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Monday, July 25, 2011

Are the hearing aids helping?

Everyone keeps wondering whether or not the hearing aids are doing anything.... here is your answer :)

We had a great trip to the audiologist today, and H fell asleep on the way home so I will try and update everyone while I have time!
We thought we were going in to get new molds for the ears since he outgrew his by the time we went to pick them up, but apparently they were not in yet. GRRR! It's okay though, these seem to be doing the trick, especially with the toupe tape holding the main part behind his ear.

We did get to do a sound booth test to see if the audiologist noticed any type of reaction from him. I was holding him facing outward, and there were noises coming from both directions. On the left there was also a light up winnie the poo, and from what I am told he would look at the light up toy when they would flash it, and then when they turned it off and put the sound through, he would look that way again. I don't think it was mere coincidence because there were two audis and they said they tested high and low frequencies multiple times and he looked that way multiple times. I tried looking at his reflection in the mirror, but could not tell myself whether he noticed the sound. They both said they got more than they were expecting, so that is great and means he is getting some stimulation to the brain through sound.

My pressing question was, does this affect his candidacy for the CI, but they said no. What he hears is very little in comparison to the amount of sound the CI will allow him to hear. Once we get the new molds in, hopefully they won't fall out as much. Thanks to our sitter for constantly putting them back in, I know it is a hassle just from the past two weeks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hearing Aids are in!

Our baby boy was once again an angel for his hearing aid fitting today. The audiologist wanted to do another ABR test (hearing test for any brainwave response to sounds), so that she could do a range of decibals and frequencies to get a more detailed report. He needed to be asleep for this, and he just so happen to fall asleep as we were walking in and slept like a rock for the entire 15 mintues, then woke up immediately when they were done. Here is a picture of him during the test.

We then went in to get the hearing aids fitted. The molds that we got fitted for two weeks ago are already a little too small. So we will be getting new ones soon, but will be able to use these for now. From what I have heard, babies grow out of them pretty quickly! The hearing aids also have a lanyard in the back that clips to his shirt. This is in case he pulls them off so that we don't lose them! There are no tests that can detect brain waves in response to sound from hearing aids, so Blair and I will just watch closely and see if he is reacting to anything. We go back in two weeks to see how he is doing with them, and they may try loud pitches to see if he reacts at all. But it's not until 6 months that they can really see a head turn in babies reacting to sound. It's highly likely that the hearing aids are stimulating the brain, so we are going to keep them in as much as possible. I think his brain is probably getting sick of the light up toys that we stick in front of his face 24/7 to double up on the visual stimulation! Keep in mind, we are still pursuing the cochlear implant, this is just one step (and requirement) to obtain the CI.

We are still getting a lot of screeches and more and more laughing everyday. We are so blessed to have such a happy baby. Here are some pictures of H with the hearing aids on, I think he likes them :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hunter's "Ears"

Audio Diagram

Cochlear Implant

Many Friends and Family have had questions about what an implant is, why he needs one, and how does it work? I will do my best to explain...

Normal hearing is about 10-20 decibels. When Hunter was tested he was found to have Profound loss bilaterally(both ears). Hearing aids amplify or make sounds louder. If you have a a hearing loss, amplifying sounds can help you hear them....the inner parts of the ear work and are getting the messages to the brain if it's loud enough. When the loss is severe to profound and or there is a problem with the cochlea itself, simply making things louder doesn't help.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Initial Ochsner's Visit- 05/13/2011

It's as if Hunter knows when the important days come around, because he always acts like an angel :) Our road trip with Daddy and Gammy was quite successful, and we even got to visit with Nana and Pappie while Pappie is recovering in the hospital, and looking great I might add!
Our appointment started with Hunter and I sitting in a sound booth, a routine procedure that the audiologist has to perform on Hunter just to make sure she doesn't get any reaction out of him. It mainly consisted of high pitched sounds that would cause a hearing baby to jump due to the loudness of the sounds. But as expected, Hunter did not react to the noises.

Early Steps Intervention

Monday, May 2nd, I had a final meeting with Early Steps to write a care plan for Hunter. This program is incredible. I am shocked at how much they have to offer not only Hunter, but for Hunter's daddy and myself. For those of you who have never heard of Early Steps, it's a program funded by the state for children with disabilities from ages 0 - 36 months free of charge. I never knew it existed, and it is such a wonderful thing! We will have a physical therapist and a special teacher come into our home once a week to work with Hunter and to teach Blair and myself how to "play" with Hunter. Being deaf sometimes affects other things in the body such as delayed head control, crawling and sometimes walking (amongst other things). So the PT and teacher will show us things that we can do to work with Hunter on a daily basis so that he does not fall far behind other children his age. We are ecstatic to learn and work with Hunter so that he can keep up with all of his new cousins being born this year!