Friday, August 11, 2006

Two and Loving It

Tom is two now and his implant has been switched on for four weeks.

When Nicky shouts 'Jay!' up the stairs she has an echo. 'Ay!!!' yells Tom, just to make sure I've heard.

As he climbs up into his high chair or clambers down a step backwards, Tom says 'Care-ful', mimicking our cautious tone perfectly.

Tom's birthday party had something of an animal theme and since then he spots, and names, giraffes, elephants, lions, monkeys and zebras with glee. His monkey impression is something to behold and will get him out of scrapes for some time to come.

Target words for this week: 'Cement mixer', 'Dump truck' and 'Road roller'. I've not set myself much of a challenge there due to their proliferation in our house and the boy's singular obsession with all things wheeled.

The Flip Side

Tom is making this progress because of a number of key factors; all mentioned elsewhere in this blog and all worth reiterating.
  • We are following the Auditory Verbal therapy path with the marvellous Jacqueline Stokes.
  • Tom had, when he was deafened, a pretty good vocabulary for a 20 month old and his auditory memory was developed/strong/retentive enough to cling on to 130 words plus throughout his 'silent period' which was a mercifully short three months
  • Tom is learning his language in the optimally quiet environment of home with two dedicated and slightly obsessive teachers.
  • He's only two and his brain is still very plastic and able to cope with change
  • Nottingham know what they're doing when it comes to mapping

With all this progress being made why do we continue to fight out PCT for funding?

  • Because as soon as there's poor acoustics or any background noise, Tom doesn't hear a word
  • Because Tom has to look all over the place to find out who's speaking
  • Because the meningitis took away the hearing in two ears, not just one
  • Because there have been a number of signs that ossification has begun and we've heard of a number of cases where the effectiveness of the implanted ear has declined with progressing ossification. The thought of Tom being plunged back into silence is too awful to contemplate for long.
  • Because our PCT are out of step with the rest of the world - one of the biggest US insurers, BlueCross BlueShield policy now includes bilateral implantation, following on from recent developments as reported in the Times and A Tale of Two PCTs

Feel free to add to this list - I need to go and play with my son and not dwell on this too long. I can do without an ulcer just now.

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