Thursday, July 13, 2006

'No satsuma, no coil'

Our son beeps alot now. There's an alarm that goes off on Tom's body-worn processor whenever the magnetic microphone/coil unlocks from its docking point on the side of his head. For unlock, read 'falls off'.

And, when I say 'side of his head' I'm referring to a sophisticated receiver coil (three turns of gold wire I believe) sitting in a drilled out recess of his skull just under his skin. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to that.

So Tom has taken his first tentative steps back into this world of sound - actually it's more like he's hovering in the doorway. The audiological team spent around forty minutes with Tom plugged in to the software running a series of initial tests to make sure the electrode array was all tickety-boo followed by a behavioural test with the dancing toys in boxes at the sides of the room being lit up as a 'reward' for hearing the sound. The boy's been through this one on a number of occasions over the past couple of months and has started checking the boxes every once in a while just in case the nodding dinosaur should show its face.

Incidentally, Tom referred to the dinosaur as a 'ribbit' - a generic term applied to pretty much all things green. I haven't the heart , or the necessary signing skills, to correct him.

The first session ends with Tom in his comfy harness with a neat, under-the-arm holster for the processor. After the initial bribery required a couple of days ago (we've really spun out the Easter eggs this year - comes from spending a large chunk of the spring in hospital) we've had no objections to the coil and associated gadgetry. That is, except for a neat reversal of the 'no coil, no dummy' blackmail - my failure to deliver a desired piece of fruit led to Tom responding with 'no satsuma, no coil'. He catches on fast.

As for hearing anything or responding to sound? Nada. The processor is turned on at the equivalent of little more than a loud whisper - we're back in today for further, more precise 'tuning' - and there's a significant amount of adapting for his brain to do but you hope to see something, don't you? Importantly, Tom's happy with wearing the kit and has been the model of cooperation thus far so we haven't had any extra grief layered on top of the base level of stress.

Which reminds me, we still haven't stocked up on satsumas.

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