Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I am posting this You Tube video of a "phonics lesson" of a child with bilateral cochlear implants with parental permission. The clarity of the video enables the viewer to see not only how well the child speaks (he's adorable!)but also, how well he HEARS! His mother gives him directions and the child receives and processes the message without speech reading and without doubting that he has heard the message correctly. THIS IS THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE IN MY EXPERIENCE AS A MOTHER OF A DEAF CHILD WHO WEARS HEARING AIDS AS OPPOSED TO THE COCHLEAR IMPLANT EXPERIENCE. When Jordan wore hearing aids, homework was a NIGHTMARE! Now, instead of reading my lips to understand the message, he can listen and concentrate on his homework task, simultaneously. This is the major reason why Jordan comes home from school alert and ready to move on to the next activity, this was not the case with hearing aids and we took many mental health days just to let him relax.
While hearing in itself becomes effortless, parents and professionals must work together consistently from the moment the cochlear implant is activated to stimulate that hearing and educate the child regarding sound. This phonics lesson is an example of how a parent's job at home is an ongoing process, obviously this child hears and speaks at this point, but language acquisition and production is an ongoing process.
CONTRARY to the opinions of some blogs I have read, NO ONE that I know was told that once the child puts on the cochlear implant, HALLELUYAH! DEAFNESS HAS BEEN HEALED! We know from the beginning that our job will entail working on auditory-verbal therapy lessons at home if we want our children to maximize their use of the incredible device that enables the hearing. AND we as parents, as demonstrated by this youtube video are up to the task! KUDOS to MOM!!!