Jack is finally taking off wit his cochlear implants. He is starting to speak in complete sentences. He knows how to put his Neptunes (off the ear implants) on by himself. We recently went to the audiologist for a mapping and to try him with the Naida implant processor. The Naida is a behind the ear (BTE) unit.
We had some problems with the Naidas falling off quite frequently. I was able to find a set of super hero covers with a leash that will make us losing the processors less likely. I also went to Michael's and bought some clear plastic cord so I could make a loop to hold them on his ears. They have ear hooks but they don't hold well, especially for an active 4 year old.
Jack recently had a word recognition test in school. He was in the sound booth. The audiologist would say a word (with her mouth covered so he can't read her lips) and Jack would point to a picture of what she said. For instance, she would say train and he would point to the picture of a train. Jack scored 80% on the test which is pretty good considering he is profoundly deaf without the implants. There are some limitations to the test. He is four and he doesn't have the greatest attention span so he may get things wrong simply because the picture of another object interests him more. Also there is no background noise in a sound booth. He has a great deal of difficulty hearing in situations where there is a lot of background noise.
Jack is taking swimming lessons, ice skating lessons and will soon be starting T-ball. I sign him up for these things but I am always worried that he won't be able to do it because of his hearing. Swimming is pretty good because it is one on one. He can wear his water proof implants for swimming but he doesn't hear so great there because it echos in the pool area. He does seem to enjoy it and even if he can't hear her he can follow her visual directions. With ice skating there were only two kids in the group and he seemed to do ok. The teacher turned out to be Julianna's figure skating coach. She knows Jack very well and it worked out fine. We are going to sign up for the next session. T-ball will start in April. He loves to throw the ball and hit with the bat. I know he will enjoy it but I am worried that he won't be able to hear from the outfield or with people yelling from the sidelines.
Jack doesn't know that he is any different from anyone else. Obviously I would never tell him he has any limitations. The other kids in his school all have hearing loss and wear similar equipment. At some point he will realize that he is a little different. I am not sure how that will go. For now I am just trying to do everything with him and hope for the best. He really is doing great. They wanted me to put him in balance therapy due to his balance issues from his vestibular damage. It turned out that it was very expensive and not covered so I put him in ice skating instead. Why not learn balance from real life experiences? He is as good if not better than the other kids his age who are doing it. He is so determined. He can't always express himself with words but he does with his actions. If he wants to do something he does it. I hope that stays with him.