Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our family is growing!!

We are adding to our StJean clan. Rylee and Sienna are going to have a baby sister or brother joining them in September. Kevin and I have always wanted to have 3 but with what we’ve gone through this past year, at one point we had decided that our 2 girls completed our family. Then, great things began to happen, Sienna began to hear, began to speak and began to walk before Christmas so we made the decision to continue our family. We see Sienna as we do any other 2.5 year old, she is learning along side of them and is no different than them accept for she needs “equipment” to help her hear. I can’t wait to see Sienna interact with her baby sister or brother; it will help her development tremendously. As for Rylee, she is a great big sis to Sienna and will be for her new sibling as well.

At our 6 month post-activation appointment, from a sound booth test, we found out Sienna hears at 20db so she can basically hear a whisper. Isn’t this truly amazing! I didn’t really need a sound booth test to tell me that cause I have whispered to her before with her back to me and she has turned around. WOW! As for how the language assessment went, we did a few fun activities with the audiologist to evaluate her perception of speech and not where she is at in her speech development. I will hopefully meet with the speech language pathologist for a formal speech evaluation on our next visit to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

Sienna’s personality has changed over the last month. She is more demanding, more bratty, more persistent and yells and cries more and is having more tantrums than ever. Not sure why, she is 2.5 and I know this fits right along with the terrible twos but she has never been this mischievous before. I am wondering if it has to do with her hearing now and her speech development. She is a more confident girl now with her hearing, and she now knows her voice can get her what she wants…yells gets our attention very quickly.
Question for you CI moms-----Are any of you going through this, have you seem a change in personality? I remind her to use her words, I stick to my word cause I know they remember if you ever give in once and I try not to give her too much attention when she yells.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sienna's immersed in language!

Ways in which Sienna is immersed in language:

1. I have set my home goals along side of our SLP’s goals. I review them monthly, update it and change if necessary.

2. We have weekly SLP sessions in Peace River.

3. We have alone play time for at least 1 hour a day some activities include playing with Little People (fantastic because we play house and use everyday vocabulary like bath, wash your hands, open the fridge, sit, sleep, work on the computer, etc…), we also dress our dolls (clothing vocabulary), feed her, put her bed, sing to her, we do flashcards, play with farm animals etc…

4. We read to her every day!

5. I sing songs… she is already recognizing certain songs… some songs are Head, shoulders, knees and Toes, Wash your hands, Clean-up, Brush your teeth. I kind of makeup songs to children’s songs that I know.

6. We try to repeat the same vocabulary all day long… example, when it’s time to eat, I have her grab a plate, a cup, a spoon, a fork, etc…. when it’s time to dress, I’ll name all the clothing.

7. We talk, talk, talk! ( I have to remind myself often to use my words to describe what we are doing.)

Because we are in a remote area and we don’t have many resources, my role is extremely important in Sienna’s speech therapy. I am very fortunate that I can balance work with staying home with her. I do substitute teach in the elementary school in Falher about 2-3 days a week which is enough to get me out of the house. A few weeks ago, we visited the Grade 3 class which has studied Sound and Hearing in Science. Sienna and I went into their classroom and I spoke to them about cochlear implants, how they work, what is deafness, why children are and become deaf, etc… I would like to visit the other grades someday as it is educating for everyone especially because she is the only child with cochlear implants in our area. I had their attention for the entire 30 minutes and well my little Sunshine Sienna modeled her beautiful CI’s and she had their full attention too.

**Tuesday, Feb 16th, we go for our 6 month post-activation audiology and language evaluation. I am very excited for this as we have not really had any formal language assessment done so far and it will be very interesting to see where she is. In my eyes, which is really what truly matters, she is doing exceptionally well. I am so proud of her, she is my little bionic miracle!