Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Where's Aiden's Implant?

You may have wondered where Aiden's Implant is in the pictures that we just posted (see next posting below). It's there - it just looks different than you are used to (unless you have seen Aiden lately). About 2 months ago, we got a bit of a hardware "upgrade" for Aiden's implant. You may remember that we were having no end of troubles keeping the behind the ear mic on Aiden's ear. So, we switched him to a device called a "behind the ear processor" or BTE. There is still a magnet on his head. That cord is attached to the BTE. The BTE is supposed to be worn behind the ear (hence the name) like a hearing aid. But, Aiden's ears are not close enough to his head, nor strong enough to hold it. So, we have it safety pinned to his sholder for the time being - as you can see in the above picture with Auntie Sharon.

When you see a picture of him face on, you don't even realize that it's there - especially if the BTE has been pinned a bit back on his sholder. So, now instead of having a blinking light on his ear, there is a blinking light on his sholder....

This, of course, is not a permanent solution. We make jokes about Aiden having this extremely high tech piece of equipment, valued in the neighbourhood of $10,000 (just for the hardware), and we have it safety pinned to his shirt....

There had been some talk of Aiden meeting with a plastic surgeon to see about firming up his little ear, and tucking it in closer to his head to accommodate the processor, but I think he needs to be a bit older first. I really NEVER thought I would be talking about taking my 2 year old to the plastic surgeon!!! Of course, I never imagined I would be doing a lot of things that I find myself doing :>


Here are some great new pictures for you all to enjoy!
The first is actually the first really great picture we have of Noah & Aiden together - taken on Easter Sunday.
The second is our little Lepricon on St. Patrick's Day.
The third is Aiden & I at the Batawa Easter Egg Hunt one week before Easter.
The fourth is Aiden at the same Batawa hunt collecting his eggs.
The last one I think is particularly funny. This was taken at The Rainforest Cafe in Yorkdale in Toronto about a month ago. They have "thunderstorms" in the restaurant, which are actually pretty loud. Noah didn't like them, and put his fingers in his ears whenever they started. Aiden followed suit... I wonder if that helped?? :>

Sunday, April 15, 2007

We're Back!

Wow. Was it really JANUARY 19th when I published my last posting?! I knew it had been awhile, but I was truly suprised that it had been THAT long. I don't know where the time goes, what with me just sitting around at home bored all the time....

Actually, as you might have guessed, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there is so much going on with Aiden (and the rest of us) that I hardly know where to begin.

Aiden is saying so much! In 5 days, it will be 5 months since he was "turned on", and his progress has been remarkable. Here's a sample of what he is saying (all on his own, without prompting from us):

- Uh-oh (when he or someone else drops something)
- Bye-bye (when anyone is leaving. Also, when he hear's "bye bye" he will turn around and wave
- Meow (when he sees a cat - even on TV or in a store)
- Bow Wow (when he sees a dog)
- Brruuum (for a car)
- Aaaaahhhh - with a cute up and down finger gesture (for an airplane)
- Puh puh puh (for a boat)
- Baa baa (for a sheep)
- Hello (when he is playing with the phone, holding it to his ear - which is actually pretty funny given that he can't hear out of his ears :> Kind of sounds like "oh oh")
- Hi (as a greeting)
- Moo (for a cow)
- More (when he wants anything - a very long and drawn out version of the word more. He first said this word to tell us that he wanted more chocolate Easter eggs...)
- Baby (VERY clear!)
- Ball (pretty close anyway)
- Bounce bounce bounce (in association with ball - kind of like "bou bou bou")
- Hop hop hop (for a frog or bunny - a bit like "ha ha ha" - whispered)
- No (when we're playing a game with his sippy cup and he's telling me he doesn't want anymore. Kind of like "oh")
- Mmmmm (for food or eating - or anything that tastes good)
- Yeah! or Horray! (when he does something he's proud of)
- Hoo Hoo & owl (for an owl)
- Eee Eee Eee (for a monkey)
- Ssss (for a sleeping baby)
- Hot (for hot coffee, etc. - not exactly clearly that word but close and consistent - like "ha")

I could probably go on - but I think you get the point! Literally, I think he says something new - or says something he has already said a little bit more clearly - every day. And, given that his therapist says that what they look for is for a child to have mastered 10 words in 1 year, we think that he is a fantastic, brilliant little star. I think I was up to 22 words on the above list at less than 5 months....

Here's a sample of some of his reactions to sound:
- Whenever we are in a store and he hears an announcement, he always gets my attention and points to his ear.
- Actually, any new sound that he hears that he can't identify or see the source of, he points to his ear and looks as us as if to say, "I heard that - what is it?"
- My Mom & Dad's coffee machine makes a very distinct noise when it is finished brewing coffee (a bubbly gurgly sound), and Aiden now knows exactly what that sound means. When he hears it, he walks right over to the coffee machine, points up at it and then points to his ear.

Here are some things that Aiden has just started doing:
- Saying "a-ta" when he wants something or when he is giving you something (I say that to him when I want him to give me something)
- The "ssss" sound. To me, this is just a HUGE milestone. This is a sound that he DEFINATELY did not make pre-implant - not even remotely close. And, before he ever made this sound (about 2 months ago) I remarked to his therapist that when he did make the "ssss" sound I would know that we had really accomplished something. Aiden first made this sound for Ric when we were waiting at Hotel Dieu for Aiden's 8th (that's right, 8th) surgery that was subsequently canceled (long story). Way to go Ric!
- I think that he tried to call Noah - although it comes out as "ooh oohh"
- Aiden clearly understands more words than he can say. I told him we had to find his jacket the other day (like in plain, not accented language - I was really pretty much talking outloud to my self, and he went and go it! I almost fell over :>

So, what's next? Everything that Aiden is doing is so exciting, it seems a bit funny to be wondering what's next, but here's what we're looking out for:
- Aiden is doing so well with associating sounds with things (like meow for a cat), that now we are working on him saying the actual names of things. I think he will say cat or car next.
- Okay, so what did I count above, 22 words that he says? Well, two of them are NOT "mommy" or "daddy" or even anything close. That better come soon little one. Remember who the people are that feed you chocolate easter eggs....