In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's just a small hurdle and this too shall pass!

Yesterday, Duckling went for her Speech/Language evaluation.  It had been about a year since her last evaluation and this appointment was a very important one.  Recent discoveries with her hearing test a few weeks ago proved that she is receiving no benefit from her hearing aid.  At this point, due to the severity of her hearing loss, we are left with only two possibilities of ways to make her hear which are both surgical procedures.  One being a Baha bone anchored hearing aid and the other being a Cochlear Implant.  Currently, our only option is a Baha since she still has hearing within normal range in her "good" ear. 

I had expected that she would blow her evaluation away with normal scores and that she would not qualify for her Baha because of this....I was dumbfounded as I sat and observed her evaluation and I was amazed at some of the words she was unable to come up with during her testing and couldn't believe that I have never noticed her lack of ability to identify everyday "things" and her lack of ability to express information and that no one else has ever noticed anything with her either.

She is delayed in expressive language (which is basically her talking)...this went unnoticed by me because the girl talks in 8-10 word sentences.  I've never noticed her lack of using appropriate words for everyday things.  Duckling has always tested normal with expressive language so it is disturbing to see that she is now testing delayed in this area. She isn't "too" far behind, but this area has the potential to decline quickly because she simply can't hear the words she is "hearing".

She is very delayed in vocabulary (with is the words she uses to identify things) At 41 months, she is testing between a 24 and 29 month level. This is an area where she has always had a delay in, however, because of the way they tested this area we always aruged it wasn't an accurate look at where she truly was and so we assumed she fell within a normal range. Yesterday, she was old enough to test in this area with the terapist and I was amazed at what she didn't know...she just doesn't have the words to identify things even when she knows what they are...for example, while pointing at a picture of an elephant the therapist asked "What is this"? Duckling, with a blank and totally clueless look on her face obviously not "knowing" the answer started to get distracted, the therapist then took her finger off of the page and said "Where is the elephant"? and right away she pointed to it, so, she KNEW that was an elephant, but she didn't have word elephant in her "vocabulary". It was very hard to see the amount of things she had no words or wrong words for.

She did however, test above average in her receptive language (which is her understanding what is said to her).  So, in her own little world of garbbled words, she does understand what we are saying...she just doesn't understand the words clearly enough to be able to express herself appropriately.

Her speech therapist recommended that we seek private speech therapy and also obtain special education services and also suggested that we reincorporate the use of sign language and she also supports the decision to use a Baha, but it has to be approved by the doctor so I can certainly say, she will be getting one. She will wear a softband, because she can not be implanted until she if 5. I do still have some unanswered ?'s about this so a visit to her specialist is in order before I make a final decision.

In the past 24 hours, I have paid more attention to the "words" she uses and now I see so clearly what I can't believe I missed! 

Duckling is an amazing little girl and she knows no challenge too great to overcome.  We have our work cut out for us and this changes my life direction at the's just a small hurdle and this too shall pass!

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