Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sound Beginnings - Memphis Oral School for the Deaf - October 9, 2009 (Ella Marie 5 months and 1 week old)

Another great experience at the Memphis Oral School. We have been blessed that we were referred from Shea Clinic to go to Memphis Oral School and start working with Nathalie. Today we talked about many things and I have listed our experience below:

  • Make All About Me Books and Experience Books for Ella Marie - These books can be in notebooks with sheet protectors, on o rings, or put together with binding combs. Basically there is no correct format to making them. These are similar to classroom books that I made with my first grade students. In the "All About Me" books Ella Marie is showcased with everything that is special to her. Under each picture a caption should be written about the picture. These books will most likely be some of her favorite books to read and look at. On the left side of the book there should be a picture of Ella Marie doing something or somewhere. On the right side there should be approximately 4 pictures that are related to the picture on the left side. For example: On the left side there could be a picture of Ella Marie in her room. On the right side of the page there could be pictures of her crib, her rocking chair, changing table, and bookcase. This book will help Ella Marie develop vocabulary and listening comprehension for what we are talking about. These books will be ones that will be continued to be used. Even if Ella Marie cannot hear exactly what we are reading to her right now, she will continue to see the books even after implant surgery. Again it is important to engage and stimulate her as much as possible because testing is not over so she could be getting benefit from her hearing aids (which we know that she is getting some benefit). With the "Experience Books" These are close to the same type of books as the "All About Me Books". These books track Ella Marie's experiences. Examples of this could be coming to Memphis Oral School, our trip to the Pumpkin Patch, a trip to Nana's etc. Another good purpose of this book is because children with hearing loss have trouble with auditory recall. Books such as these will help them. Of course these books can be as crafty as you want them to be. Also there is research that supports that photographs build self-esteem. Assuming this is true, we want Ella Marie to have a high self-esteem.
  • Some of these books can be turned in to "On the Go books". Smaller versions on o rings and she can look at them in the car or keep them in her bag.
  • We discussed the importance of exposing Ella Marie to holiday vocabulary such as pumpkin and gourd. Some of these foods, words, etc are seasonal and Ella Marie needs to experience them as much as possible. We have plans to take Ella Marie to the Pumpkin Patch very soon. On this trip or on things like a nature walk, we can talk about what we are putting on, what we see, hear, etc.
  • Along with the bullet above, we discussed the importance of talking about different textures, color, and size. We want to talk about everything that she sees, feels, and hears. For example, every minute is a teaching experience. When we are in a store in the garden center we may talk about what the plant looks like, and feels like. We may also talk about the things surrounding the plant. One activity to do with textures is to take a long brown tube and tie different fabrics together that have different textures. Use about 1/8 of a yard of each. Use a dowel rod to stick the fabrics into a tube. At the end of the fabric have a small toy tied with a ribbon. The goal is for the child to go through all of the different textures and get to the toy.
  • We discussed the importance of repetition. Children do not learn from hearing something once. We can stick with some of the same things during play until Ella Marie is disinterested.
  • Continuing our work with suprasegmentals, we used bubbles and we talked about opening the bubbles and making them go "pop, pop, pop". Ella Marie loved popping the bubbles.
  • We talked about the importance of Ella Marie wearing her hearing aids all of the time. It should be the first thing she does when she wakes up in the morning. When she is in her carseat on long trips she will not have them on most likely because if she takes them out and puts them in her mouth the batteries are toxic. Again with anything she hears from her hearing aids we should point it out and talk about it.
  • We discussed what a great website The Listening Room is.
  • About half way through the session, Nathalie put Ella Marie in the sound booth. This was her first time to be in there since around 2 months old (when we were just trying to get a startle). I was holding Ella Marie in the sound booth in a chair. Nathalie was sitting on the floor showing Ella Marie a puppet in front of us (to keep her attention so we could test) and Elizabeth, another audiologist, ran the sound booth. We were only able to test Ella Marie at the 250 hz level. This is a lower frequency level. Elizabeth conditioned Ella Marie to turn to a box with a stuffed animal in it if she heard a sound. We know that Ella Marie turned at 70 decibels. They are pretty sure she turned at 60 and 50 decibels as well but they will do more testing to see if that is consistent. Ella Marie becomes good at "playing the game" so we always want to be sure.


  1. you have become quite the AVT mom, love it!

  2. Just saw that you have a blog! Have you made any experience books so far???