cool breeze, a bit cloudy sky,( I love it as India is mostly sunny except the monsoons 2-3 months a year), the empty roads on a sunday evening and the drive, I heard Prisha at the back pick up her play phone made from another waste packaging. She started to keep chatting while my husband and I kept our conversation going ,when suddenly her conversation caught me and we stopped talking. She was talking to her friend named "Simiya" ,a name she invented on her own and was busy taking about her.She asked about her baby and her husband and was making such a REAL conversation that we were out of our wits. I really wished I had my handycam.Then she realised we stopped talking and she said," mumma, I am talking to my friend Simiya, her husband's name is Sigga and the baby's name is Saphiya". I was amazed at her new names that she had invented.We ignored her as we wanted to hear more of it, while we giggled behind our seats.She then called up another friend and said,"Hi, how are you, Ooooo, you are getting married, wow, then you will get a baby!!"and she went on.My God!! We were holding our tummy and laughing at her real conversation.Then after a bit more of chatting, she fixed a date with her friend to meet her at home as it was her birthday party in the evening.She is not too fond of going out for a drive, I have realized and is mostly then busy with her role plays and her phones or she sleeps off. Then started her rants of wanting to go home as she had to dress up to go to the birthday party. When I said we were far from home, she said,"I am sleeping and you wake me up when we reach home and remind me I have to talk to Simiya as we are late for the party" .We settled on this note and she dozed off.The moment I reached home and I woke her up, she said "Oh yes, I have to talk to Simiya". I was so amazed at the whole chain of event.She was conversing like us, introducing the way I was introducing my family to them and making up her own situations and conversations around family, friend and baby sleeping and wedding etc.
       I thought about it later and realized the importance of her being so auditorily trained. She was so tuned to sounds around her with all kinds of background sounds included, as in India there is plenty of noise in the city, that she is used to picking up voices over noises involuntarily. I thought that while I chat away on phone etc, she may be ignoring the sounds as it is natural for the hearing impaired to ignore sounds and talks around them.A lot of such people are used to talking only when spoken too and in the process miss out on what is happening around them.They miss the talks between other friends, or people talking together as they find it hard to concentrate on others' conversation.But since she is auditorily trained, she pays attention to sounds.As the sounds fall on her ears while she does her things, her brain is retaining the happenings around her and she reproduces similar things later.As the sounds fall on her ears, she keeps herself abreast to things happening around.I am so glad as this brings her closer to normalcy and we feel happy that with great speech therapy , we are able to lead quite a normal lives ourselves.Many people tell me this that she is so normal with her interaction that they feel she is not hearing impaired.I thank God and my loving speech therapist Alaka Hudlikar, who has made this so possible.And now this is so close to my heart, that anyone who is in a situation like this, I am all out to help them out.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An interesting view point on FM

I found this comment on Val's Blog.Thought would like to share this view point on my blog too with people who have FM system in mind in India .In India people do not give the pros and cons when it comes to giving advise.Kindly read the comment by "anonymous".I found it an interesting feedback.
http://deafkidscanhear.blogspot.com/2010/07/can-you-hear-me-now.html

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A link on lip reading

I came through this blog from deaf village.The view point on lip reading is interesting.

http://faceme.wordpress.com/about/#comment-2638

Prisha starts to read

      I think I have been just too lazy since I shifted to Germany.Perhaps it is just that I am still in the chill out state of mind after a mind boggling rush rush life that I had in India.Prisha is over 6 years and had I started , she would have been reading.I have uploaded videos of Prisha reading on my You tube account.(Click here).I was surprised at the ease with which she picked it up although I have not been reading so much to her nor have I started her to teach to read.So this week I kick started myself to start reading and ask her read back.I read out these small books,that her aunt gifted to her, with Indian context ,somethings that she can relate to with everyday life.I read out ,asked her questions to see if she understood the story and then started to ask her to read.
     She got stuck at a few places here and there,which I gladly helped.We giggled at a few things, animated somewhere and generally enjoyed the session.In the evening I asked my husband too to participate.He was asked to just hear the story Prisha reads.It was a way of reinforcing what she had read.My husband was surprised too and asked me if she was really reading or had she memorized the story.I had no answer as I too am surprised that she read the whole story and got just stuck at a few places with new difficult words.I really felt that it was a good auditory training along with a great exercise for auditory memory development.She has to learn to read the whole word as a picture,and read it as it is if it gets repeated. She has to understand the story ,along with it she has to remember the entire sentence-hold the entire sentence together in her mind to comprehend the story.She has to remember the sound of each new word that she came across along with its meaning.Certain words are difficult to say for her still as they are not in use in everyday life, but she is so excited about reading that book ,that she brings out that book everytime I say"lets read".we read it as it helps build her confidence.So hopefully by the time she goes to her lovely new school In Dusseldorf,she would be reading more.I feel so good myself when I have been able to achieve something like this.I just need to push myself amongst all the new challenges and uncertainties of life that we are going through with the shifting to Germany, then into a new home this month end,then doing up the house and then comes the new school, teachers, new kids and building a balance with all these along with the huge change of the climate for us.Hope to have a lot of language development this coming year.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A turning point

       Well I was away for a long time.Just could not get myself to write as we had a sad event in our lives.Specially for Prisha it was a very difficult thing to cope with.I had to explain things to her which she had no clue of  and I too found it difficult to combine emotion with language.
       Prisha lost her paternal grand father on 15th June.Dadu was a big thing in her life.He had seen the time when she was about to come on this planet and had been living near us for the last 6.5 yrs of her life.He loved little girls.All the girls in our family were pampered by him.But Prisha being the youngest, took all importance.Then when she was detected for deafness,he became all the more protective for her. When I was firm with her during her speech development initial years, he was very upset.He spoilt her with colours, papers and all kinds of stationery as she loved the paper shop.If she needed somethings, she turned to him and looked with such a look in her eyes, his heart would bleed and for sure she would get it. She could get away with murder with him around.And now suddenly we heard that he passed away was very shocking to us all.
      We moved to Germany as my husband had been living alone for 3 years and we finally decided that Germany would do good to kids as the whole family would be together.I too was finding it tough to live alone with the kids.He was very attached to Prisha and she was one of reasons for him to be happy.She loved him, put balm on his knees when they pained, gave him the stick when he wanted to walk, held his hand if he wanted to get up and walk, sometimes she mothered him.Her going depressed him further as he was not a very social person.He loved to be at home with his near and dear ones.He had various health issues for the last 40 yrs.Within 5 weeks we heard that he passed away.We all rushed to India.I did not know what to tell Prisha.She used to miss them so much and used to keep telling him that she would meet him in December and he should look after himself.And now, I was left to think as to what should I tell her with her limited language about death.I told her dadu was unwell and we have to go back.She was so happy and she kept a box of chocolates  (that she got from someone), in her bag for him.I was torn inside.
      She kept asking me on the way why we were sad and crying.On reaching home, she was puzzled to see her grandma at home as she could not believe that dadu was alone in the hospital.The next day I thought it was too traumatic for her to see his body and so I left her with a friend.Inside of me I was torn between the choice.They loved eachother so much, both deserved to see each other the last time. Plus there would never be a connection about his leaving suddenly.the physical aspect is required to connect with that new concept for her of death.I could not deprive her of it and one day she might just question me on this.I decided to call her.I held her little hands, not knowing her reactions.I told her that dadu was not well and he was missing his parents a lot and so he is going into the clouds to be with them.She knew something was up and so kept nodding and listenning. he had told her once that when he is very old, he would go into the clouds and so I built the whole thing around that.She said after he meets them , he would come back to her.
      When she saw him, she just kept looking and I was looking for some reaction.She sat on the sofa with pursed lips.Suddenly she cried so loudly that everybody in the room turned with horror.She started to cry uncontrollably and people looked at me with disgust but I did what I thought was best.Everybody was upset that I could allow such a small kid to go through the pain.She saw the whole procedure and she saw him go.Later in the afternoon ,she asked me when he would be back.When I told her he had to be with his parents,she said he told her once that his mummy did not want to stay with him and so she went to the clouds and now too his mummy would not want him and send him back.I held back my tears.She has been since then talking to the clouds, talking to his photo.She played house and cooked pasta and fed his picture.She tickled his picture and kept talking to him as if he was around.She would enter the house and say "Hi Dadu" and behave as if he was around.But it was her way of trying to look normal.next day she told me that his mummy would say I don't want you, Prisha needs you and so he would come out of the cloud, sit in a hot air balloon,come down on a beach, sit in the ambulance and dad would get him back home. I was amazed at her imagination.
      On the way back to germany she looked in the clouds for him.Said there were no houses.I said he slept on the clouds.She now has started to associate white hair with going into the clouds.She gets upset when she sees a couple of white hair creeping out in my black hair.She says "your hair would always be black mumma".She says, we would all one day have white hair and go in the cloud and I would shout at dadu for going there.She keeps telling me that one day he would return to her.His mummy would send him back.When she was sick with viral for 8 days before coming back to germany, she talked to him.She told him that " now since you are in the clouds closer to God, tell him to cure me and to take my terrible headache away.I want to be all right".Every night  before sleeping she would pray to her dadu to make sure she is well again.
        I love the way she has made her adjustments through her own thought processes. We feel that kids are too small and would not understand.But we underestimate their strength.They are stronger than us and know how to take care of us and also older people.I am very glad that I let her see how her grandpa left.Once she grows up she would always be glad I did what I did.She would connect with this concept of death and I do not have to make more stories. As she matures I would clear her concept further and I am sure she would always feel closer to her loving dadu. Dadu I am sure, sitting in the clouds must be hearing everything she does and says and is now her guiding light and her "guardian angel" looking after her from there. I don't have to worry, he would make sure my little adorable girl turns out into a fine human being and her life is going to be just fine.I am glad also that I talked about it and their was a lot of new language and new words and every action we saw was verbalized.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A good link

A good link for parents of the deaf who are training their kids through AVT.
http://www.auditoryoptions.org/

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Prisha is a mommy

My baby is home.

Sleep sleep baby.


Loving and cajoling her.Am so happy.

Well yes, Prisha is finally a mommy to a new baby doll she just had to have.I was with the friend when she she chanced upon this baby.She has been wanting one since she left her big girl back home in India.I wasn't sure if she was really wanting this as she too keeps asking for things to buy when we are out.But when we reached home she was so choked with emotions that I too was feeling a bit mean for not buying it.(Part of me also saw the price tag and found it a bit too expensive but the number of stuff in it made it very worth it!} The whole evening went by trying to get over the emotions and waiting that the morning comes and she does buy her and the various things in the box were also so attractive.The thought of taking her for a walk in the pram was the most exciting.She promised best behavior to earn it and evening went by promising no argument with the big brother and being her best and listening better too.
We are still into shopping for the new home here.So it was decided that we buy for before we go as we get more peace for shopping.Prisha was super excited and she chattered non stop about what she would do with her baby and how she would play and blah blah.I was so happy to see her shining face and was feeling bad for postponing the buy.We went into the store and Prisha ran out shouting-"my baby is crying , where is Prisha mumma, I want my mumma".She took me into that corner and ran to it with her hands stretched out and just hugged the big box.It was stark pink and Prisha's faced literally matched the colour. She insisted on picking up the box and being so heavy, we somehow convinced her to keep it in the trolley.
She ran to the the cashier and proudly and happily waited for it to be her's.The cashier too laughed out at her.We then also picked up a travelling pink pillow ans she was on a Real high.
All the way home, I got kisses and "i love yous" .I had to take her pics and she proudly posed with her baby.The best part about it was the opening.She hugged and was looking at each thing that came out so happily.Her baby had a cot and feeding plates and loads of things which was too exciting for her.
The whole evening Prisha has proved to be a perfect mommy. The baby is changed, washed , teeth are brushed, diaper is changed, put to sleep and loved and cajoled and put to bed and I felt she is a better mumma than me! I am enjoying every moment of being the grandma.She is making sure too the baby is not being over pampered by the grandma.
Ready for a walk baby?
The thing that is worrying me though is she is not listening too well.She has a cold and I am now desperate to get her audiogram done here. need to settle down fast and get her hearing updated.I need to pull myself up too to work a bit more with her.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Revision of Maths


Today my father in law called in to remind me that since the kids were away from school , Prisha could actually try and do her maths and spellings.I too have become laid back a bit as there are a lot of uncertainties in our lives. Loads of decisions to be made and so somewhere she takes a back seat.So I pulled up my socks and decided to give her a bit of maths.Her additions were 10/10 and subtraction needed one sum coaching and there too10/10! we were thrilled as i have not touched these for over a year now.Then the tables! well there she had forgotten the 2 & 3tables.So now we are making her do her 2 times table which she picked up in a few minutes.She too loves rattling them.I feel it is a great speech practice too.
These days she is a lot into mothering.Our house owners here have a 1.5 yr old daughter and Prisha loves mothering her and her little baby dolls.She loves doing "nase putzen" which is nose cleaning as she has a slight cold.She is enjoying dressing her and making sure she is well looked after.Anna too is a smart kid and tells her mum that she is not a baby and Prisha is finding it hard to accept.So the next best compromise is to look after the little baby dolls and so she is wanting a whole new baby set with a pram and crib and stuff.She did see one in the supermarket yesterday but I wanted her to have a really nice one.She is literally whining to be a mommy.She talks with so much shine in her eyes about which baby she would buy and what she would do, with that lil dimple appearing on her left cheek.I do get teary eyes looking at her eyes full of hope and waiting for the big time when she would really buy a baby. So scheduled for this weekend along with our home making shopping of sofas and house hold stuff.
It is funny to hear both Anna and Prisha talk and both trying to understand each other.Anna speaks broken German sentences and Prisha adds her English and Hindi together. But they are doing a good job. Prisha's is picking up a few new German words and I tell her the meaning and she is trying to remember them. I would like her to learn it in school too and let us see how far she goes in it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We love you Alaka Ma'am


Thank you Alaka Ma'am

      Ritik, Aditya and Prisha were together for over 5 years with Mrs. Hudlikar.Last class we attended.
       A heartwarming dinner that she kept for us.Will always cherish specially the curd rice she made.
                 Alaka Ma'am, I love you.You changed my life in more than one ways.Thank you!
                                        Don't ever leave my hand.Be my guiding light forever!!
        Today I want to post a very special post for my Teacher Alaka Hudlikar.Yesterday I decided to finally look at the pictures we clicked at her place when she called me home for a special send off dinner.Till now I was avoiding looking at it as I did not want to feel that- yes it was a farewell dinner.I uploaded the pictures and went through the small video my son took and suddenly felt close to her again.I am glad it is on record, that she would visit me.I then decided to revisit the evening I spent with the person who has changed my life forever and made me what I am.
       There is a special bond that we share.It has to be very celestial, if I may call it, as the 1st year I was with her was so tough and I somewhere had such negative feelings due to her tough ways.As the years rolled by things just seemed to start changing.My feelings for her turned VERY fiercely defensive and protective.If somebody even mentioned a bit of negative feedback for her I was standing there fighting her case.She was right and she has got all the kids talking , leading normal lives for the last 40+ years.Her ways are different but the she LOVES each of her mothers and their kids equally and eventually we becomes like her daughters.I always felt so strongly that I would do anything that she said.It was correct.I felt somewhere, she needed to be all over ,so more people can benefit from her work and her work needs to be documented.Thanks to her we were there in the magazine and in many newspapers and were known in the deaf circuit in Pune.So slowly started blogging and then upgraded to you tube , to spread her work.She gave me a lot of her time, lectures and her confidence that passed on to have a good response.Thanks to her , today I have over 150 posts and 160 videos with more to come.I have the confidence to speak about this topic and have a better understanding of child psychology.If I am able to counsel a mother not only on deafness but even for normal behavior, its thanks to her.Thank you Ma'am for being a part of my life.
        She called us for a parting dinner.And I feel so blessed that she cooked an entire meal for us.I was so touched when she came down wearing the saree I got for her.We chatted and the there was a lovely 2 course menu.There was a special salad made by Ram Bhaiya, her son, and the a lovely paneer curry, warmed garlic bread and potato cutlets.I just loved them.Then came this very special dish-CURD RICE topped with crunchies.What was special?Well when she told me that though the dish did not go with the previous menu, she made it as it was made with the purpose that I should come back safely.I had that tug in my heart and my eyes too moistened up at her very special gesture.Ice cream followed and the best part was we chatted around the table for a long long time. I did not want the evening to end as we discussed about when she visits me, how we have to be in touch and various other things which made the whole evening very special.A sudden call from home by my mother in law ended the evening. My father in law was unwell.We had to just rush and I regret that we could not take more pictures together or could not say goodbyes well.I am glad though as being an emotional person, probably I would have found it too difficult to say any parting words.We hugged and cried silently, holding on to each other as if my life depended on that moment.Her love and affection so huge that I felt the power of supreme there.Thank you Ma'am for your love and the special gift you gave me, it will be 1st with me and the Prisha takes it and will be there with us always showing us your presence in our lives forever.Look forward to meeting you soon.