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