Goals of the Week:
- Our goal continues to be working on vocalizations that vary in "DIP" (Duration, Intensity, and Pitch). Ella Marie's therapist said that she is doing great with her pitch changes. Ella Marie makes more long sounds than short sounds but this is normal. Also she makes louder sounds more than quiet sounds.
- We also want to continue working on vocalizations with consonant beginninging sounds (we are not there yet). Ella Marie is just starting the chronological age where children begin to babble (meaning using consonant and vowel combinations which is different from cooing which is vowel patterns only). We must remember that Ella Marie has a "hearing age" of only 2 months old. This is important to remember because we must factor that in when looking at her gains in language. It does not matter which consonant sound we use before the vowel. It is just important that we do it and vary in "DIP." The suprasegmentals that we work on will help Ella Marie to not have that typical deaf speech. We want her to vocalize as close to any other hearing baby would.
A couple of other notes from our session:
- I asked our AV therapist if Ella Marie was on track in therapy for a child whose ABR showed profound deafness. She said that she was and she was doing even better than a typical child with that ABR. She said that there is a margin of error in the ABR so Ella Marie could possibly have severe deafness instead of profound deafness since she is turning to sound. I asked her what the typical 6 month old baby (Ella Marie is 5 1/2 months old) is doing at this time that Ella Marie is not doing. She said that the typical hearing baby is turning to their name and turning to voice. Ella Marie is not there yet. Also some children start babbling at this age.
- For the last half of our therapy session Kelli wanted me to watch a video that was made by Cochlear Corporation. It is called "Listen, Learn, and Talk". Some of the key things that the video brought out were:
- Hearing Aids should be worn every hour - As the parent you should check them to make sure they are working every morning.
- When you are speaking to Ella Marie, be close to the microphone on her hearing aid. Do not expect that Ella Marie will hear you if you are in the other room.
- Use a singsong voice or "motherese" with Ella Marie. Why is this important? Because when you use a singsong voice you are naturally working on pitch changes in your voice.
- Use language that is appropriate for a child her age.
- Work/Play with Ella Marie in a quiet environment.
- Remember that eye contact and turn taking is a prerequisite for conversation.
- Say words and phrases many times. Repetition is important.
- Use a lot of spoken language.
- Listen for different environmental sounds. Tell Ella Marie "Listen Ella Marie, Do you hear the __________? Can you hear it?" Take her to the sound source and talk about it.
- Use the "Listen Cue". For example, "Ella Marie, listen, I hear the dog barking. Do you hear the dog barking?" Other examples, the telephone ringing and musical toys.
- Try to get Ella Marie to repeat my vocalizations.
- Reading books to Ella Marie is extremely important.
- Sing a lot of songs with Ella Marie. Again this works on "DIP" (Duration, Intensity, and Pitch.)
- Talk in phrases or simple sentences with Ella Marie. Highlight key words or vocabulary (what you want Ella Marie to focus on) in your sentence. Example: "Ella Marie, do you see the dog?" Say the word dog a little bit louder than the other words.
- Use acoustic highlighting - This means anything you do to make sound more audible. Examples are using a sing song voice, working in a quiet room, etc.
- Later we will start teaching Ella Marie the "Learning To Listen Sounds". They cover all frequency levels.
- Give auditory input first before working with a toy or object. Explain what you are doing first.
Wow a lot of great information. A lot of it are things that either we had gone over before in Memphis or in Birmingham, but it is nice to hear things again and also very nice to validate what we are already doing at home.