Sunday, March 27, 2011

Diary

wanted this bear

I want to be the chocolate princess.


MY goody bag!
Prisha was gifted a diary on her birthday to maintain, where she writes her thoughts and actions and things she wants to talk about.I am glad she is maintaining it really well, except some days when I have to give her a small reminder.
This morning she showed me what she has written in her diary about her visit to to chocolate museum in Koln.She loved it and wrote a lot of things in it.I was reading and I hugged it and said I would like to keep it with me.To which she promptly replied,"when I get married, I will give it to you and go.You can read it when you miss me and see what I used to write". I just hugged her tight and laughed.This fascination for marriage after her cousin's wedding is so obvious.I am also a bit emotional about this aspect.My little girl is slowly growing and in a few years she should be independent enough to lead her own life.But before that we have a long way to go with her .
She is having problems with back ground sounds.They are so loud that she cannot hear us when we are in a noisy environment.In the car, if vacuum is on or like yesterday in the museum, she found it too disturbing.need to check on this.We have not done sound suppression as it would definitely suppress some frequencies in speech too.We have thought of another technique and would discuss with our audiologist.meanwhile, we have requested the audiologist to call a technician from Phonak , if possible, to see why is Naida IX not working out.That aid had clarity but was not loud enough.We had amplified some frequencies to the maximum.Need to get some more answers.Something is bothering me and am not comfortable with that.I think we need some more tuning to get her to hear better still.I hope my instinct is correct and we help my little girl.Fortunately Geers is very supportive and we hope to zero in on to the problem.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Its final now

     After trying out Naida III last 10 days, we have been observing her very closely.I realized that she was responding better behind closed doors, from the child seat in the car (not looking at my face),responding from downstairs while I was upstairs and from the other room.I was straining lesser and she is talking softer.But we wanted to be doubly sure before we narrowed down to our choice.Yesterday to be really sure about my choice, I decided to do a bit of my testing with both Naida III and naida IX.I covered my face and asked Prisha to just echo what I read to her.I am sure of her response as she has been well trained to replicate what she hears.I sat next to her and covered my face and read sentences and asked to her to repeat what she heard.And then I asked my son to say things from the room about 15 feet away from her.She could not see him.I was amazed that she made fewer mistakes with Naida III ! I ignored the mistakes like high frequency alphabets like C S F but she responded to numbers, alphabets and little sentences too.She also told me while travelling in the tram that she heard the sounds of tram much louder.The airport is close to our house and the other day she said she heard the sounds of the plane taking off above us very loudly.I asked if it was unbearable, to which she said no.
   Armed with these observations, we headed towards Mrs.W and gave her the update.She has cross checked with Phonak and they too seem to have no clue as to why III should be giving better sounds than IX. She changed a few frequencies and did the audiogram but there was no change.She made Naida IX settings and functions almost as close as III and realized, that nothing made much of a difference.She said she saw no value in our going and investing in a higher end aid when it was not helping her much and so this is it.We have now decided to stay on Naida III and we seem to be happy.We do have the benefit of 3 months when we can still decide to change the aids.I don't think that would be necessary but it still gives comfort.So hopefully we do not have to worry and this matter is now rested. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Math workshop

Prisha has been so excited last 2 days as parents were invited to the class for a math work shop.She told me we were going to play math games and was really wondering what to expect as math study in India ,what I grew up on, never had us playing games.So this morning Prisha gave me instructions on how it would all be and since there were few chairs in the class room, the kids needed to sit on the mothers' laps to play the games.
      In the class we had a sheet where the types of games were written and we needed to tick them once done.The warm up started where the teacher showed us combinations of 10 on the board for 3 secs and we had to draw them the same way on the slate.It was to help them add visually more mentally ,I realized.She got me a box of buttons with 2 sheets and told me I needed to sort them out according to the rule.So if I chose black buttons with four holes, I needed to choose buttons which had any of those criteria, ie, either they should be black or round or have 4 holes, the rest could go on the sheet which were for not the rule.Interesting!Then came the shapes which had various shapes in all colors and we needed to sort them on the same lines.She then got me cards, where we needed to play fish.She said we needed to make the additions to 10 and used various combinations with cards and drew cards from the pack.Then came little square cards with dots.We needed to use various combination cards to come to additions required on the sheet eg,
o o + o o o + o o o o +o = 10
We then had computer game and she showed me a quilt game and additions.I loved the way they are being taught to add and subtract.In our times, it was more rote method.No wonder she loves math.All in all I learnt a new system and would hopefully be able to learn along the way more about the PYP curriculum.
        On another note, I got a call from India .Had received 2 missed call in the morning at 5 but since I did not know the number, let it go.It was Simran who we had helped over the phone calls.She had called me when she found about her daughter's deafness at age 2.5 yrs.Over the next 8 months we helped her over phone calls, blog and the youtube lessons.Her daughter started to come around and within 8 months she had had her daughter sing the Indian National Anthem over the phone to me.We were very happy that given the right advise well,we did mange to help her even without meeting her.Educate a mother, you mange to set the success for the child.She was worried about her daughter having less hearing since a couple of days.I asked her if she was down with a cold which she confirmed and then put her mind at rest that the additional loss was temporary and would get back once the cold is out.She was happy to be in touch again and now would be more regular with me.So it would be great to see how despite the distance, we still mange to get her and her girl on the right path and make sure her daughter speaks.Efforts are on and we hope for success.welcome back Simran!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Update on Prisha's learning front

Prisha proudly showing off her book of stories.
      Have not updated my blog on Prisha's learning last 2 months.We have been working hard and we have her cooperation to make sure she learns more each day.With such low amplification in India, she came so far and now we are trying our best to get her amplified to optimal and keep her informed and make her learn this whole new field where we have moved to.It is not easy but we work constantly to try and make up what we have lost.
     The winter vacation she decided to write her own stories and make a story book for herself as the school had that as the concept for the month.And so 17 days and we targeted 15 stories ,1 each day, and we worked on her.Each morning we asked her what she wanted to write about, could be something from her dream,a book she read, a TV show that she saw , an experience she had or anything she wanted to write.We would talk about it and we would write the title, the characters in the story and the plot of the story.Then started a long session where we questioned her,asked her what she thought, what the consequences could be of an event and how she would feel or react and by the afternoon or evening we would be done with it.It was a long day for her and me too.My kitchen table was our work area where while I cooked or worked, we did this story building.Then she would make an illustration which could include drawing, cutting and pasting,using waste material found around the house and I must say she came up with some good work.And in 17 days we finally had 14 stories and a bound book which we plan to publish for her sake!It was commendable work.
    Our hunt for the speech therapist was on to.Meanwhile the school had the parent conference and portfolio where her teacher said Prisha's graph has been very steep as far as learning goes and it was due to our input, 30 mins special help at school and her hardwork and want to learn.We did have hidden tears as we were dying to hear this.They were now ready to take our help as they saw we put in positive input in their work.she did say that there were some gaps which needed to filled like she could not do abstract thinking and she found difficulty in making connections and for her concrete thinking worked.So for that they had agreed to have 50 mins of IEP (individual education programme) each day which would be done by her speech therapist.She would require our support and for that some work would be sent home and she would require additional speech therapy outside of school and home to increase her area of learning as now there is a new field of learning as we moved here.To which we agreed upon and the goals of the school met ours, we both knew what her needs are.So we are happy and hope to have Prisha learn much more now.We would meet periodically to see how far our goal has been achieved.I can see her teacher giving her more input as compared to earlier and she is talking her language and using her accent, which is good for us, she is picking up more.She did have issues with making friends and we talked about it and realized some kids found it difficult to understand her and some did not have the patience and which Prisha is trying hard to get over.She still runs around with kids and trying to understand what they are talking.Kids talk fast and with various accents and sometimes under the breath which she finds difficult.Her music teacher said,he was happy with Prisha trying to involve herself and had a good sense of rhythm and so was given a xylophone to play in the musical showcase for parents.I told him she had difficulty understanding the words and so he sent me printouts to help her.Her Physical education teacher had issues with her not trying to get involved but the matter was solved as there was hardly any PE in India the way they do it here and so she could not get interested, now she is loving it.The German teacher said he was happy with Prisha's confidence on finding ways on the computer but had to work on waiting for her turn.She did get upset if she didn't get a turn.But then that too was a culture she comes from, in India if you didn't push yourself, nobody would notice you thanks to the number.But now she is getting better.We had a talk too with her and she is very understanding and ready to work on it.
        The school marks her as under "modified expectations" but we hope to soon get her to do better and better.The school is happy and we too are.
        On the speech therapist front after a lot of running around and meeting many, we finally zeroed upon Mrs.Essar, who is a German but her English is good too.She is training to be a teacher too.We did update her and she is now doing her job which we are happy with.We have to go downtown twice a week, mork for the little girl, but hardwork is what we need now.She has given a workbook to take home and she has bought books for her after looking at her needs.We would give her 60 classes and would see how to get her more non stop as the insurance requires us to a 3 month gap in between.But we plan to get around it when it comes as any gap for Prisha is not good.So now we are all set and we would see how things work out in 3 months time.For all who wished us luck for the speech therapist, a warm Thank you!For now we just "keep walking".