Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hearing - What does Cicily hear?

I realized recently that we have confused a few people because we are teaching ASL to Cicily. So, I thought I'd clarify her hearing situation a little better. Essentially she hears near perfectly with her hearing aid on. Here are the details:
Cicily has no ear canal openings (except a tiny pin-point on one side- still unsure how beneficial that is or isn't). Since she doesn't have an opening to her internal ears she doesn't naturally have a way to conduct the sounds in her environment to her inner ears. This type of hearing loss is called a conductive loss. Basically she naturally hears about what you would hear if you plugged your ears. (In audiological terms, that's down to 45-60 decibels.)
Fortunately there are very cool hearing aids called bone conduction aids. Cicily wears her BAHA every day. (See her "equipment" section on the sidebar for details.) With her BAHA on, Cicily's hearing improves to normal levels. (That's she hears to 15 dbs, which is a whisper level. When the BAHA is implanted hearing improves to 0-5 dbs.)
Essentially Cicily hears very well with her BAHA. It's great sound quality, just more mechanical sounding than normal - it sort of sounds like you're hearing everything spoken through a microphone or on a cassette tape.
We decided to teach her sign language to give her a way to communicate until she can speak well. (Trach + cleft palate + small jaw = bad combo for early speech, but she'll get there)
Thanks to friends for asking me questions! If anyone ever wants to hear how Cicily hears, you're more than welcome to borrow her BAHA for a few minutes.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The kind of pretending Cicily's life inspires...

Maya is a huge pretender - from being chipmunks to "you're the little girl". Every day we're somebody new. I love the variation that she comes up with from being a big sister to Cicily. Two latest examples:

A couple weeks ago I was feeding Cicily orally in her high chair and Maya says, "lets pretend that we both came to this house and you're the feeding therapist and I'm the cleaning lady." Ok, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a feeding therapist until 16 months ago! I'm still not sure where the cleaning lady thing comes from though - is that what your role is Grandma?? :)

Yesterday we were enjoying the great weather outside and our wonderful new backyard. Maya, Cicily and I had their two trached Cabbage Patch dolls outside with us pretending something. Maya says, "let's pretend our babys' trachs came out suddenly while we were just sitting here, ok." So she unstraps the trach band and pulls out the trach and then puts it back in again. I of course, did the same as instructed, as I was laughing!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Photo Album - 16 months

Happy 30th Birthday Daddy!!!!
Sleeping time has been much more interesting lately. Cis loves to roll over and pull herself up on the bumper of her crib to see what she can see. We always keep her door open so when she's peeking out and we walk by she gets really mad! It's cute to see her little head pop up though.
Can you tell we got a videocamera recently? I'll have to remember to keep taking pics too.